Spain is a little piece of heaven on earth. Filled with all things delicious. It has a very special place in my heart and is quite a love affair story. My sister was there at the start, we were 11 and 15 respectively when our parents first took us there and we found ourselves amazed at everything around us; except the food. We weren't in love with that then, but we later would be though.
To me, the most intriguing aspect of Spain always remains the same, it's pace of life. It's slow, very slow, almost too slow. Especially in the southern regions, so much that sometimes my inner-Americana wants to yell out loud to move a little faster. BUT, I'm reminded of where I am and the life that's there.
My boyfriend is from Spain. He loves living in the states, but if you ask him what he misses the most... It's long dinners out with friends, where no one is in a rush to go home, where all cell phones are put down. It's the long walks through the city, where everyone and their mother, grandmother, kids, brothers and sisters are out in the streets enjoying the daylight.
And it's the siesta. Oh the wonderful siesta. The 90 min or so break where the city stops. Stores, offices, banks are all closed and most people return home during this time to eat lunch and rest.
When I first began living in Spain as an English teacher traveling abroad, this was something so strange to me. As time went on it became something that I had built into my schedule, something that my body needed to continue the rest of the day. It's a time to stop and breathe and spend time with the ones around you.
I think we sometimes get caught up in high paced life, and the misconception that if you go slow, you'll fall behind.
Especially in the airline industry which I work. It's always rushed, everyone is in a hurry to go somewhere, to do something. And I often find myself craving a break from that. Needing an escape.
I was recently in Sevilla, Spain for the Feria de Abril (April fair). The best way I can explain it from an outside perspective is 7 days out of the year, the city shuts down and everyone gets together to celebrate. And what are they celebrating? Well I'd say their culture, their city, life and each other. A time when old friends reunite, and family comes together. My boyfriend looks forward to it every year, and I have begun to as well. It doesn't hurt that I get to dress up in a flamenco dress and feel like a princess either.
During these days, everyone is still working, still going to school, but in the afternoon everyone gets together. They forget about their daily rituals, even just for a week.
Every year I go it's a reminder to stop and live life. Something that I think we all need to be reminded of from time to time. To let go even for just a brief moment of all the worries and stress we have, and to enjoy God's beauty all around us. And, if at all necessary, to take a required siesta.
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