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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The Three Kings village celebration

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  A gathering of the entire Spanish wine village to catch candy from three Kings would be this evening's tiny adventure.

Upon returning from the beach in Vilanova.  Filip and I would be told to prepare to celebrate the Three Kings along with the rest of the village in the town center.  The holiday of the Three Kings was similar to a Spanish Christmas on the 6th of January, and the little village would gather to celebrate it in the streets the evening before.  

Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar are the three kings (also known as the three wise men), and they are the bomb diggity on this particular day.  It's a favorite Spanish Christmas tradition amongst the kids.  Santa Claus (or Papa Noel) does not get dissed in Spain; he is still well-known for delivering toys and presents.  However, the real stars in Spain are Los Reyes (The Three Kings) who throw candy to the children from their floats in the streets and (also magically come through the windows during the night to deliver gifts to the house).  The kids write their letters to the three kings letting them know what wonderful gifts they are hoping to receive.  They have the opportunity to deliver those letters officially when they arrive after the parade, or they would have done so earlier in the day to the "royal postmen" who can be found in most town centers.  

Filip and I gathered with the rest of the villagers to welcome these three kings down the streets of the small Spanish village.  We enjoyed a glass of wine in the streets as the floats went by and as the Kings threw candy out for the children to gather.

It was a beautiful celebration!  It's a fun tradition for the children to pick their favorite kings and to become overly excited when their favorites pass in the parade.  Filip and I joined along in the gathering of candy for this sweet young girl that I met while waiting for the festivities to begin.  I also cracked up when I got pegged in the face with a piece of candy while trying to capture the moment on my camera.  

I am told that the legend is the Three Kings arrive by camel late in the evening through the windows, so children will leave bread and water by the windowsill to feed the camels while the Kings work their magic and leave the gifts behind during the night.  Well, I am sure Filip and I just drank like camels that night and then tucked ourselves into bed to rest up for our first exploration of Barcelona the next day. 

Speaking of bed, we wound up extending my reservation at the hostal for another couple of nights because I had not manifested that apartment in the village just yet.   I had my new boss asking around to all the villagers, and my fingers would be tightly crossed anticipating my new home in Spain by weeks end.  

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

Discovering Vilanova i la Geltrú

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  What started out as a daunting day full of checklists soon became replaced with the enjoyment of beachfront brewsky in Vilanova i la Geltrú.

We rose up on the morning of day four in Spain like champions but felt a bit groggy.  Filip came along to meet my new boss so that we could begin that daunting checklist I had ahead of me.  We headed out to Vilanova to get my N.I.E. number.  If you’re from another E.U. member state as I was (Ireland, thanks to Grandpa C and my second passport), you don’t need a work visa to work in Spain, but you do need a number de identification de extranjero (N.I.E.) number. To get it, you must go to the local Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigner’s Office) to fill out an application.  The first step should be to go online and make an appointment.  I heard the waiting period was about 2 – 3 weeks.  However, I must have some serious angels in my life.  We arrived at the office and naturally declined for not having an appointment, BUT miraculously got scheduled the day after the next (because the next day would be a big Spanish holiday called the Three Kings). 

Anyway, since we arrived and then declined for our first appointment,  Filip and I decided to explore what Vilanova is known for, and that's the beach.  We started walking in what seemed like a good direction and started asking people "La Playa," which means the beach and found our way to it eventually.  My boss had to do some Christmas shopping for the Three Kings Holiday (that would be celebrated with a parade that evening and at home the following day for most Spanish families) and this allowed us the magical little timeslot for the beach.  

Vilanova i la Geltrú is a city in the province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and the capital of the Garraf comarca.  Like most beaches cities in Spain, Vilanova was historically known as a fishing village.  Now the population would ring in around 70,000 and is located southwest of Barcelona.  I'd make my way back there again to enjoy the beach view some more, but today we would be making our way to the sand and planting ourselves on it, followed by a beachfront cocktail at SolviHotel.  

Side note: this sand would stay lodged in my backpack for the next month, but worth every second of carelessly frolicking on the Mediterranean for that short while. 

The moral of this post is always be up for an unexpected adventure.  This day began with our mission being a daunting checklist (waaah, waaaah, waaaah waaaaaah) and before I knew it, I was beachfront sucking down a brewsky. Allow yourself simple luxuries daily to remind the universe you are ready to receive it's unbounded abundance.  

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

It was late afternoon, and my first visitor arrived in Spain

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  There was no time like the present to make the best of my third day in Spain with a spontaneous handsome visitor.  

