I’ve always said that among all the sites I’ve ever visited, Zaragoza is that one place that exerts a special unexplainable, magical attraction on people…
It’s a small city , not as well known as Barcelona, Bilbao or Madrid which are the great international poles. But once you come here, you either stay forever, or you end up longing for it wherever you go.
Compared to other places I’ve visited in Europe (here is the link to my travel gallery), this is where I enjoyed my stay the most and consequently settled in afterwards. Here come the 5 reasons why!
1- It is a small town where the life cost is ereally low compared to other Spanish locations. Yet it has everything with everything you need: shops, entertainment, banks and food, etc.
2- The lifestyle rhythm here is more relaxed so the level of stress the reduced compared to bigger European metropolis.
3- The town is extremely clean and there is less pollution.
4- People are nice, easygoing and they take the time to attend to you when you need help, for example while asking for direction in a street.
5- It has a unique culture, where medieval , mediteranean and modern trends blend in perfectly, creating a special touch. You definiyely won’t be bored; there’s always something new to do or a new place to discover!
It’s a hidden gem, waiting for your visit. Cariño, cuándo te vienes? (Darling, when are you coming?)
See you in my next post!
For more photos of places Nuna has visited, please click here: Travel Gallery
Some of the photos are avalaible thanks to the courtesy of my friend S. I. (She took them during our strolls). Gracias por las increíbles imágenes, amiga! (Thanks for these incredible visuals, friend!)
I hope we are all doing well, and that we’re all safe!
In today’s post I will be sharing more about an important aspect of Spanish social life: the art of taking strolls. I’m also taking you on a visual tour of Zaragoza, the town were I live!
In a previous post, I mentioned that Spaniards spend a lot of time in social interactions, and therefore, it’s very common to come across “improvised hangouts”. It does not necessarily refer to parties or meetings over meals. Spaniards also spend a lot of time outside their flats, walking, chatting or just having fresh air. Their cities are designed for that purpose. For example, in my town Zaragoza, there are a lot of public spaces of various sizes: parks, squares, green spaces or playgrounds between buildings. There are always public benches on every street. You can see families with kids, lovey-dovey couples, young people chatting with their friends, eating snacks or listening to music, or old people getting fresh air. It was really funny for me to that even the University’s park is visited for the same purposes and even to walk their dogs.
They also go for “tapeo” which is going from bar to bar eating “tapas” (snacks or hors d’œuvre) and having a drink.
On weekends, after church, I like walking home. I sometimes take a detour to enjoy the view. There are days when my friends tag along. We walk, enjoy the view, sit or squat somewhere for a while, there continue wherever our feet lead us too. If we’re hungry, we go to any supermarket nearby and grab some snacks to keep us company. My town is small and very safe, so we stay out until our legs give out (before Covid-19 started, sometimes till 1 or 2 am ).
There’s always something new to discover, or things that capture our attention… We have a local saying here: “Zaragoza te enamora” (Zaragoza makes you fall in love). Indeed, I have been here for years, but it is constantly fascinating.
After the Filomena snowstorm left us covered in white, San Valero’s strong wind gushes nearly blew us away, and now… Valentine came with love in its wings. The weather is pretty more merciful these days. We’re transitioning to spring so the average max. temperature is 14°C.
As it’s getting warmer and warmer, talking strolls around the city becomes even more agreeable. It is pure goodness to see the trees bloom and to feel the sweet rays of the sun slowly warming up… I love Spanish Spring very much, I feel like I‘m reviving after the harsh winter.
I know it’s still far, but as the tropical bird that I am, I can’t wait for summer to come.
The end-of- year celebrations are over. I get to have my first real day off since the holidays started. As an expat living alone abroad, I originally planned to spend the festivities by myself, but I got so many invitations that I went here and there, celebrating from house to house. Instead of spanning as “The Grinch” or “Home Alone”, my holiday season became “All I want for Christmas is you”. I tell you, it’s important to extend one’s social circle.
Until yesterday, I socialized, laughed my lungs out, slept, tv-binged and food-binged. (Now I am praying for discipline to go on an “effective” diet). I am not a difficult individual to satisfy. Including clothes and expensive perfumes (hehe), I find joy in these little pleasures in life. And personally, after going through certain bitter experiences, I have learnt to laugh and enjoy good moments while I can.
In Spain, Christmas is not over until the 6th of January. From Nochebuena (24th Dec.), Navidad (25th Dec.), Nochevieja (31stDec.), Año Nuevo (1st Jan.), to Reyes Magos (6th Jan.)… Spaniards commemorate “Los Reyes Magos”, the visit of the Three Wise Men to Jesus. Here, it’s also the day children receive their gifts. (Yesterday, I was at a get-together with some friends and we exchanged presents. I received a new bag, yay!).
