Things don’t go according to plan

1 July 2016 2 Comments Category: Ali Meehan, Just Landed, Living in Spain

My first love of Europe was not Spain – France had my attention as I grew up in a small coastal town in England, 30 miles from the Dover/Calais crossing.  France was my holiday destination where I spent many happy years.  My father was a fluent French speaker and taught French.  Our town had a twinning project with Wimereux in France; the most wonderful French people stayed in our home.

Spain was nowhere on the horizon.  I’d visited the mainland once (including one holiday in Casares, Málaga where I had successfully managed get the hire car jammed down a narrow calle, with no way out of the car doors but that’s another story)
AND then…

It was never Fuengirola – in my (limited) understanding, Fuengirola was about Kiss me Quick hats, a land where British people had invaded to enjoy the sunshine and sangria, nursing their sunburn.

And then…

I fell in love when I visited Fuengirola for the first time and … feel in love.  Fuengirola is nothing like I imagined.  It’s a very Spanish working town.  British people are 20% of our foreign population (5,000 of the 26,000 foreigners in a population of 75,000*).  In the summer, it’s largely a Spanish holiday town.  In recent years, it’s become a foodie paradise with tapas bars and restaurants full to bursting in the area around the Correos (Post Office) and our new Gourmet Food market.  Tap into the Spanish activities and resultant culture that happen throughout the year and you get an insight into the life in Andalucia.

And I learnt… if you told me a Spanish person (maybe Saint Teresa of Ávila) had first written about mindfulness I wouldn’t have been surprised.  Having come from an incredibly busy business background to a wall and the way of thinking – you ‘work to live, not live to work’ that is prevalent here in Spain, I learnt about being mindful.  I have moved away from the ‘Chop, chop, Busy, busy, work, work’ way of life and embracing a belief system that prevails here. Spanish people seem to live for and in the moment, not what might happen in the next hour, tomorrow or next month.

Things don’t go according to plan, but sometimes the new plan is better!


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