music friday: jerry lee lewis
just pretend

dreaming about change while on vacation

Many people try to visit as many places as possible during a vacation. We are far more boring than that. We go to the same places, and stay in one place long enough to get a feel, no matter how limited, of what it is like to live there. Of the two places we visit in Southern Spain, we spend the lion's share of the time in Nerja. It is here that we get to know the man who runs the mini-mart across the street, and the waitress at the café where we often stop for breakfast. We get the illusion of being residents, and sometimes we fantasize about living here after Robin retires.

But vacations are not the same as daily life. Vacations are where you escape from daily life. So no matter how many times we stay in Nerja (six and counting), we don't really know what it would be like to live here.

On vacation, we can eat out two or three times a day. On vacation, we can splurge on an apartment with a deck that overlooks the Mediterranean, and listen to the waves at night. On vacation, we forget for a few weeks about bills and work and the things that stress us out. Yes, they will be there when we return, but until then, it's all good. (And It's a sign of our privileged life that we can afford this in the first place.)

So I'm not sure that vacations are an accurate barometer of how it would be to live where we now only visit. It's not the basic things ... seventeen years ago, when we first came to Nerja, I thought the hardest part of being there would be the language barrier, but I seem to have overcome this, at least well enough to get by. No, the hardest part would be having a daily life in Nerja instead of a vacation. I still don't know what that would be like.

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