I wrote this column a few days before jetting off to Spain for a 12-day vacation, so by the time you're reading this in print or online, I should hopefully be trekking along the streets of Valencia or Madrid, or snapping photos of historic sight-seeing attractions in Toledo and Segovia.
The trip is essentially a delayed honeymoon, as my wife and I got married last July. Fittingly, our travels coincide with our one-year anniversary on July 24, which provides additional reason to celebrate.
Quite frankly, this vacation has been a long time coming. It marks my first time leaving Canada since August 2019, when I went to the U.S. for five days, and it marks my first two-week vacation since Christmas of 2018.
(I had a 17-day road trip planned for the summer of 2020, but that vacation, like so many other events in 2020, had to be cancelled).
I'm excited for a break from work – I feel like I've been going non-stop since the pandemic – but I'm not expecting the trip to be relaxing. We have a pretty packed itinerary full of excursions and sight-seeing. Plus, it's going to be absolutely scorching the whole time we're there, with temperatures forecasted for the mid-30s Celsius.
I've been to Spain before, but for my Spanish-speaking wife, this is a bucket-list destination, and a prime opportunity to immerse herself in the language she's been learning since junior high school.
As it's her first time travelling outside North America, it's also my wife's first time experiencing a significant time zone difference – which worried me a bit as of my writing this, as even the one-hour change associated with daylight savings time seems to mess up her rhythm for multiple days.
In order to prepare for the eight-hour time difference between here and Spain, my wife and I spent the last two weeks before our flight gradually adjusting our sleep schedule, to the point where we were going to bed at 8:30 p.m. and waking up at 4 a.m. The goal was to wake up at 3 a.m. on the morning of our trip and hopefully sleep for at least some of the flight overseas.
Because we only get 10 days in Spain, our hope was to minimize jet lag as much as possible. It would be a shame if the first 30 per cent of our trip was wasted because we couldn't keep our eyes open.
Waking up at 4 a.m. was a bit extreme, but doing so reminded me that I'm definitely a morning person. Though it's not easy to roll out of bed at that time, I do relish the opportunity to be up before the rest of the world. It's cool to go for a bike ride or a run at 6 a.m. and watch the rest of the city start to wake up.