Tag Archives: Spain

Spanish Holiday: Part Tres (part of the Boys of Summer Series)




This post is part of a continuing story.  To see the other parts click Part 1, Part 2, and enjoy….

So how is that pitcher of Sangria doing?  Time to make another and read on?


Fast forward a few more days.  My phone rings at work.  It is the mortgage broker, Karin Jimminez, with whom my personal finance guru connected me.  “Rates are going up” she says, “We need to move on this refi right now”.  A little background:  I am divorcing my husband of twelve years and need to lower my fixed expenses.  Michelle, my personal finance advisor thinks that I can refinance my house and lower my monthly payments while eliminating my debt by absorbing it through the loan.  Karin is the genius mortgage broker who can make this strategy work.  Something that has to do with the Personal Property Tax payment and the refinance results in a small windfall of cash for me to split with my soon to be ex.  Michelle gives me permission to do something fun with the money.  I check the cost of flights but even though they are pretty cheap, I am still on the fence.

I email Kirana to clue her into my plan and we decide to talk on the phone.  During a conversation about what I might want to do she begins to explain the “guru energy” of the center.  Swami Satchitanda (of Woodstock/Peter Max/Yogaville fame) was big into creative expression she tells me.  The yoga center just seems to attract music and well known spiritual musicians like Krishna Das and Tina Malia.  They ask to play there she does not seek them out.  When I ask her why she thinks that is she says that Swami Satchidanda taught that creativity is an expression of the divine.  This is exactly what Julia Cameron is teaching and what I am investigating in my own self.  Instantly I say to her “I am coming.”  I now have the reasons, the money and the spiritual guidance.

Ricardo is pleased. But I really don’t know what he is thinking.

Spanish Holiday (part of the Boys of Summer Series) Part Dos


This is the second installment of a traveling to fill your spirit story I wrote for myself about a trip to Spain I mad 3 summers ago. It is included in this blog because hopefully it will inspire my single mid-life sisters to get out and do things that scare them or at least are fun because it makes us more aware and alive.  To read part Uno, click here.


Remember I was just contemplating why I should not go to Spain and visit the young, enticing Ricardo while he is studying Spanish for the summer….

But then the wheels start turning in my head. Julia Cameron author of the “Artists Way” says that one way to unblock ourselves as artists is to allow ourselves to have small pieces of our dreams if we cannot fully realize our dreams immediately.  I want to live in Spain but I cannot arrange that immediately therefore isn’t it better to have one week in Spain than no time in Spain at all?  Wouldn’t Julia tell me to go for it?  And what about that creative block stuff?  I stopped working on my novel about three weeks ago, finding one excuse after another not to work on it in the mornings when I had supposedly carved out time to write.  Maybe I need a little dream indulgence magic to get it going again.  I am also at a place in my writing career when it is time to expand my audience from the 60,000 that read the weekly paper to which I regularly contribute.  A new angle is needed since I am committed to them in terms of the types of stories I write.  Then there is the spiritual aspect to traveling that feeds my soul and puts me in the ultimate “the-Universe-will-provide-what-I-need” mystical state of being.  I long to see the world and I’m not going to see it making excuses and staying at home.  I am at the middle of my life and the days of traveling comfortably are becoming more limited with each passing year.

Then it hits me.  What if I can write a story about my trip?  A story that can be sold Nationally?  Then if I can find the money to go I can write the expense of the trip off my taxes as a business expense.  Great!  But what to write about?  Where will the money come form?  I am not going to depend on a 24 year old party animal to make my trip to Barcelona worthy of National publication.  No, there must be a better angle.  I decide that if this trip is to come to fruition the Universe will provide a way.

A few days later I am in my Thursday afternoon yoga class with my teacher, Nora Pozzi.  Nora is cool.  She is from South America and speaks Spanish which opens up a lot of opportunities for her.  During an asana while listening to her Latina accent my heart jumps.  There is a yoga studio near Barcelona where Nora went to teach the previous year.  I told her then that I wanted to go there to and teach yoga but there were the problems of: A) I am not qualified to teach yoga and B) I do not speak Spanish.  The link to Nora (and ultimately me) is the woman who owns the yoga center is from Richmond.  Maybe I could get a local or statewide commitment for a story about her initially then sell a bigger story about the center and yoga to a national publication.  Karmic inspiration- YES!  I ask Nora for the contact information for Kirana Stovers at Integral Yoga Barcelona.

