Spain

Taking a Break from the Internet

I spent just over a week at my Dad’s in Spain and I barely used the Internet at all. Previously my Dad’s internet connection hasn’t been that great (he lives out in the sticks) but it is better now and he’s even got Wi-Fi! I could’ve connected to the Wi-Fi on my phone but decided not to for a number of reasons.

First of all my work emails come to my phone. When I’ve had just one day off work I’ve seen all the emails come through and it can be up to around 100 emails. I didn’t want to be constantly thinking about work when I’m supposed to be on holiday. My colleagues had my mobile number so if there was any major problems they could’ve get hold of me. I have to say getting back to the UK and suddenly receiving emails on my phone, it was quite a surprise and sort of daunting to see I have 314 unread emails from work.

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Reminiscing about World Cup 2010 & being excited for World Cup 2014

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Me at my Dad’s local after Spain won the World Cup

I really enjoy watching football but it seems that that part of me is a bit of an unintentional secret. I don’t support a team that’s in the English Premier League, or any UK team to be honest, so when it’s football season I’m one of those people who is amused by people freaking out on social media when a team wins or loses.

That being said I do support the Spanish National Team and have done since 2007 – long story short, England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 so since my dad lives in Spain I decided to support Spain instead and I never looked back. I know a lot about the Spanish NT and their players and often find myself following players rather than team e.g. I really like David Silva so always get strangely pleased when he scores for Manchester City.

So when it gets to summer and it’s the World Cup or the Euros I get rather excited. I try to watch all of Spain’s matches live (and get very invested and shout at the TV in a mixture of English and Spanish) and am generally quite invested in the stupid sport. In a World Cup I also cheer on Ghana since my mum grew up there – Swarez’s handball against Ghana in South Africa in 2010 caused me and mum to swear and shout quite loudly, the consequent penalty shoot-out was incredibly stressful.

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Fernweh (n.) An ache for distant places; the craving for travel.

I am so very tempted to book myself a little weekend city break abroad. I’m not sure if it’s a bit of the New Year’s blues, or if I’m just looking for that next adventure but it’s something I am seriously considering.

I have figured out that the beginning of March would be good for me as I have no deadlines till the end of the month so three days away would hardly make me fall behind. Plus the way my Uni timetable works I’m generally free Saturday’s through to Wednesday’s.

I blame the fact that I live so close to Heathrow airport during term time and the British Airways adverts I saw all over Christmas. But I have been doing some research and have found that three days in Madrid would cost me around £160 for both flights and hotel, which sounds great to me. I’m that sort of traveller that doesn’t really care too much about the sort of place I stay at – as long as it has a bed and a shower I am quite happy. I’ll be out seeing the sights and exploring rather than spending time shut up in my room.

The reason why I’m looking at Madrid, or anywhere in Spain really, is that I have a basic understanding of the language. When I say basic – I do mean basic! I may have done Spanish for my A-Levels but I was never that great at the writing part of the exam but when it came to speaking I did do fairly well. After visiting my dad in Spain at least once a year for over ten years I do seem to pick it up easy every time I go out there and know enough to make myself understood even if it isn’t grammatically correct.

I just feel very bad when I go to a foreign country and can’t even try to speak their language. I feel like the stereotypical arrogant Englishman – not bothering to learn any other language because English is universal. While that is true I do at least want to be able to try.

So me and my basic Spanish skills may be going to Madrid for a few days. I’ve never been to Madrid before and some part of me would like to one day be able to say that I have been to every capital city in the world – or at least in Europe.

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