Cake, Taking a Break and Segovia
So, after my 3-week hiatus, I’m back to blogging. I took the time out to recharge, rethink the direction of my blog, and instead, dedicate more time to self-care. After the short break, from this point forward I’m no longer putting pressure on myself to upload. I simply intend to upload whenever I fancy.
Over the past few weeks, the weather here in Madrid has been incredible, it’s starting to feel more Spring-like every day. March is on the horizon meaning we can soon put the dreary winter months behind us. Anyone who knows me can confirm that the cold makes me miserable, so my mood elevates whenever the sun is shining. Winter me isn’t fun to be around, I’m sorry.
A Short Break
I took a short break from blogging partly down to my mental health. Blogging is by no means my main cause of stress or anxiety. However, it was adding to a long list of commitments and ultimately, I was feeling overwhelmed. Taking blogging out of the equation meant I could spend some time away from the screen, recharge, and fall back into a routine. I haven’t been fretting about blog engagement, scheduling posts, or letting my perfectionism control my writing. Instead, I took a step back and doing so reminded me, once again, that I’m my own worse enemy. I put too much unnecessary pressure on myself. I blog because I like to, simple as that.
That being said, some days I fancy writing, other days I don’t. Inspiration comes and goes but overall, my blog is a creative outlet. A schedule or any form of deadline only strains my writing and takes the enjoyment out of the process. Taking a break, be it from blogging or another commitment, is okay (even if my stats did go to pot). At the end of the day, self-care is what’s most important.
Ever since arriving in Madrid, Segovia has been on my year abroad bucket-list. Last Saturday I hopped on the high-speed AVE train and spent a day wandering around the city rich with history.
Upon stepping off the bus, the ancient Roman aqueduct stood tall in all its glory, welcoming visitors to the city of Romanesque churches and Gothic buildings. It amazes me how locations like Segovia retain their history, parading the spirit of old Spanish cities. I felt as if I had transported back in time. Well, that was until my eyes clocked the McDonald’s and Burger King to the left, camouflaging among the pillars and cobblestones.
All the main tourist spots were within walking distance to each other, therefore, a few hours was plenty of time to wander around the cobbled city streets. After snapping pictures of the aqueduct alongside flocks of fellow tourists, I had a mooch around a few of the shops, most of which were stacked with books. Following this path, I eventually arrived at the gates of the Alcázar de Segovia. This is a stunning medieval castle said to be the inspiration behind that of Disney’s Cinderella. I paid a small fee to explore the fairytale-esque castle walls before losing all sensation in my legs as I climbed the fortress’ tower. It was worth it though. Upon reaching the top I was greeted with the sight of snow-topped mountains and a panoramic view of the city.
Solo day-trips like this make me even more excited for the warmer summer months. My head is buzzing with ideas and destinations of where I’d like to visit next. I just need to quit procrastinating and actually get around to booking them before time flies by.
A Sweet Treat
All I’m going to say is, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the dessert scene here in Madrid. Last week I ventured into Celicioso bakery after my Japanese class; part of me thought I deserved to give a Valentine’s treat to myself; part of me just really fancied cake. After feasting my eyes on their array of brownies and cheesecakes I spent a good 10 minutes umming and ahhing over what to choose. Eventually, the chocoholic within me opted for the Black Velvet Cake. One word – amazing. It goes without saying that I’ll be making another pit stop at this bakery (very) soon.
Five-Stars All Around
Don’t you just love discovering a new favourite book? Or rather, books. My February Reading Wrap-Up is mostly going to be me gushing about how much I adored “If We Were Villains“, a murder mystery set in a Shakespearean drama school, “To Kill a Mockingbird“, a timeless classic, and “A Monser Calls” a beautiful exploration of grief. I don’t know whether I’m too generous with my five-star ratings, or whether I’m genuinely picking up amazing books. Nonetheless, I’m not looking forward to narrowing down a small selection of favourites at the end of the year. It’s not even March and I’d struggle to decide now.
The Dropout Podcast
Podcasts are still my trusty companions whenever I have a long commute to work and The Dropout is another one I’ve enjoyed lately. It’s a series exploring the downfall of blood-testing start-up Theranos and its CEO Elizabeth Holmes’. I hadn’t heard about this until the podcast’s release. However, last year, Theranos dramatically shut down after the company and its founder Elizabeth Holmes were charged by the SEC for defrauding investors.
The podcast explores how the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lost it all in the blink of an eye. How the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” found herself facing criminal charges. It’s pretty heavy but if you’re looking for a new podcast, I couldn’t recommend this more.
Every week be sure to let me know what you’ve been loving!
What are some of your recent favourites? TV recommendations, foodie finds, books you’ve been enjoying, let me know in the comments!