Bohemian Agent Blog

Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, manifesting your own happy, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
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My wild love affair with life in Spain

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be admitting that the best love affair that I was having in Spain was with life itself and I was in no rush to change it!  

Okay, so I didn't date that hunk of a Bodega owner after all the juicy hype I laid out on the table with the "Eat, Pray, Drink" intro.  Ha-ha! However, that man needed a couple of blog posts because he was the only candidate who had a running chance in the teeny wine village that I currently called home here in Spain.  I tremendously enjoyed how he would slip in that I was looking more beautiful than ever on our chance encounters in the wine community, but he never did go as far as asking me on that first date!  Perhaps he had a six sense that I wasn't ready for anything more than our fabulous flirtatious perfection or perhaps Spaniards didn't do the 1950's style dating and courting like back home in the U.S.A.   Oh but don't fret gals, I would ultimately find out their secret, and that story would be the best one yet, I promise!  

In the meantime, it turns out I was learning that I was quite the catch in this tiny land of fine bubbly beverages.  Ha-ha!  It wasn't long before a small string of eligible bachelors were being presented to me one-by-one by the Spanish women of the village.  I found that I was often questioned about my relationship status here.   Interestingly enough, it seemed the precursor to that relationship status question would always be whether or not I was planning to make this tiny place my home for life.  

Now, hold on my Spanish friends!  

Don't make this free bird cut her giant happy wings just yet to settle down in the very first little village I was calling home here in Spain.  I mean, I just got here!   Not to mention, that I have a small ongoing case of commitment phobia that is currently in need of some minor treatment.  Ha Ha!  

This repetitive question was enough to make me want to run for the Spanish hills faster than you could say jack rabbit.  As innocent as this simple issue was, I knew all too well what it meant.  And, I can assure you that I didn't travel halfway around the world to Spain to meet a Spanish man that would never leave the comfort of his Mother's village. Please do not mistake this for how much I admire any son that loves his mama dearly.  It just that I am not looking for one that can't move more than a mile from Mama's teet over the course of his entire lifetime.  

Aside from this small thing, I wasn't ready for love in Spain yet!  In all seriousness, I was just beginning to fall back in love with life itself after my creative struggles back in the U.S.A.  With that said, from here on out, I would proudly shout from the rooftops "I was indeed having the most incredible love affair in Spain, but it wasn't with any particular person, it was with life itself!  And, when I found someone else that was doing the same thing, then we would probably have a great love affair together."  Until that time, I was happy exploring this country solo and appreciated the time that I allowed myself to stop and smell the roses for awhile.

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Innocent flirting livens up a Monday morning

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's some innocent flirting would liven up my Monday morning on the way to work!

Monday was here again, and I was back to work teaching English between the local cava companies and a tiny cultural center in the Spanish wine village where I lived.  Today, just as every other day, I passed by many bodegas.  As I made my way from the biggest cava producer in Spain to the cultural center to teach English this morning, I walked by my favorite garden Bodega.   And, guess who I caught doing a double take as I walked by on this beautiful morning in Spain?  It was that hunky Bodega owner again! Something was rather intriguing to me about this handsome stranger.   

On this morning, I would see the shadows of a few men working with a client at the front gate of his Bodega.  I peered over from across the road to see if my new friend was one of them so I could wave hello.  And behold, from the shadows of the Bodega I could see the reflection of a pair of smart glasses looking over at me and out popped my new handsome friend.   He came out rather quickly because he must have seen me walking by at the speed of light and I would have otherwise quickly raced by his front door missing our chance encounter together on this day.  

As he came outside, he began to wave hello, and I made my way across the street to say good morning.  I let him know that I worked just up the road from his Bodega and passed by each day on my way to work.  This idea seemed to make him smile and guess who was outside a whole lot more after this day when I passed by on my way to work?  You guessed it right!  On days that we would have our chance encounters, some innocent flirting would liven up each of our mornings as we said hello in passing.   It wasn't before long that I might have heard a thing or two that he was, in fact, single and asking pointed questions about the status of his new American teacher friend, yours truly.  Would this be my first Spanish romance or would love come later down the road? Only time would reveal our destiny to come.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Eat, Pray, Drink

courtesy of today.com

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be a potential "Eat, Pray, Drink" romance in Spanish wine country or would it?  Ha-ha!  

On this afternoon, after discovering the most incredible cemetery during my morning walk in the Spanish wine village, I decided it was time to cap the day off with my favorite pastime!   You guessed it!  By enjoying a cold glass of cava (Spain's version of Champagne) at my number one spot for having a drink of bubbly in a beautiful Bodega garden setting.   Now, I have seen my fair share of ridiculous rom com's in my day, and in real life; you NEVER find out that your new favorite spot has a gorgeous, charming single owner that has happened to NEVER be there on any of your previous visits. 