It was late afternoon on day three in Spain, and I would be greeting my first visitor Filip at the train station.  Filip was a very handsome man under that grizzly beard he had grown since I'd seen him last.  Clean shaven, I'd say Filip could easily be the doppelgänger of Guy Pearce.  Or that might have been all that Cava talking?  Ha-ha!  I'm totally kidding, he is very handsome indeed and now a great friend.  It had been years since we met at an art event in Denver (then becoming friends on Facebook).  We never had a chance to get to know each other very well before this visit.  There's no time like starting in Spain then.  So, this day would begin our very first mini-adventure together!

Filip happened to see my Facebook check-in to Spain and spontaneously asked if I wanted a visitor.  I said sure after letting him know that I had no idea where I would find myself living the next evening when my hostal reservation expired and also that I had a ton of things to do to become legal to work/live in Spain.  He agreed to come and make the best of the unknown with me and that's just what we did.  Arrangements were made quickly, as he was only a short flight away in Belgium.   He had been visiting his grandmother there for the past month and excited to get away for a little adventure before heading back to the states. 

I admit that initially, I had mixed emotions about adding a visitor to my hearty list of things to do, but in retrospect, I am glad to have had the company.  It was the 4th of January (Monday), and classes would start on the 11th (the following Monday).  I met Filip at the train station and would walk him back to the hostal to leave his bag and then we'd plant ourselves at an outdoor cafe to get to know each other over some typical Spanish tapas and beer.  It would be my first introduction to some very traditional things in Spain.  The first of them would be a beer mixed with a lemon soda or Fanta (similar to a Shandy).  The way to order it correctly, I would later find out is "Una Clara."  This cafe had it on draft, and it was delicious!  I drank a couple of them to wash down the olives stuffed with anchovies and the tortilla de berenjenas (egg with eggplant or more commonly known as aubergine here).  After a couple of hours of this, we both decided to follow tradition and have ourselves a siesta (nap) before exploring the village that evening.

It would be my first night exploring the wine village with a friend, but we'd have to get up early the next day and meet my boss to begin my task list for work. News flash, it didn't stop us from enjoying the night ahead.  In the evening we found our way to a cozy place that I would wind up revisiting again and again in the village.  I discovered it had been recently taken over by new owners who were cava producers.  Naturally, we would indulge ourselves in several glasses of that cava while trying to communicate with the locals about what we should have to eat (Filip's Spanish was as bad as mine).  

Here, we discovered a few more traditional dishes and seasonal favorites for that time of year.   Patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), chicken cooked on an open fire and the most interesting being the seasonal calgots (which seemed something between a leek and a scallion, but seared and blackened on the open fire and then peeled and eaten).  It's messy, and it's delicious, it's peeled apart and then dipped into a special sauce.  We closed this bar down and headed back to the hostal with a bottle of Cava to go that we scored at the Pakistani shop along with some snacks that would only seem appealing to people who have had way too much to drink.  All in all, I would say the evening was a great success.  

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

I was getting a severe case of deja vu

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Having coffee with my new boss leads to lessons in how small village gossip in Spanish wine country begins.

My third day in Spain, I would meet my new boss.  I was euphoric to meet her because, without that job, I wouldn't have been about to have coffee in Spain.  I will always be most grateful to her for this gift.

She had invited me for a coffee at the cafe where I met Marianna the day earlier.  Upon entering the coffee shop, I was cheerfully greeted by the happy waitresses again (and called "Guapa" as I walked through the front door). Guess what happened next?  I knew exactly what to order!  "Bocadillo de jamon and cafe con leche, por favor."   My new boss was impressed.  "You know Spanish?" she asked.  "Not really," I answered.  "I just learned how to order yesterday with my friend Marianna."  "You have friends in this village?" she asked.  "Well, I do now," I answered.  "I meet Mr. Mohammed and Marianna, and now I know the girls at the coffee shop here and well, you too"!

She seemed extremely uneasy with this information, as though I was telling her a fabrication.  I suppose she had never met anyone like me before who makes friends faster than you could say, Jack Robinson.  I paid little attention to this part and continued to learn about all the things she would expect me not to do in this tiny village.  I certainly wasn't planning on doing anything worthy of village gossip, but I listened carefully and assured her I had the best of intentions here.  

She and I would spend many of the next ten days together as I would accomplish a list somewhat as hearty as the one from my departure.  Without my new boss, I would not have been able to accomplish these things in such a short period.  On the flip side, without me, she would have had no native English teacher and we both wanted to get those classes started by the 11th of January.   

