Instagram Life Lately + Life Update

Even though we are in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK, the summer feels as though it is coming to a quick halt for me. I suppose it may be due to the fact that my summer has been quite a long one as I was lucky enough to enjoy bits of it on the beaches of Spain, dipping in pools in Las Vegas, and even taking in the sun on some of the lovely days that England has had to offer. 

My Summer has been a bittersweet one, but that is another story for another day. For now, I thought it would be nice to isolate a few of my Instagram snaps, and share the story behind the photo. The idea is to share more of what I was thinking, feeling, and more of where each snap was taken. Let me know what you think. 

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After a rough couple of weeks, we took a rental car and headed on a day long road trip taking us from west Texas to Arizona. Road trips are such a wonderful way to see the USA. You may encounter miles upon miles of barren land, but there is something very peaceful about feeling so small and insignificant under the big desert sky. At this point in our trip I was mentally, physically, and emotionally drained, and really just taking the day on the road to recharge my batteries a bit. Sometimes going sans makeup, and feeling the wind in your hair are the way to go. 
Our Las Vegas stay was a short, but sweet one. We stayed at the Excalibur hotel and casino, and as this was our first trip to Vegas we didn’t want to spend our short visit running like chickens with our heads cut off, so we took it easy and stayed in the resort most of the time playing in the casino and relaxing out by the pool. 
Not too sure when I posted this quote, and while quotes on IG can be seen as quite a cliche, I feel that we all need reminders of positive messages. I need to do more of what makes me happy, and so do you, my friend, so do you. 
Before and after our month long holiday we spent some time in Spain, and relaxing by the beach was the best way to both begin and end our long trip. The water in the Costa del Sol is so inviting, and even though it was cooler than in August, just being able to let go and completely relax and unwind was definitely what a holiday is all about. 
After we landed back in Madrid we made our way to Madrid-Atocha railway station (site of the 11 March 2004 train bombings where 191 people were killed and 1800 wounded) to catch our train to Andalucia. I will be writing a separate post on the train station itself, but whilst we waited hours for our train, we had a ‘welcome to Europe’ breakfast of Jamon Serrano. My mouth is watering as I type this. 
If you drive from Texas to Arizona or vice versa then you must drive through the state of New Mexico. The land of Enchantment, as it is called, can be quite enchanting, but on this occasion, all we managed to do was drive clear across it and didn’t get to see all the beautiful places this state has to offer. 
Ah, coming home. Or going home. Or whatever you call the place you are originally from when you are an expat. Going home is a strange feeling, and there is such a bittersweet aura you get from it all. Things all seem to have stayed the same and frozen in time. You see things differently, yet the things that matter all seem to have stayed the same – people, attitudes, and expectations. As an expat, you change. In a good way, in a bad way, it’s all subjective really. You are different, and day to day lives are different, and sometimes people don’t accept the differences between themselves and others.  All one can do really is take in the good, and work on what we have in common with those that are and will always be part of our lives. 
Quickie blink and you’ll miss it outside of the entrance gate to the beautiful Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat) which belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century before it became a public park. I have been to Madrid a couple of times, but the time there has been spent commuting or on the outskirts of the city so I haven’t been able to see much. The beautiful park is located in a great location close to the train station (by car) and right outside the outskirts of the city centre. I really can’t wait to go back and explore Madrid properly. 
Before we set off on holiday I went for a dark red ombre look. Sadly, it didn’t last. Red hair is a lot of maintenance, and it was quite impossible to keep it looking this fresh on holiday – especially in 40F weather when all you want to do is swim and take cold showers from head to toe. Either way, I love the colour and may consider it again in the future. Oh yeah, that day we were at one of our favourite fish restaurants on the Costa del Sol. Yum. 

What do you think of this new format of doing life lately posts? Do let me know, and also let me know what you have been up to lately and if you have been to any of the places I mentioned.