Every excuse is a good reason to celebrate in this country. I heard that 29th January is also a holiday, “San Valero”. It even falls on Friday, bless God. Then we have 5th March, Easter, 1st May and many more all year long…. What a nice country to live in! They are the best at balancing work and rest. I’ve lost track of what we celebrate and why, I’m just happy to stay home or hang out. By the way, I share videos about life in Spain on my Youtube channel. Please pay a visit, like and subscribe. Gracias! (I also created a special page on this website where I publish pictures of all the countries I’ve visited. (Click here to view Travel Gallery).
Oops… My bad. I got excited and forgot the main reason for this post…
Happy New Year, dear CTTBies! Health, Success, Happiness, Peace, etc. Amen, amen…
Ok, I will skip the usual protocol wishes, I’m sure you’ve already heard them a lot . Pardon my crudeness, you know I’m brutally honest and pessim… uh, uh, realistic.
2021… We’re not sure what you will bring, but we are ready to take you on (since we’re already exist in this harsh world, we don’t have a choice but to keep going anyway, hehe). We are strong, we will bend but not break. There will be annoying days, but there will also be bright days. You might pick on us, but we won’t mind you. We will go through it and carry on with our lives. We will be firm until our very last breath, as we see you and other years pass by. That’s life. And we are humans, the strongest, ever-adapting creatures on planet earth. We always find a way out of the maze once we set our minds to it. And as long as there is food, housing and our loved ones with us, we can bear through anything. (My personal form of self-encouragment).
New year, bring it on! Maybe I should take that out, let’s not challenge the Universe.
On behalf of Corner and I; we want to thank every one of you who take their time to visit our blog and read our posts. We also want to express our gratitude to all of our followers. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey! We are grateful for your time, attention and affection. Thank you!
All our apologies for the silence… But we’re working on a surprise project so we had to postpone publishing for a while. We will soon give out more details. Until then, we’d like to share with you some pictures from the first photo shoot we had for Nuna Blomevi’s diary “A Writer Behind The Scenes” (They came out amazing, hehe). Hopefully, there will be more sessions in the future.
In the current society we live in, avoiding stress has become nearly impossible. In school or in a workplace, it’s no surprise to sometimes be overwhelmed by the demands and challenges that we encounter. If you’re living in a foreign country, things may be more difficult to bear especially if you have no family members around. Everyone deals with stress differently, but when should one start being worried about its effects, and how to deal with it?
The alarming signs:
When your lifestyle is affected
Do you feel restless and find it hard to sleep? Is it hard to cope with your daily activities, and do you feel lost? It gets hard to concentrate and therefore difficult to organize your daily tasks and finish the tasks within the required time frame, making you even more nervous. Your mood is usually cranky and your relationships may also suffer from it.
When your health is affected
Aside from constant headaches, the stomach is one of the common organs to feel the “impact”, especially if an unhealthy diet adds to the stressful rhythm.
Even though it is difficult to completely get rid of stress, mainly because it’s impossible to have control over circumstances. About that, talking about getting enough sleep may sound too idealistic to someone who has extra work left to complete or a student who has a pending exam to write (It’s not that we don’t know we have to sleep early and in good condition, it’s just that it’s a bit complicated to do so). Nonetheless, there are some ways to alleviate it and minimize the consequences.
Some tips that could help:
A cup of warm infusion usually works like magic! There are different types, but some of them are more efficient, in relevance to stress: mint, passionflower or valerian. Available as tea bags, they can also be sold as pills for food supplement. Another excellent supplement is made of Ashwaghanda extract. It’s an expensive option compared to the ones previously mentioned, but it is worth the investment as far as relaxing and improving sleep is concerned.
While you’re sitting in front of your desk, take your eyes off the screen/ your book a few minutes. Try rotating your head a little, left, right and then vice-versa. Use your hands to gently massage your neck from your ears down to your shoulders.
Working hard usually brings with it looking like a zombie (PhD students will understand it well). Does the greasy, rough skin with pimples sound familiar?
To try and minimize the damages, it’s good to wash your face before sleeping and apply a hydrating night cream; it’s not only agreable and refreshing, but your skin will also be grateful.
Interacting with other people
It may sound like a simple and habitual remark, but sharing with others helps a great deal. We all have different levels of socialization, some may be mor introverts while others are more out-going. However, it’s important not to bear the weight alone. It’s no shame to recognize that one is going through a hard time. Don’t forget; try and share your burdens with a trustworthy person.
You may also consult a specialist if things get unbearable (universities for example usually provide a counselling center where you can receive psychological help).
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