I had another time crunch and just as I was starting to have some fun!  I'd need to focus on getting myself registered in Spain.  That meant with a home address, a social security number, an N.I.E. (Número de Identificación de Extranjero which is a Spanish tax identification number assigned by the Spanish authorities to any foreigner), a Spanish bank account, a new apartment and figure out how to be an English teacher by the following Monday.  Oh, did I mention it was a Monday now with Spanish Christmas falling in the center of the week and everything closed on the weekends?  School would begin that following Monday.  I was getting a severe case of deja vu, but I would not be deterred!    

I digested what would be coming in the week ahead and prepared to meet my visitor from the U.S. coming by way of Belgium later that afternoon.  

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 mini-tradition and a new friendship born in the blink of an eye

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Being unable to order my breakfast in Spanish lead to a new found friendship and the birth of a mini-tradition in Spain on this day. 

It was now my second day in Spain.  I rose up out of bed with as much zest as the evening prior.  As I headed out the front door I walked by the lovely hostal owner Montse and asked if she had any suggestions on where to eat breakfast. She pointed in the direction that I had been the night prior.  Perfect!  I b-lined for the door to find out what Spaniards put in their belly first thing on a Sunday morning.  

It was a quiet village.  Not too many people on the streets, but there were tables outside of the couple restaurant options.  For no particular reason, I settled on one and strolled inside hoping that I would be able to manage my order in Spanish (or at least successfully point to something delicious on the menu).  There would be just a couple of small obstacles.  My terrible Spanish and there was no menu.  I smiled at the Spanish waitress, and she greeted me cheerfully by calling me Guapa (meaning pretty in Spanish).  

I headed toward the counter and tried to find the right words to ask "What's your favorite?" and I bastardized it every step of the way.  I recall saying things like "Favorito" while pointing to her. "Numero uno" while rubbing my belly and then looking at hers.   She had enough sense to call in some backup assistance for what had turned into an embarrassing solo game of Spanglish charades.  The fantastic spin on my horrible Spanish is that it brought me, Marianna!  As I have been saying all along, there are no accidents, and it would be my terrible Spanish that allowed me to meet Marianna that very morning.  

When Marianna entered the small village cafe, I let her know that I was trying to ask what was good to eat.  She said "oh, bocadillo de jamon" and "cafe con leche."  Done and done!  I'll take it.  I had ordered a ham sandwich and coffee with milk.  I would continue to order this same combo for the next two weeks until I learned how to order something else.  

Marianna was an incredible person with a huge warm heart.  I didn't know much about Spanish culture, but the little I read the night before in my travel guide to Spain said that they are very social people, but it wasn't often that you would get invited home.   According to the book, it should be considered a high honor reserved for close friends and family (entirely false by the way and the perfect example as to why you should always create your experience).  Well, somehow I got put on the bestie list pretty quickly in Spain.  After sharing breakfast together and talking for an hour or so, Marianna was kind enough to show me where the train station was.  I had my first visitor coming the next day by way of Belgium and needed to know where to meet him at the train.  

As we passed by the phone shop, I stopped and enthusiastically stuck my face into the front door and yelled "Hola, Mr. Mohammed".  I pointed to Marianna and told him "This is my friend Marianna.  She is showing me the train."  I said "see you later" and continued with Marianna toward the train.  She stopped and looked at me.  "You know him?  How?  You just arrived here."  "Yes, I came last night Marianna.  He helped me with my phone plan."  

Side photo note: No, that is not my other friend Mr. Mohammed in the background.  It's a random walker. 

When we got back to the top of the village, Marianna turned to me and asked: "Would you like to have a glass of cava in my home?"  Wow, I felt honored.  I thought this invite was for the special peeps.  I quickly answered, yes!  

It was truly a fantastic 2nd day in Spain for me, and it was spent entirely with Marianna, my new friend.  She brought out the cava and even made us a delicious lunch to follow.  We talked for hours on her beautiful garden terrace, and at the end of this day, I knew Marianna would continue to be a special friend in my life.  Most Sundays I would go and meet Marianna at that very spot and have a cafe con leche with a bocadillo de jamon.  Just like that, a mini-tradition and a new friendship were born in the blink of an eye.    

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

My first Spanish cava and tapa still make my mouth water

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  A rumble in my tummy in Spanish wine country leads me straight into tapa ecstasy in my tiny village called Sant Sadurni D'Anoia. 