Only today that is exactly what would happen!  I would have the great pleasure of meeting the handsome SINGLE owner of my favorite wine Bodega.  Only, I would initially have no idea that he was single or that he was the owner of the Bodega until managing to insult one of his products quit literally as I was about to shake hands with him for the first time.   

And yet, even with this botch job intro "yours truly" still managed to score a complimentary glass of cava and a lengthy get-to-know-you convo with this handsome stranger just after innocently insulting his family business.  I must say the situation had an "Eat, Pray, Love" ending written all over it.   

The way that I met this handsome man was every bit as charming (and awkward) as in the feature film Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts.   But my story goes something like this; I had become fast friends with the wonderful gentleman who worked the front desk at this scenic Bodega over the past couple of weeks (and as quickly becoming the number one fan of one particular variety of cava).  Today, I decided to switch things up and order a glass of wine instead of my usual favorite (against the better advice of my friend at the front desk).  

It had been an overcast day with the potential of rain looming overhead for hours.  While the rain was coming down, I took shelter under one of the tents in the Bodega's garden, and when the fast storm ceased, I decided to finish up the wine that I didn't care much for and head back to my apartment. 

As I approached the exit of the garden, it appeared as though my friend from the front desk and another man were both looking for something in the backyard (or as I would soon decipher perhaps "someone") ironically right in the direction where I had been sitting a few moments earlier.  As I watched them looking around in a confused manner, I approached them from a side angle startling them with a geeky "surprise"  jump that a child might make to scare unsuspecting friends.  Not only did this startle them both, but with the spastic jump came words I wished I could immediately erase from my mouth.  I blurted out that I had not cared for the glass of wine I just drank as I cluelessly handed my friend the empty glass (while making an exaggerated face expressing my dislike).  It was at this priceless moment that he then introduced me to the handsome owner of the Bodega.  

Something ridiculous of this magnitude would only happen on my watch, so I giggled to myself and quickly rectified the situation with a smoke screen tactic telling them both how much I LOVED the cava I usually ordered.  Not only did this work as a distraction tactic to divert the owner from my insult, but it also led to the complimentary glass of cava that we shared together while the place was shutting down for the afternoon.  

Could there be a potential romance looming here or was it just a fun, flirty encounter with a handsome stranger on this day and many to come?  Only time would tell from here.   
  
Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Life, death and cava

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's adventure was stumbling across the most incredible Spanish cemetery.

Today, I stumbled upon the most incredible cemetery.  I had no idea of knowing how special this place would become to me over the six months to follow.  It quickly became a sanctuary where I could think about the meaning of both life and death while paying homage to those who enjoyed this beautiful space in life before me.  I passed through often to talk to my deceased loved ones, mainly my father and a very special nun named Sister Lupe, whom I had worked years ago on a project that touched my heart deeply.  

As I passed through from one corner to the next, I noticed all of the graves decorated with such vibrant flowers.  I felt an incredible amount of love, and respect for the dead buried here.  The colorful flowers carefully placed throughout the graveyard gave it such vibrancy, but also told a story as I passed by each of these beautifully decorated floral tombstones.  I would imagine these families and sometimes even feel their energy as I passed by and took it all in.  

It wasn't because I became the Whoopie Goldberg of Sant Sadurni summoning up spirits from the afterlife.  It was quite literally because of the framed pictures of the deceased, and their loved ones remained permanently secured on many of these graves.  I had never seen this in a graveyard before.   I would walk through sometimes and get a strong feeling of the family's happiness or even their great loneliness from looking at these photos (or in the case of the later the lack of pictures) placed on each tombstone.  When I saw a grave lacking this floral photographic flair, I would spend some extra time sending some love up to this person and wishing them well on their new journey in the afterlife.  

On this day and many to come, I became reminded of the preciousness of life and the importance of living it well, residing in the moment and sharing the beauty of it all with others.  

I gave a loving shout out to my dad, big Bill, up in heaven and continued on my way to breathe life in a little further on this mysterious cloudy day by stopping at my new favorite bodega for a toast!  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Never stop exploring

http://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/indiana-jones-5-everything-know-far.html/?a=viewall

Tiny Adventures in Spain: Today's adventure would be taking back the crown as Indiana Jones of the tiny wine village. 

I know I do a lot of blabbing about loving Facebook.  I am also very aware that many people find this app to be a hugely irritating distraction to life.  Oh, to the contrary she says!  The beauty of Facebook is that I have the ability to jump into a gigantic ongoing conversation with all of the people that I have known (and loved) across many years and adventures in my life.  

