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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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TPOL in Madrid: Why A Second Residency?

Why a Second Residency is part of The Adios Puerto Rico, Hola España Trip Report.


My domicile is Puerto Rico. Specifically, I live in the magical bubble of Rio Mar. My days consist of constant outdoor activities. You can find me on the beach, in the pool, on the golf course, or on the tennis court. The rest of the time I am in the casita enjoying the view.a golf course with a body of water and buildings

So why did I decide to leave La Isla Encanta for two months? The answer is simple. I needed a break from the exhaustion of retirement. Living near the equator, I face a daily battle of trying to do everything before the sun goes down more or less around 6 PM throughout the year. Sleeping in is not an option. There’s no worse feeling than letting the day slip away on account of a few more ZZZ’s. I never imagined that I would be in bed sober by 9 PM on Friday, but that became the norm as a sunrise workout on the beach Saturday morning brought more pleasure than a binge with my old friend, Don Q.

a bottle of alcohol on a white towel

Though I am as active and as healthy as ever (see VIDEO: Battle Ropes in Puerto Rico!), I am not ready for such a regimented routine. Before Covid, the life plan was to spend most of my time in Puerto Rico, part of my time racking up more countries on travel sprints (see Where I’ve Been), and part of my time living in places voted for by readers (see Vote Where TPOL Moves in December (For Real This Time)).

During Covid, I embraced that I only have one life and needed to do what I want, when I wanted to do it (see The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report). Accordingly, I modified my life plan. I would still spend most of my time in PR, and I would still spend part of my time gallivanting around the world, but the expat assignments would not be left up to my spiteful readers (see Canceled! TPOL’s Move to Albania). I would decide where I would reside (Vote for Where TPOL Will Move Next And…).

I came up with the following: Every year I would live in one of my two favorite cities, Shanghai or Cape Town. Every year, I would also live in a first-world major city. The first residency assignment was supposed to be Dubai during the World Cup, but that fizzled because the shuttle that would take me to and from Qatar was a figment of my imagination. The second residency was supposed to be Melbourne after a stopover in Fiji (see 55K Alaskan to Fiji And My New Melbourne Residence), but given the lack of flight availability on the return, it has been converted to the prototypical helter-skelter TPOL trip, return flight and routing to be determined.

This brings me to Madrid. Por que Madrid? The answer should be obvious: a points flight to Madrid and back to San Juan was available. Definite dates are necessary when booking a long-term stay (Say No to Airbnb, Show Up Start Living at The Blue Ground). It’s hard to beat a confirmed round-trip business class flight (see Iberia Residency Booked: Adios Puerto Rico, Hola España). As I learned before, it’s impossible to beat said flight when it is direct from San Juan (see Iberia MAD-SJU Business: Great to Fly Direct).

Now that I knew where I was going, the question everyone asked is what am I going to do there? Everyone had suggestions. You should go to the church that’s carved into a mountain. You should go to Toledo. You need to play golf.

What do I plan on doing?

Nothing. The purpose of a residency is to do what I would do if I were an actual resident. That means not being a tourist. That means not being adventurous. Should I go to church? I wouldn’t show up to church for my own funeral. Visit Toledo? Have you been to the 419? Gracias, no gracias.  Golf? That’s a no. I have spent enough time at the range.

At some point, my hobbies in Puerto Rico turned into obligations. Now, I need a break from them. I don’t apologize for this smug statement  It wasn’t long ago that yours truly was living in exile in Mongolia (see Aug 1, 2014: The Mistake ). Back then, I thought that suffering was a natural part of life. I attribute my feeling of perpetual guilt in moments of pleasure to my Catholic Arab upbringing which I have endeavored to renounce. Maybe that’s the real reason why I’m not going to visit that church in Madrid. Perhaps that is why I can finally do nothing and not apologize for doing so.

a two black rectangular computers with red and yellow text
Hola Madrid. Voy a disfrutar su ciudad by doing nothing.
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7 COMMENTS

  1. Really great post. That last line “Perhaps that is why I can finally do nothing and not apologize for doing so” kills me. The only apology I have read here is sorry not sorry.
    Also congratulations most of the links open to actual pages, only a few open to that famous TPOL style “oops that page does not exist”
    Does this mean that the march madness 1st place prize trip will be to Spain?

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