Sometimes being an au pair is all fun and games and crafts and snacks. However, as any of the au pairs that I know can tell you, even the ones with well-behaved kids need a serious break every once in a while… And the kids I work with are often challenging. Thankfully, one thing French people believe in is vacation, and the kids get two weeks off of school every seven weeks. One of those weeks the family usually travels, and at the last minute I chose not to travel with them and I went to Madrid instead!

I had low expectations, partially because I didn’t know much about Madrid, and partially because I was traveling alone. However, being by myself ended up being one of the best parts of my trip: I was able to spend exactly as long as I wanted at each place I went (this especially important for me in art museums); I was able to divide my time how I wanted between seeing sites and the plentiful shopping; I was free to meet new people and decide to go to a rooftop bar with them at midnight; when I wasn’t feeling well on Friday (read: hangover), I could lay around all day in the park and read and nap without feeling like I was wasting anyone’s time.

Here are some of the better photos from my trip:

Downsides to traveling alone: I still don’t have the hang of eating in restaurants alone; almost missing my flight on Saturday because I woke up late and there was no one else to make sure I got up in time…

While traveling alone was great, one of my favorite parts of Madrid was meeting new people. From girls in my hostel to friends of friends (aka new friends), here’s some proof I didn’t spend the entire trip alone 🙂

So to the beautiful city of Madrid and the wonderful people I met: thank you for reminding me why I love traveling, and why I decided to take this year to live in Europe. I’m already craving more Spanish sun, buckets of beer, and tapas! I’ll be back when I’ve mastered French and I’m ready to move on to Spanish 😉

Any suggestions for where I should go next? Do you like traveling alone or with other people?


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