Today, a good friend and my former boss Vanessa suggested that I participate in a nature photo challenge, which led me to some real life exploring.  Who's hugely distracted now?  Not this gal?  I was off on a tiny adventure again!  

And, I love nothing more than being the Indiana Jones of my tiny Spanish wine village!  Insert Indiana Jones theme song for those of you reading this offline.  

Today, I realized I hadn't been up to this one street, that led me to another, that then led me to yet another and then a dead end, but wait; there was more!  I followed the dead end and found new vineyards in what seemed like an impasse just behind my apartment building and off a wee bit off into the random distance.  All along, I thought that the only vineyards accessible by foot where the ones I could see dead front and center right behind my building.  What kind of lazy-ass Indiana Jones would have a treasure like this within arms reach and not have discovered it already?  

Oh little wine village, I was not going to let you fool me again!  Who knew what treasures were still awaiting my discovery (as I devilishly rubbed my hands together like a sinister villain)?    

via GIPHY

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Happy spastics in a foreign land tell my story today!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today I would live vicariously through a group of happy spastic grandpas in a foreign land! 

Insert video for those of your reading this offline:  

Today I came across this amazing video depicting a bunch of dancing grandpas in some foreign land, and it got me thinking a bit.  All you need in life are some sweet moves like these and a group of like-minded assclowns clapping along with you to enjoy this fabulous ride called life!  

These grandpas and their brilliant natural espástico tell my story today.  I am sure I have attempted each of these moves (late in the evening) at some point in my life.  So, today no further words seem necessary.  Let these vibrant spastics do the talking instead!  My only last request is how I might get the cameraman from this video along with the old men at the bus stop in my tiny village to join me for a remake in Spanish wine country!  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Taking it all in

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure was just taking it all in and reflecting back.  

It was finally sinking in that I lived in Spain...What???  Have you ever done something REALLY cool and then just powered on doing some more cool things and finally stopped for a minute to acknowledge the awesomeness of it all?

"Wait, is this my life?"  

Today was one of those days.  So I gave a little shout out about it on Facebook to my peeps.  One of my fellow adventurer friends from the U.S.A. responded back immediately with such kind words.

"I've been following you, Jeanne.  I think there are a lot of us that are living vicariously through you.  I love to see people live outside their comfort zone and take the leap.  Keep the updates coming.  We all love them and you."  Dan Bartlett

Love that cat, Dan Bartlett!  And, what I love the most about writing about these adventures from the perspective of a year gone by, is I can see the awesomeness of inspiration striking.  

This very friend Dan is now traveling the world to breathe in the beauty of life for three entire years by way of his motorcycle.   He will video post about these amazing adventures on his Facebook page called End of All Roads.  You can follow Dan and his incredible journey right here.

On this day, I was so pleased to be reminded that happy living is very contagious!   My tiny hope is that some of this writing from the Bohemian Agent Blog is continuing to spread the love and happiness to all my fellow adventurers back home. May all of you book tons of travel trips this year and for many years to come!  And when you decide to make that booking in Espana, give your good buddy over here a call!  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

A random act of kindness recognized by two strangers

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure was the joy of being recognized for a random act of kindness while having a random glass of cava at a local bodega/restaurant in Sant Sadurni.

Was it already the end of February?  Wow, time flies when you are having fun!  On this late afternoon, I stopped in for a cava at a local bodega/restaurant in Sant Sadurni (surprise, surprise).  It was a new and very charming open-air restaurant owned by a cava producing family whom I found to be very lovely.  On this day, I opted to have a seat at the bar inside.  The bartender was an adorable young Spaniard named Mark, who tried his best to speak a wee bit of English with me while I bellied up to the bar with my bubbly in hand.   

Mark, the bartender was a cousin in the cava producing family, and he was very young, sweet guy.  We hadn't been talking all that long, but I do tend to cut to the chase about the happier things in life, so it wasn't before long that he turned to me and said: "I could tell you are kind from your eyes."  

Wow!

What a compliment!  I thanked him for his observation about my eyes and for the implication that my heart was that of a  noble woman, and we continued talking some more near the front door of the restaurant/bar.

About 10 minutes later another man walked into the bar and stood beside us.  To Mark's surprise, this man greeted me as though we were not strangers.  It was true; we were not strangers at all!  I had run into this man earlier in the day on the street, just a short distance from this bar in which I now sat honoring the grapes of the wine village with cava in hand.  

