One cannot have too many English friends and I feel so fortunate that one of them is this witty girl. Natasha hails from a small town most American’s have probably never heard of, Barrow-in-Furnace in Northwest England. She came to Spain in 2009 for sun and the wonderful lifestyle afforded to Spainards. It is at an English academy where I met her and I believe it was her laugh that first drew me in. She seemed so funny and kind; I knew I had to get to know her.
From then on we were quite ‘smitten’ with one another and always tried to meet for breakfast, a coffee at our favorite cafeteria in between both our flats. In the evening, if our classes ended around the same time we would meet for tapas or a glass of wine and catch up on our day. One of my favorite memories with Natasha was me going to her place on a Saturday morning if my husband was working, and we would sit in her living room and watch British television shows and she would teach me all about the celebrities and slang across the pond. Then in the cool evenings, we would sit on her terrace with our wine and talk about all sorts of things for hours.
Our dear friend Tricia was usually always with us, a redhead and two blondes out on the town together were some of the best nights I had in Spain. We would rotate whose flats we would go to, plan classes, meet for drinks, go see the sights around town or do anything as long as it was together.
I have to say, that moving abroad isn’t all glamourous, there are difficult things to overcome but having a friend like Natasha by your side, makes it all the much easier. She always had my back and I had hers. She always made me laugh and the day that her and my husband dropped me off at the airport to move back to the United States, we both cried buckets. I knew we would be friends forever and though I miss her so very much, technology has kept us close and for that I am grateful. She is a sweet and caring person who I know I can always count on. Not to mention, with that accent I could listen to her talk all day!
So, without further delay, enjoy Breakfast With Natasha!
Good Morning darling! Tell us, what is your morning routine like?
I wake up at around 6:45am and prepare myself for the gym, I usually go there every day apart from Tuesdays when I have a class in a town outside of Girona at 8am so it’s difficult to fit everything in.
Wednesday and Friday I have been meeting friends and going for a run recently, we are trying to train for a 10k race, so I have to make an extra effort to stay focused and maintain some kind of consistency. However this is very hard when the weather outside is cold and rainy. When I get home from my physical exercise the first thing I do is drink a lot of water and head to the bathroom for a long shower. Oh how I love the fact that my work day doesn’t start so early. After my long luxurious shower I have the daily chore of drying and straightening my hair and applying make-up. This is the part I don’t like!!
What is typically on your menu for breakfast?
When dressed and ready for the day ahead, I finally sit down to a nutritious and healthy breakfast. My favorite would be something I call, Overnight Oats, which I prepare by mixing some cinnamon, honey, oats of course, Greek yoghurt and fruit. Then I leave it to stand in the fridge overnight and enjoy the deliciousness in the morning. Sometimes, I’ll make oat pancakes if I have left myself some extra time I like to prepare these as a treat. The ingredients are oats, cinnamon, some vanilla extract and 3 egg whites mixed together and lightly fried in the frying pan like a pancake, then topped with some honey and sometimes a banana.
Otherwise a standard bowl of porridge can more often than not make its way onto my breakfast menu. And of course not forgetting what I drink I obviously start my day like a true English woman with a cup of tea, milk and one sweetener.
What are some things you try and do each day? What do you need to make time for?
Mondays and Thursdays I usually stay in the gym a little longer as I like to join a Pilates class which they have and the teacher is fantastic, I usually leave there feeling really great and refreshed for the day ahead so making time for that is important to me.
Since you are originally from England, how has your morning routine changed since you’ve moved abroad?
My breakfast habits and morning routines have changed a lot over the recent years not only because I moved abroad, but also because I have had a complete lifestyle change. I am working on becoming a better, healthier version of me.
In the UK I suppose I would have started the day with tea and toast or just completely skipped breakfast. Now I am focused on starting my day on the right foot and then everything else seems much easier throughout the day. The only thing that is exactly the same is that if I don’t have my morning cuppa I am not the best person to be around!
Lastly, what has ‘Spain taught you’?
One thing that I have learnt since living here, is that your first thought in the morning holds a great bearing over how your entire day will be. A good thought is all it takes to start the day well and a positive mind will give you a positive life. The Spanish sunshine helps a bit too, of course!