Living la vida loca here in Madrid, the good times come in swings and roundabouts. Facing my first visitor-free weekend in six weeks – for which I had carefully organised two days of blank space – I was looking forward to being blissfully lazy and unsociable. However, probably due to a combination of overtiredness and drowsiness (caused by antibiotics taken for a piercing that went badly wrong) I found myself at the wrong end of a trough. Rather than revelling in a weekend of guilt-free nothingness, I was friendsick and craving a night giggling in front of a mindless English gameshow - Take Me Out or Total Wipeout to be precise.
However, by now accustomed to pangs of homesickness, rather than throw myself hopelessly on my bed after work on Saturday, I somewhat reluctantly put on my trainers and went for a run. Although afterwards my body was grumbling with uncomfortable twinges, it had the desired effect. After twenty minutes of puffing my way around Retiro Park I stopped yearning for a night of Total Wipeout and began chewing over a basic blueprint of what to do with myself until 2012. I returned mentally revitalised with a vague plan. Although my hazy ideas will undoubtedly be redrafted several times over, one feature that I am fairly confident will remain constant is travel - albeit as yet I don´t know who I´ll go with, where I´ll go or when.
With travel on my brain, I am now in quandary. Is time to quit my weekend job and start exploring Spain: living right in the middle, I´m ideally placed to explore the four corners. However, it is just as tempting to continue using the welcome wodge of Saturday school cash to pad out my backpacking piggy bank. Just how much should you skrimp and save for a rainy day? When is it okay to think “Sod it, I´ll work as little as possible, live cheap, enjoy myself as much as possible for as long as possible and deal with the problems later”?