After leaving Mr. Mohammed's phone shop, I felt a rumble in my tummy.  It was probably just about the perfect time in the evening to enjoy a real Spanish dinner, lucky me!  I'd later find out that Spaniards love their dinner late and on the lighter side (unless it's a holiday), but they go huge on the lunch (hence the need for siesta's).  I continued down what seemed to be the central vein of the village and stumbled upon what would wind up being a dish that still makes my mouth water to this very day.  Yep, it's happening now only at the mere thought of eating it.  I was about to be in for a great treat as I randomly chose the place I would dine for the evening. 

I entered into a very playful decor surrounded by thousands and thousands of cava corks.  Cava is what this small wine village was known for producing, and I would soon become one of it's biggest supporters.  If you've never heard of cava, it is fabulous and made using the same process as champagne, but with Spanish grapes instead of the ones from the Champagne region of France.   As I walked in one of the waiters showed me to a table and handed me a menu in Spanish.  I tried to make sense of it, but I was struggling (what a surprise, being ill prepared to whip up a last-minute Spanish class before this wonderfully spontaneous adventure).  

I knew one thing that would allow me to take charge of this moment and that would be ordering my first Spanish cava in the wine village.  After ordering my cava, the waiter handed me an English menu upon taking mental note of my horrible attempt at the Spanish language.  Let me just get to the glorious chase of what happened next.  I ordered something very simple, yet elegant.  A tapa of sliced duck served with thin slices of orange and sprinkled with a course sea salt bringing a new culinary joy into my life experience.  This dish along with a tall glass of cava would wind up being my continual "go-to" happy place for the rest of my stay in the wine village.  It was now close to 11 pm, and I headed back to the hostal where I would say good night to the friendly owner named Montse and close out my very first evening in Spain with great success.

Taps de Suro is located at Placa Ajuntament, 7, 08770, Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, Carreterra C-243a, +34930070578.  Their hours are from 1pm - 3:30pm for lunch and 8pm - 11pm for dinner.  Closed on Monday.  Order the duck with orange slices and cava.  You're going to thank me for it, I promise!  Image provided by Taps de Suro.  

Hostal Sant Sadurni is located at Sant Antoni, 99, 08770 Sant Sadurni, d'Anoia, Spain.  Image provided by Hostal Sant Sadurni. 

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

Be kind and inquisitive with others

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Running my first necessary errand to of getting my new sim card in Spain would teach me a lesson on taking time with others. 

As I woke from my long nap, my mind and body started to come to again, and I realized I was waking up from a nap in Spain!   I still couldn't believe this was real!  I immediately drew the curtains, and it was already turning dark and early into the evening.  

Wow!  What should I do first?  I asked myself, as I quickly swung open one of my many suitcases to try to find something to wear.  It seemed a bit cold, so I dressed accordingly and headed out into the tiny wine village with the spring in my step of Pepe Le Pew.  I must have seemed the happiest Moron to all the Spanish villagers as I filmed and photographed nothing but stone alley walls on my first stroll down the village streets while grinning from ear to ear.  I wanted to zig-zag my way through the streets while kicking my two feet together high into the air, but instead, I just walked wide-eyed and explored with a very energetic shuffle.   I recall spastically shouting out "Hola" to a couple of teenagers in the alleyway while happily filming nothing at all, and they chuckled at me not knowing how to interpret my giddy enthusiasm.  

Insert Pepe Le Pew "I Deserve A Vacation" here (for those reading this off line).

My first stop would be the village phone shop, and here I would meet Mr. Mohammad.   I was thrilled when I learned he spoke enough English to communicate with me about my new phone plan options in Spain.  I spent a good hour in his shop talking with him as I excitedly entered into phase one of this new adventure.  My zest for life would be very apparent to Mr. Mohammed and my interest in him, and his little phone shop would wind up touching him in a way that I could never have imagined.  After a little over an hour, I decided that I had spent enough time in this lovely little place with this charming man and would be on my way and told Mr. Mohammed that I would see him again.  He then said something that touched my heart in a strange way.  He said "please come again" and proceeded to blurt out that I was his first friend here, as I was making my way out the door.  I asked him how long he had been in the village and his answer both surprised and saddened me.  It had been several years.  Really, how could that be?  I have been here all of 5 minutes, and I am already your first friend.  Well, it turns out that nobody took the time to get to know Mr. Mohammed and to know his name and about his little shop.  I suppose people just shuffled in and out and never stopped to see the man behind the sim card or to take the time to speak with him about life or things other than phone plans in all the time he lived there.   

