Balancing Travel – Part 1

I love to plan my vacations. It creates great anticipation for the time I’ll happily take off from work and home.

In 2013, I relied on serendipity —meaning, a “pleasant surprise” or “fortunate happenstance” — instead of a plan. By September, I still had no plan. Out of desperation, I booked a trip to an island I’d been to years ago. While I enjoyed being with my friends and I relaxed, the island itself was as unmemorable the second time as it was the first.

So, at the beginning of 2014, I started researching. I thought about combining Sicily with Tunisia, but Tunisia still seemed unstable. I looked for festivals and yoga studios in Europe. My research led me to a yoga retreat in Albir, Spain called La Crisalida. (The name means “chrysalis,” as in the transformation of a  moth or butterfly.) This yoga retreat looked like it would deliver the kind of experience I wanted, and in a lovely setting:  yoga and meditation, exercise, and clean and healthy food.

I built my two week vacation around the yoga retreat. Instead of going directly there, though, I took a friend’s suggestion to spend a couple of days in Madrid. Then, I plotted my other destinations within a slice of Spain from Madrid to the Mediterranean. I balanced city life with beach time; solo time with social settings; and freestyle days with planned events.

I planned my vacation to hit all the right notes.

First Stop:  Madrid (Balancing Travel – Part II)

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