We watched the world change before our eyes from the comfort of our aeroplane seats. The Yorkshire rain and wind battered our window on departure and the Costa Blancan sun warmed us on arrival. Jávea - a small coastal town - was our home for October. The pleasant, picturesque beaches and homes are overlooked by Monte Mongo. The residents chirp happily from their balconies and the scent of tapas and coffee saunters the streets. The town is not dissimilar from familiar Benidorm and Alicante although it’s main difference is the lack of high-rise hotels and apartments.
It is not until you fall from your freelance hermit-shell, that you realise how much of an introvert you really are. After hours of flight delays and travelling, we were thrown into the Mediterranean deep-end! Drained and exhausted from our travels, we wanted to scurry away to recuperate alone, alas we could not. It was time to meet our ‘co-livers’.
Our experience introduced us to four Germans, two Americans, a Canadian, a Norwegian, an Irishman, a Belgian, a few Scandinavians, and a Brazilian-come-Italian. That’s excluding our fellow Brit! Despite our shyness, we were eager to embrace our co-livers, learn and be inspired. The cultural differences are evident in so many life areas from humour to eating habits. Even the animals have added vibrancy! We dodged the turquoise geckos on the cold tiled pavements and listened the cicadas hum. Our favourite acquaintance was our neighbourhood budgie who sang frequently. Whoever taught that bird to wolf-whistle has a great sense of fun; what a charmer!
We celebrated our first day in Jávea with our favourite meal of the day - breakfast - it was a Spanish joy! Caffe con leche followed by a rainbow of tropical fruits, fresh yoghurt and hot buttered toast with jam. The biscuits that accompany all coffees in Spain are a welcome surprise and we took full advantage. We cannot think of a better way to start our day than looking out at the beautiful blue jewel of a sea and powder-soft sand. Although, I worry it is a welcome distraction from the diary calling out our names.
Meetings can be tricky! In the UK, our Pret a Mangers and Costa Coffees are a melting pot of businessmen, freelancers, colleagues and students. There is nothing better than catching up with our design partners over, what we like to call, a ‘happy’ccino. However, the cafes here are a hub for laid-back Spaniards and holiday-makers. It feels inappropriate to conduct your meeting although it may have taught us a valuable lesson. Is there enough distance between our work and play?
One of our stolen ‘play’ moments was spent at a local restaurant, Mi Lola, for Menu Del Dia. It was a spontaneous visit as we dodged the raindrops and took shelter. The waiter kindly humoured our limited Spanish and we were waited on hand-and-foot. This wonderful service was contrasted, at times, by so-called tourist traps. The Beach House is an Instagram hotspot (and rightly so) with enviable sea-views and plump crossaints. No amount of style, however, can rival the quaint charm of an authentic Spanish restaurant and this is evident by the locals who crowd outside.
Even though we were exploring the town, our days were productive and more fulfilling. Perhaps it was the comfort of the heat, food and new experiences. We completed major tasks with fire and gusto! We have a newfound passion for design and it’s use as a communication tool. You take English literacy for granted until you are presented with foreign language to decipher. The combination of words with simple imagery or symbols brings the words to life. The visual language is universal.
Are you a digital nomad or do you like to meet up with international clients? We’d love to hear your experience, leave us a comment below.
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