So, with that being said.  The most important takeaway from this post is to be kind and inquisitive with others.  Take a chance to get to know people, even if it's just while you are getting your new sim card.  You never know how much that might make both your day and theirs.  I didn't have to be all the way in Spain to make a difference in someone's day, but it sure did make the first leg of this journey seem to start out on the right foot!

 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

The Eagle has landed

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  A simple taxi ride from Barcelona to Spanish wine country turns up a barricade at my final destination making this trip worth fighting for till the bitter end. 

As I sat there numb on the plane, I sunk deeply into my seat with both relief and disbelief that I had finally boarded the glorious flight that would eventually take me to my dream destination of Spain.  It would take another 16 hours till touch down as I headed from Denver to Frankfort stopping for a layover and back on the plane to Barcelona bringing the delirium in well over the 36-hour mark.  I managed a few small naps in all this time, but the adrenaline continued to course through my limp mind and body while I awaited the magnificent journey ahead.

And before long, it came!  The eagle had landed, and I arrived into Barcelona with a delirious grin from ear-to-ear.  Did I just arrive in Spain?  I didn't even pinch myself.  I shuffled to collect my baggage and quickly realized now would have been a good time to know a few words in Spanish (for navigating my way around and negotiating what would be my first financial loss in euros).   

In all the haste back home I never put researching the exchange rate on my daunting checklist.  This lead to a bit of a dinero loss on the ole exchange rate (please learn from my mistakes) at the airport (a survivable setback, I've got this).  I suppose it also goes without saying that I packed the suitcase maximum allowed on the plane, so that meant taking public transit would not be an option when heading to my new tiny Spanish village in wine country (another manageable situation, no problemo).  Naturally, I followed pictures to the taxi bay and quickly realized this wasn't going to be one of those places I could be a lazy American and hope everyone else on the planet could communicate back in my native tongue (a good thing, of course, as I dislike entitlement).    

It was just that I was so tired and unable to think on any level after powering through the ten days I was given to exit the country and take this job offer in Spanish wine country.  My sister-in-law was one of the angels that helped me in my 11th-hour pre-boarding the flight.  She and my brother had me quarantined to their basement to sort through my final things for storing and packing before leaving the country (because they fell violently ill from a 24-hour bug).  Even though my sister-in-law was sick as a dog, she kept yelling down the stairs asking me how the final packing was going.  When she received several whimpers and sobs back as a response, she broke her rules for quarantine and repacked my bags for me.  This heroic step got me on the plane the night before, but it also meant that I had no idea where anything was in my bag.  

I knew I had a book with Spanish catchphrases in there somewhere, but now would not be the time that I'd find it.   Thankfully, I had for the foresight to write down the name and address of my hostal and handed it to the taxi driver hoping for the best.  100 Euros later would get me out of Barcelona and down the streets of a tiny, charming Spanish village in about 30 minutes time.  The taxi had trouble finding the hostal because the road leading to it had a barricade (I am so close now, it's all good in the hood).  

No problemo!  We parked the taxi in the middle of the road and wheeled my suitcases down the back alley which FINALLY  landed me in front of the Hostel in my new Spanish village.  Hallelujah!  Man, did I work for this moment, but there I was, standing in what would have been merely a dream ten days earlier.  I immediately checked into the hostel, and just as quickly I got my first bit of real sleep in over 36 hours time. 

Insert Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah here for those of you reading this offline:

 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

Just call me Willy Power!

While I was driving away from my Denver apartment for the final time, I cried in transit to my brother's house.  Not because I was sad about leaving the apartment, but because I needed to get present with myself.  Crying was the only way that my body and mind knew how to do that, so I sobbed on the journey to his house.    

It was about 10 am on New Year's Day as I pulled up to my brother's house.   I had left a disaster in his garage and basement, and the thought of tackling these final tasks were probably the truest tests of my willpower to date, and that's saying a lot!  I've tested it so many times; one could nickname me Willy Power!  Ha-ha! 

So, there I was. Willy Powering my way through this pile of things that I was suddenly caring less and less about (Crystal Ball moment here: they'd wind up stolen out of my storage unit months later anyway.  If I'd known that I would have just set them on fire and called it a day).  As I entered the basement, I heard the friendly but sickly voice of my sister-in-law from upstairs.  "Girl, we are all shitting our pants up here."  Wait, I must be delirious.  Did she just say that the family had a load in their pants?  Yep, she did!  My little niece caught a bug, and my brother and sister-in-law quickly followed suit.  They also believed they got food poisoning only pushing the grotesque nature of this bug to the next level.  I quite honestly didn't know how to feel.  I mean that.  I was so numb and delirious.  I was starting to lose the ability to process information.  Let's recall I hadn't slept in 24 hours and the nine days before that were no picnic.  

