Spain tapas blogging and plans
“You should do a newsletter” Lissette told me yesterday.
I was thinking the same (it’s been a while since I did one) but honestly there’s not much to tell…
We’re in the dog days of summer. On the Costa del Sol we’re having the same temps every day: sunny temps with highs in the mid-30’s and lows in the mid 20’s. The temperatures are lower than inland (Seville has highs in the low 40’s right now) but that’s offset by the humidity – the coasts get very humid. It’s been the perfect weather to stay indoors (as all the locals do) and to spend evenings walking, having tapas or doing gardening.
Below: the heat doesn’t stop tourists. Nerja is packed right now. A short video shot last week.
For those who don’t know about Tapas: tapas are small (and free) snacks that you get with a drink in many Spanish bars. Some tapas bars can have excellent tapas and in cities like Granada and Seville you can walk from bar to bar having a drink and tapa. It’s a fun thing to do, especially on a hot summer day and we’ve had fun discovering new tapas bars in Nerja.
So what have we been doing when not stuffing our faces with Tapas and beer? Blogging.
This has been an incredible time in the history of the blog. In March Lissette started helping me with marketing and social media. Her background is marketing and I really needed all the help I could get because, while I enjoy writing, I hate anything to do with social media.
Since then our traffic has more than tripled.
Mapping Spain (our new blog focused on Spain) has also taken off and we’re on the cusp of being able to monetize that. Again, all thanks to Lissette’s work.
The Travels of Bbqboy and Spanky has always been a personal and personality-driven blog. It’s always done well because I’m not shy about my opinions. A lot of people like that but it’s also the reason why a lot of people don’t like me much.
Back in Montreal we had a neighbor upstairs with loud, bratty kids. We didn’t want to complain – the husband was a friend and we just wanted to be good neighbors. But one day I was at the mailbox and my friend’s wife came in and we started talking. That’s when she asked me “Do we make too much noise?”. I was taken aback but after a hesitation said something along the lines of “Well, actually it can be pretty loud, especially when they run or bounce the basketball on the floor…”.
She never spoke to me again.
Maybe I should finally learn to shut up and just tell people what they want to hear. I’ve never learned that and it’s always gotten me in trouble.
Mapping Spain is different. It’s about helpful information for expats, wanna-be expats, and travellers. We have an “Ask an Expat” section where we interview foreigners who’ve moved to Spain about “Why Spain?” and who write about the cities and towns where they live. I really enjoy these interviews and learning about different experiences and places. And although I get less comments than on Bbqboy, people spend a lot of time on the blog and when I do receive a comment they’re thankful for the information I’ve provided. And I do still manage to have an opinion, the difference being that I’ll say something along the lines of “well, it’s not my favorite place…”.
I wanted this blog to be different and it is.
So I’m especially happy about Mapping Spain doing well.
After almost 10 years of having a blog I can finally say we’re building a business. And that makes the long hours we’re putting in right now all worthwhile.
August is going to be a pretty quiet month for us but we have one major activity planned – Malaga’s Feria festival which celebrates the 1487 reconquest of the city from Muslim rule. It’s a weeklong street party full of Flamenco, colourful outfits and stalls offering food and drinks. We’ll be there recording it all.
As the tourist peak winds down in early September, we’re visit Almuñécar, Ronda and Antequera.
In October I’ll be going to Mexico for my yearly visit to see my Mom. Just like last year, we’ll be exploring a different part of Mexico and visiting some Pueblos Magicos. But the main reason that I’m going in mid-October is to see the Day of the Dead celebrations. Something I’ve never seen.
Early next year Lissette and I have a big trip planned that will take us from Porto (Portugal) to Northern Spain (Vigo, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, Gijón, Oviedo, Santander, Bilboa and San Sebastian). We’ll maybe even continue into Southern France.
I mentioned France. After a few years of being in Spain and working towards Permanent Residency (which has always been the main goal. 3 more years!) we’ve been thinking more and more of travelling. France is a goal, we’ve never been to France together – the last time I spent significant time in France was 40 years ago (I was 18 and it was my first trip without parents). Germany is another place we miss and where we have lots to see.
The Balkans always call out to us though and we’d like to visit Albania. It, along with Kosovo, are the only places we haven’t been in the Balkans.
I’ve also got a few islands on my wish list: the Canary Islands, Sicily and Corsica.
I’ve hinted at it before: we miss our travelling lifestyle and though I don’t think we’ll ever be full-time travellers without a base again, we want to get back to more travelling.
Question: where have you travelled this summer? Any highlights/recommendations?