I've just come back from my first proper holiday since I was 16 (a very ill advised family package holiday to Sharm El Sheikh that saw my dad mugged and us vowing to never go on holiday together again). In the years that followed being a broke student and then a broke young professional didn't help either and meant that trips abroad were reduced to sporadic visits to Dusseldorf to see my mum and one short city break to Berlin that turned into more of a Berghain Pilgrimage than cultured long weekend.
At times I can't help but feel a little jealous of the full time bloggers, all of course deservedly being able to do it full time for a reason, being flown around the world on last minute trips sponsored by brands, when I have to ask months in advance for a day off and feel a pang of financial guilt just looking at flights to my dream destinations ( Tokyo & New York if you want to know). I have never been to the States or Asia, once again forgoing the classic a gap year because I simply couldn't afford to have one, which means ultimately I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of travelling.
Bearing this all in mind it may not be as surprising to learn I hadn't been to Spain in my 23 years before I combined a trip to Barcelona with my first ever proper ( Field day doesn't really count) festival experience at Primavera Sound this year.
What makes this festival so great is that you can cure your hangover at a scorching and beautiful beach during the day as performances at the festival are on till 5 am, really giving you the most of the day AND night time in Barcelona. My festival highlights were undoubtedly Caribou, James Blake and rap duo Run The Jewels whose latest album I'd highly recommend you listen to. Even better there was never a fear of mud or your tent being blown away with Barcelona's climate and us staying in a lovely air bnb apartment just down the road. I guess it was not quite the "proper" down and dirty festival experience but it gave me a good first taste of festivals and would definitely see me give a UK one a go!
Thankfully I also had two days post festival to explore the town and more importantly it's food a little more because let's be honest pre-drink nibbles are never quite the height of culinary sophistication but more likely an array of different flavoured pringles ( and continental flavoured lay crisps in this case). The one nice meal we did manage out was thus thankfully absolutely fantastic and a tapas joint that the Primavera veterans I was with swore by. Sensi Bistro may sound a little odd on paper - a Spanish tapas bar with Japanese twist but what was served here was flavour explosion after flavour explosion which we didn't even have to choose. No, our lovely waiter recommended a tasting menu, shared between our table of 12, that surprised and satisfied with every jaw-droppingly good course, our hands down favourites tuna teriyaki tartar & truffled cheese ravioli seeing us literally lick the plates clean.
I may have come back rather sleep deprived and very sun burnt but Barcelona was the perfect holiday to get that travel bug in me going again, a sense of "Wanderlust" that I will hopefully be able to indulge in a little more in the next few years to come.