When the travel restriction was lifted in Belgium, I left as soon as I could. I needed an escape and what better place to go to then the city where I will go to in September to study a Master’s degree? (The good weather also helped a lot in my decision… 😉)
In Belgium, people tend to full their day from morning until evening. If you are not busy, you are looked at as ‘unsuccessful’. Consequently, people run from appointment to appointment with a lot of stress and often do not take/have the time to enjoy the little things that are so important.
I have to admit that I tend to do the same. So when I arrived in Barcelona it was an adjustment for me to slow down and ‘go with the flow’. Only after a couple of weeks I felt my body relaxing and did I realize what an huge amount of stress I put on it in my daily life in Belgium.
A coffee a day keeps the doctor away
At home I drink around one or two coffees a day. In Barcelona this could easily go up to 4 a day. However, it is more integrated into their routine to drink a coffee in the morning, one after lunch, a couple as well during the day and also in the evening to relax. Although in the evening I didn’t drink coffee (otherwise I couldn’t sleep), it was my little moment of joy throughout the day.
Also the price of coffee is almost half if you compare it with Belgium and, to be honest, the coffee here is a lot better. Sorry not sorry.
My little moments of happiness included a cup of ‘café con leche vegetal’ in my hand and wondering through the streets of Barcelona. Or go to a little café/ bistro to work from there with one next to me.
Of course the good weather almost all year round has a huge impact, but the atmosphere in Spanish cities is, in my opinion, simply a lot better. People are nicer towards each other (they still greet each other one the streets!), less complaining and more enjoying life.
I am a person that is really affected by the people around her. So when they are happier/ more positive, I will automatically feel happier too. And that is something I missed a lot in Belgium. I am not saying that Spain doesn’t have its problems, but the way of how they cope with it is completely the opposite.
I know that with the current health crisis it might not be the best time to travel, but I really needed this and my mental health increased tremendously. I would do it again in a heartbeat and I am already looking forward to my year in Spain, starting in September.