Estamos Guay.

In Practice, Production on November 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

“I think we’re cool”, says K.

We’re on the way back to Tarifa, having spent a few days in our favourite; Granada. We have been winding our way through the mountainous Malaga hinterland for nearly an hour and now we are nearing the city itself, crossing the snake-like Guadalmedina numerous times as we navigate its sheer, precipitous valley. A few spots of rain hit the windscreen now and then but the weather is mostly blue sky.

We’re always sad to leave Granada. Always. There are few things, I have learnt, on which K and I agree absolutely and unequivocally (most of our decisions are reached through complex negotiation or protracted periods of mind game and emotional manipulation). This epic city is one of them. It is where – last year on the occasion of our anniversary – we decided to come and live in Spain, and it is where we return this year on the occasion of our anniversary to congratulate ourselves, and to formulate a notion of what comes next. There is so much that remains unresolved for us. I am only half way – if that – to carving something viable out for myself here. To not being such a financial dead weight, to finding a voice, a role. To write, to write…

Both of us have already set our sights on the next round. We are voracious wanting machines. We want life writ large, we want Granada, we want to be unemployed (in a nice way), we want more. We want children, and imagine dragging them up by the scruff of their hopefully cultured necks in Granada itself. I have a bad case of anxiety about “getting my shit together” for such an eventuality; I can feel the hard stare of mortality between my shoulder blades. One day, unless I’m run over, I will have to navigate old age. My thoughts turn towards it now. I feel time poor – I’ve only just decided what I want to do when I grow up and I’m not doing it yet, so I’m in a hurry.

We pass Malaga and follow signs for Cadiz, another city I am beginning to love, the thread of my thinking pulled taut between the distant, yet pressing concerns outlined above and my urgent need for a wee.

We will need better Spanish if we are to tackle a life in Granada; if we are to parent here in Spain. We will need it anyway if we are to avoid living in some kind of expat bubble. K is researching lessons and we are to resume the reading and translation that we had been doing. Spanish folk tales and perhaps after that, Don Quixote!

We will need to wipe our misted windscreen, to clarify our vision. We will need to be brave. We will need to be smart.

Need, need, need…

Want, want, want…

Yes, all unresolved as we head down the Costa del Sol, the country here still hilly and wild but the coastline itself developed to within an inch of its life. If there’s one thing this Costa can no longer offer it’s potential. It’s a place that once did, in bucketloads, but it has peaked now. The only kind of potential on offer is potential decline. Potential problems.

Downcast as we are to be leaving our beloved pomegranate city with it’s autumnal, russet coloured vega and snow-capped sierra, we are glad to be heading past this particular stretch of coast and beyond the conurbation of La Linea and Algeciras to the craggy, windswept Costa de la Luz and our little home in Tarifa.

This tiny Costa, which stretches for just a hundred or so kilometres between Tarifa and Cadiz, still has potential. Lots of it. It will be interesting, and quite possibly tragic, to see that potential realised over the coming years.

Same goes for us I suppose.

“Yeah”, I reply. “I think so too…”.


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  1. You write so well (which is rare for a travel blog/blogger) that I will have now to go through all your stories and adventures 🙂 Sincere congratulations for making a bold change in your life!

  2. Thanks for taking me along on this grand tour. Seems like you have everything you need right now. But that’s just an outsider’s point of view.

  3. A wonderful read Rob. I especially enjoyed the mention of children!!!!!!!

  4. Why? Horrible, noisy little things 😉

  5. Simply put, you are an excellent writer. There are some real gems in this post!

  6. As usual your input here is appreciated – you have been so supportive! Please stay tuned…

  7. That was beautiful! I love the way you describe the hillside and the dreams you have for yourself and your future. Beautiful. This is my favorite line:

    “I’ve only just decided what I want to do when I grow up and I’m not doing it yet, so I’m in a hurry.”

    It really caught me! So true!

  8. Great writing Rob, as always. I can completely relate. I try to remember this – “A happy person is fully caught up in the moment – and is not thinking about the past or the future”. Enjoy eveything that you are experiencing today, the future will take care of itself.

    I’m so jealous of you & K and the fabulous life you are leading! 🙂 I’ll see you in Spain in May 2011.

  9. I love this post and the way you’ve captured how you feel about Granada so passionately. Awesome example of what travel writing should be!

  10. I also enjoy the time I spend reading and re-reading the posts. Something about them lifts me up and transports me to a part of Spain that attracts like some kind of foreign magnet. It might just be the images of food — I do have my weaknesses, but there is a spirit behind the words which is especially exciting. Thank you.

  11. And thank you for the feedback. I think it probably is the food…

  12. Lovely post. And children will enrich your life in ways you can only imagine now. Be interesting to read of your take of the adventure.

  13. Hey, really great blog post… I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog because of the great style and energy.

    I actually work for the CheapOair travel blog. If you’re interested, we would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail: gchristodoulou(at)cheapoair(dot)com, and I can give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  14. I think it’s fabulous that you’re taking the time to do what you really want and are not stuck in a job that might pay more but that you wouldn’t enjoy as much. In this post, you’ve captured the essence of what a lot of people struggle with.

  15. I really appreciate the encouragement Laurel because there are moments when it occurs to both of us that we might just be selfish/irresponsible/wreckless and so on. It’s good to know that there are people who can see the good in what we’re up to 🙂

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