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It feels like just yesterday we were gearing up for Christmas break and writing our update on 3 months living in Spain, but here we are. Mid-January and 4 months in Spain.
Well, most of our time since our last update in mid-December was over our Christmas break, so we weren’t working at all.
The overall Christmas holiday in Spain is a lot longer than in the US, especially the break, because they celebrate an additional holiday on January 6. This is the day the 3 wisemen arrived, or día de los Reyes Magos.
In Spain, this is traditionally when the children receive their presents from the Reyes Magos and it’s a big, all-day family celebration, just like Christmas Day is in the US.
This means we had off of work from December 22 to January 11. A loooooonnnngggg break.
This was our first time spending the holidays away from family, but we had a fun time, even if it was a bit different.
On Christmas Eve, we went out and had sushi and on Christmas day, we basically stayed in watching Christmas movies, playing board games, making cinnamon rolls, and video calling our families. The weather wasn’t the best as it was raining and cold most of Christmas.
We were able to walk around the center of Madrid with Churro during those nights and see the city and Madrid’s Christmas lights without tons of people. It was also Churro’s first time in Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor!
We did end up getting out of Madrid for a few days over break, even though it wasn’t our first travel option for the holidays.
Originally, our plan was to go to Italy, but the Omicron outbreak changed that—more on Omicron later. So while we didn’t end up in Italy, we did venture down south to Andalucia and visited Málaga!
While we were a little worried about traveling with the rise in Omicron cases in Spain, we opted to purchase some KN95 masks, risk the train ride, and go to Málaga. The train ride was a little odd with heightened sense of awareness with COVID, but once we were in Málaga, it ended up being a perfect break and the one we needed!
The weather—70°F or 21°C—helped a lot, especially since the weather in Madrid had been cold and dreary. This also allowed us to sit outside on terrazas while eating and drinking to keep us COVID safe since we really didn’t want to get sick.
The city of Málaga ended up being much nicer than we expected, including narrow, winding marble streets, mountains, beach, and great food! Check out our video of Málaga to see all about our trip!
Speaking of COVID and Omicron, cases spiked up here the week before Christmas, just like most of the rest of the world. It went from essentially feeling like nothing to suddenly everyone you knew was testing positive.
There were tons of our students at our schools that were out from testing positive or because their parents were testing positive. Spain had just allowed 5-12 year olds to get vaccinated in mid-December, so not many were vaccinated at that point.
Spain said that by the end of February, they expect over a 90% vaccination rate for the total population. It was already over 90% for 12 and over in mid-December.
When the Omicron wave first hit, they opened boosters up for people over 40, which still didn’t include us even though we were due for the booster. This kind of sucked because we could get it had we been in the US. However, Spain just opened up boosters for anyone eligible over 18, and we got it!
It was actually a fairly easy process, and we didn’t need an appointment like a lot of things in Spain. They even transferred our US vaccinations on the CDC card to the Spanish system, so we are officially vaccinated in Europe now!
MY Travel BF
Over break, we also had a lot of time to focus on MY Travel BF, specifically about how we can deliver the best possible travel information about authentic local experiences for you and where we want to be in the future.
We have a plan in mind and have been actively working on it—with the exception of our time in Málaga. Our goal is to continue to share our lives abroad and ways in which you can travel more often for cheaper, but also how you can travel and find authentic local experiences no matter where you are.
Our Travel Planning Service is something we are going to be diving deeper into. We will be offering a service where we work with you to help you plan the trip of your dreams, especially if you are looking at going somewhere abroad and have a little anxiety over planning it and not getting stuck doing things that are tourist traps.
While we will be releasing more information on this in the near future, please reach out and contact us if you think this is something you’d be interested in!
During the last month, we have also been filming a lot more about our time here in Spain and all the local experiences we’ve had. If this is something you’re interested in, subscribe to our channel for weekly videos about life in Spain and local experiences!
What We’re Looking Forward To:
Honestly, we don’t have many plans set for the next month, which is kind of nice since getting back to work after such a long break was difficult.
We will be exploring Madrid a lot more and checking out some different neighborhoods in the city as well as taking some day trips from Madrid.