Europe

Downtime and Open Arms

It’s really important when traveling to take advantage of any downtime you may have. We have been doing pretty good with this as I’m sure you’ve noticed with the lack of informative and educational posts.Β  Like I’ve said before, you spend so much of your time doing research on your next stop that it makes downtime days very useful. We’re on day 4 here in Warrington and they have been very relaxing and slow. I urge you to make the best of these days. Granted one of our down days was spent on the couch in our pajamas from dusk till dawn due to a long, fun night out pub hopping through Liverpool, we call those days “write offs”. They’re are very different from each other.

We have already purchased our flight out of Manchester to Barcelona as it was much cheaper and quicker than the train. So now comes the hard part — Where do we want to go after? Okay, now how do we get there? Alright, can we get to the next place easily after that? Yup, perfect. Now research south Spain into Portugal. Oh crap, nope, you have to go back north. Then all of a sudden you’re back to the drawing board trying not to double back your route as much as possible. Mark is getting really good at this kind of research and he tends to do the bulk of it. I like to look up places and check out the pretty pictures and make my decision based on google images. Well, that’s not entirely true but if its got blue water and white sand beaches in the picture, chances are I’m going to lean more towards that place. Jumping ahead I think is a great idea when traveling. It can help immensely with avoiding doubling back, which can cost time and money and it gives you a better view on your trip as a whole. When you have a general idea of which way you want to go and you know ahead of time its possible to get to those places along the way it really saves you in the long run. This is something that I’ve learned over and over again on every single trip I’ve done, which brings it back to why downtime is so important.

Spain and Portugal are a huge part of this trip. This is honestly the most exciting for me as I have never been that far south before and Ed Sheeran sings about them a lot. Just kidding…sorta. The more research I do about Spain the more excited I get. It can be hard to narrow down exactly what to do and where to go when everything you click on is intriguing. Which brings me back to the importance of down days. Yesterday we went for lunch in town at a small pub, I know, shocking, and due to the free wifi and downtime waiting for meals we didn’t say hardly a word to each other as we googled our next stop. Today so far is an entire day of downtime. And today will be devoted to research, eating, more research and probably some more eating.

Downtime days are also great for saving money. We are extremely fortunate to be welcomed here with open arms, a free bed and some fantastic company which can be fairly difficult to come by when traveling abroad. We have been spoiled here and we couldn’t be more grateful for that. Sometimes a simple gesture such as this can make a world of a difference to your trip. It could mean some extra cash towards a nicer place to stay in on your next stop, or maybe a date night to splurge a bit on a fancier meal together, maybe an excursion you wouldn’t have been able to afford or even to save that money and carry it as long as possible. Regardless of what we decided to spend it on or not spend it on, my heart couldn’t be fuller than it is right now for those people that have offered this to us. If you are ever in the position to offer this to a traveler, do it. Its things like this I cherish most when looking back on my travels. I have had quite a few of these places in the past and couldn’t be more thankful for that.

Im sure we’ll get off the couch eventually today when our eyes get too tired or strained to stare a phone or computer screen any longer but until then this is how we will fill the majority of our time. So get out there nerds, do your research! πŸ€“

 

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