Oh, did I mention the upstairs shitter was my ride to the airport?  It's about 10:30 am at this point.  Now, quarantined to the basement because of the illness fallen upon the upstairs I felt I wanted to weep again, but there was no time for that now.  I wouldn't break.  This flight was going to happen today.  I was getting on that plane to Barcelona.  

I looked around the room, and a haze came over me.  I had to come to terms with the limited amount of room left in my storage unit, decide what I was packing for a bold move out of the country and deliver the sold car to my friend.  Now, I would add tackling finding a last minute ride to the airport to the list in the next few hours.  Did I mention that I now had a no internet pay-by-the-minute phone plan with no service at my brother's mountain house making it nearly impossible to arrange this necessary ride to the airport?  The pressure was mounting up, but somehow I would sort through it all and make my flight later that day by way of nothing short of a miracle.  That miracle would be named Val!  Again, angels come in all shapes and forms, and mine would be the lovely brunette that bought my car for her son.  

There is no need to go into details about how the rest of this day went.  I was tired, delirious, insane, but still determined and that's the point of this post.  It wasn't an option that this wasn't happening and so it did.  I got on the plane sisters!  With what seemed like all odds stacked up against me, it came together just as it needed to and I was driven to the airport just in the nick of time to catch my flight.  I am talking about running down the corridor to catch it, but I made that mofo with every last bit of my strength.   And so I was off, for this new journey to officially begin.  

 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

When I needed help it would come

This post is about allowing the universe to take over the details when you can't possibly see them for yourself.  When I needed the help, it would come. 

I lived in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Denver; CO.  My apartment was on the 3rd floor, and my car/parking space located another block from the apartment.  At the start of this week, my place had been packed full of things (even after having a massive garage sale the month prior).  I wasn't remotely close to being in the clear after nine straight days of continuously running things to the thrift stores.  It was now my last night in the apartment, and I had to be out by 9 am the next morning for the "friend of a friend" to meet his new landlord and take over my lease on the first of the year.  

I ran up and down three flights of stairs, then one block over to my car for a straight 24 hours by myself.   I had unstrategically picked a storage unit about an hour outside of Denver that would close at midnight on that final crucial night in Denver.  Just after midnight, I began driving things to my brother's house temporarily until storage reopened back up again at 9 am on New Year's Day.  I don't know why not getting on that plane never occurred to me when the volume of work ahead would be overbearing.  The details of how it would happen were completely unknown to me, but I just believed that there was no other option and powered forward.  So, while everyone else in Denver was bringing in the new year cheer, I was a one-woman powerhouse on an unstoppable mission to hit the abort button on Denver for a magical slot of time. 

I could talk all day long about the things that felt like they were going wrong at this point, but let's focus on the crucial ones that went right and got my ass on that plane the next day.

My building had a handyman with two qualities I quickly began to see as a benefit to my dire late night situation.  Insomnia and hoarding issues.  Two things that would prove to be invaluable to my successful departure.  He would get a text message from me and start benefiting immediately from my weakened state of mind and body.  I gave him a good portion of cherished possessions that I had rationed away for storage.  I am talking about gems here.  Vintage collections of fabric, trims, tools, you name it.  All gone!  To this day, I both love and hate him for playing this role in my departure.  Without his instantiating appetite for hoarding and his inability to sleep regular hours,  I would have never completed the final rounds of removing my things to clean the apartment before 9 am.  

One of my best friend's would also be one of my last-minute saviors by moving a good amount of my things into the attic of his new home.  He left his garage open for me when panic was setting in that night so that my coveted vintage craft book collection and all my vintage glassware could escape the handyman's taking for the time being.  A mini hoarder's victory here!   

It was about 8:45 am, and as I drove away from the apartment I was in disbelief at how I managed to pull this part off.  I miraculously managed to get out of my apartment 15 minutes before the new tenant arrived.  The final words my building handyman spoke to me were that he'd never seen the apartment look as clean as I left it.  Phew.  With sweat still on my brow and storage reopening at 9 am, I put the pedal to the metal to head that hour back to my brother's house to load my car back up and sort through the last mess for storage. 

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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