Now that I had the story angle I needed to find the money to go.  As an untried freelancer there would be little chance of me selling this story ahead of time much less getting someone to pay for it.  Not impossible mind you but given the short time frame  (it was May and the time to go on the trip was June) not likely even for someone with my chutzpah to sell it.  How is the Universe going to swing this one?

Spanish Holiday- The Boys of Summer continued…


I am Jonesing for a trip right now but it is simply not in the cards this year.  So in my stay -cation frustration I deliver to you, gentle readers, a tale from an unsolicited story I wrote about a trip I made to Spain.  Yes, a boy of summer story for us middle aged gals out there who, despite best efforts, are single on these steamy sultry summer nights.  So for your fantasy pleasure, ladies, I give you  THE STORY OF THE YOUNGER MAN (which actually is about the zen inducing state of travel with a younger man element thrown in).

I will be posting this in installments so go make yourself some sangria (click for recipe here) and sit back and enjoy .

Imagine you are flying to Spain on this nice airplane>>

TRAVELING ZEN- One woman’s adventures in letting go

“I am much more comfortable staying put spiritually.  If I allowed myself to travel, where might I go?  I believe it involves the ability to put comfort aside, and boldly investigate new spiritual territory”  SARK

The first time I read that quote while preparing for a trip to Spain, I missed the word, “spiritually” in the first sentence completely causing my mind to make a connection between physical travel and mystical travel.  UNIVERSAL TRUTH THAT THE MIND FOLLOWS THE BODY AND VISE VERSE – “AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU CONNECT THE BODY WITH THE MIND”

Traveling itself is an act of spiritual feeding.  Daring to go into the unfamiliar and experience the unknown is brave.  When we are in a strange place without a regular schedule, responsibilities or the normal accoutrements of daily  living the focus of life changes.  Acts that one takes for granted like how to turn on the water for a shower or unlock a door suddenly become important issues.  One is forced to concentrate on the moment and mundane tasks which what “living in the moment” is all about.  Living in the moment is a goal of many spiritual paths therefore traveling brings one a step closer to enlightenment through training of the mind to focus on the moment.  When the mind stops it’s constant monologue of interruptive thought one is open to the power of the Universe to bring what one needs.

A pure example of this is a recent trip to Spain.  I adore Spain.  My hope is to someday live there.  It is simply the most civilized society ever created.  Spaniards know how to live.  The Spanish wake early, do some work, come home in the middle of the day, consume  a big meal and some time to relax, then maybe return to work and at ten at night are out eating tapas, spending time with their loved ones.  They are relaxed.  They speak from the heart.  They appreciate beauty and design and the food is fabulous.  The European mindset of using only what you need makes so much sense to me- I adore how the electricity goes out in your room when you are not there. I love how in a hotel you need a little plastic card to turn on your air-conditioning.  I love how cities are built so people can walk everywhere.  But my income level prohibits me from even visiting Spain much less moving there anytime in the foreseeable future so I usually just wax poetic about it to anyone who will listen and eat tap pas in a local restaurant when I can drowning my sorrows in pitchers of Sangria or  the soft bubbles of a good flute of Cava.  So it is easily understood why I became wickedly jealous of my  young colleague, Ricardo, when he told me he was going to Barcelona to study Spanish for the summer.  Ahh, to be young and without the obligations of spouse, house or children.  What fun to have the ability and the parental bankroll to just go somewhere and learn something new and useful that will offer many life changing moments.  He is living my dream.  Then he did something that made my envious heart skip a beat. He leaned in close to my ear and  in a low voice with smiling eyes said, “Why don’t you come visit?”

There are about 500 reasons why I should not go to Barcelona and visit Ricardo during his summer sojourn.  Many of those reasons are mundane like where would the money come from to take such a trip just for fun? and how would I arrange childcare for my nine year old daughter? and do I have enough vacation time?, blah blah blah.  Other reasons are ridiculous like what would people think of a 46 year old soon to be divorced woman flying across the ocean for a little visit with a 24 year old half Brazilian  hotly of a man with a reputation for living La vida loca?  And not least of all, what does he mean exactly by “come visit?”  This statement is full enough of possibilities that simultaneously confound, flatter and terrify me.


Tune in tomorrow to find out what happens next…