It turns out that earlier this day, I was the only person who ran over to help this man push his friend's immobile car out from the middle of the road in the wine village.  All the other people on the street around him casually continued with their business while this poor man single-handedly struggled to push his friend's stalled-out vehicle from the midst of traffic on the road.  Single-handedly, only until old Jeanster got a peak at the sitchy!  I spotted the situation from afar.  I saw the man in need and immediately tossed my bag of newly purchased items to the ground while running toward him to help assist him with his problem.  The two of us began to push the car from the center of traffic.  When the other villagers saw a woman (myself) had come to his aid, several of the men awoke from their tunnel vision and began to help as well.  It was a great blast of active working team spirit that got this man and his friend's car out of harm's way.   

As the man spoke to the bartender in Spanish, I felt a moment of sweet serendipity.  As he finished his version of the story (of which I had understood nothing), the young bartender named Mark turned to me to reveal a warm smile, seeming very pleased with his good judgment of my eyes and my potential to act in kindness.  

At this moment, I felt terrific!  I had delivered a random act of kindness that had been noted by these two strangers, and I could immediately celebrate it while sipping this delicious glass of bubbly wine with my new friends.

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Street Art in Sant Sadurni and the discovery of Vilarnau

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would be the street art in Sant Sadurni along with the discovery of a grittier more jovial community originally started by migrant workers from the south of Spain.  

There is something about bright publicly painted brick walls or steel gates that just makes my heartbeat begin to race.   Here in Spain, even the tiniest of villages seem to have an abundance of joyous street art lining the streets.  As you might imagine, my teeny tiny wine village was no exception to this rule!  So, today it was just me, the street art and my trusty phone camera that made three!  

And behold, I saw a bridge and crossed over to another side of the wine village.  This extension of town would later become a wonderful walking cava escape for me in a community where someone that I knew would manage to turn up at ever corner.   Now, this old gal (pointing at myself) is as social as it gets, but big mama (me again) likes her alone time too.  This stop on the "other side of the tracks" would be just what the doctor ordered in times when a date with solitude was my best friend for an hour or two.  

This discovery was a section of town called Vilarnau.   I've been told this extension of the wine village was created to house the field workers for the biggest wineries in town.  Most of these field workers came for grape harvesting and then headed back home to the south of Spain at the end of the work season.  

Well, this made tons of sense to me!  You see, the other side of the village where I lived, had a bit of a stuffy air compared to this grittier (more festive side) of the community.  Everybody knows that the friendliest of Spaniards come from the south of Spain where parties and festivals are a commonplace and life is lived like a fiesta you never leave!  Ha-ha!  Most of these seasonal workers from the south eventually migrated their way up north to this small community outside of Barcelona to continue working year round.  Hence, making it a livelier, grittier, more unpredictable stop when I felt like having a tiny adventure at home.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Spain, the healthiest country to live in Europe!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure was a quick fact check on the vitality and health benefits of Spanish living!

It's no secret; I love the Facebook!  The reason is that I can see so many people that I adore at the click of a mouse, but also it's likely that these same birds of a feather will share something to their newsfeeds worthy of a good read.  Today was such a day!  A friend from Denver shared an article on my page stating that Spain was officially the healthiest country in Europe to live!  Well, hooray for this news!  

I must admit, I tried hard to educate myself on the healthiest and most environmentally responsible ways to conduct myself back home in the U.S.A.  I also left the U.S.A. largely eating a plant-based diet, but mostly focused on consciously choosing what I was putting in my body.  I love meat as much as the next carnivore, but I wanted to know where my food was coming from and that it was a local, reliable and organic source.  I was thrilled to read this short and to the point article about Spain being the healthiest place in Europe to live.  According to the article, Spain is at number 1, and my home country, the U.S.A. is set way back to number 17.  The report has attributed a combination of factors to Spain leading in the results, including healthy eating (with the Mediterranean diet), the warmer climate and more walking.  

Well, for anyone reading this blog (for more than a couple weeks), you would know that I was indeed walking up a storm here in Spain and why wouldn't I be?  I had everything new to explore, the weather was incredible, and my two feet and two eyes just couldn't get enough of it!  I also enjoyed the praise of simple ingredients here in Spain, along with all the options to shop ecological both in the supermarkets and on the streets (once or sometimes twice a week even in the smallest of villages like mine).  It was also no surprise to me that this article stated that one of the reasons for pushing Spain to the top of this healthy list was the way that Spaniards cared for their elders by taking them daily meals to the hospital.  I am confident that this healthy food smuggling would be frowned upon back in the McDonald style hospital system we call care back home, but that is just my two-cents and it's not worth a dime!  I am simply happy to praise those countries that are getting it right and living longer because of it.  In 2011 Spain was the number one EU Member State for the number of hectares dedicated to organic farming. It increased by 11.76% that year and now includes 1,845,039 hectares. Almost all Spanish regions show increases in the area devoted to this type of agriculture.

Hooray Spain!  I love your Mediterranean diet, your warm weather, your fresh organic veggies and your loving culture.       

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

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