Los Hábitats Españoles

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Whenever I travel, I tend to be a bit of a worrier and double (if not triple) check all of my travel arrangements to ensure everything will be okay.  It’s basically the same whenever I leave my house, as I check and re-check that I have my keys, wallet, and so forth.

Ok.. so maybe it’s a little OCD on my part, but better same than sorry.

It all stems from a few years ago when I was supposed to travel to Madrid to meet a (then) mate from Amsterdam for a naughty weekend. It was planned a couple of months in advance, and we were both looking forward to it.

Only when I arrived at the airport to check in, there was no booking.  The person at the check-in counter checked and checked again to no avail.

Apparently when I had booked my flight, I hadn’t double-checked the travel dates, as I had actually booked the flight for another date.. a month prior!

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What a mess… And there was nothing I could do except book another really expensive flight, something I couldn’t afford so I had to let me mate know I wasn’t coming.

Well, wouldn’t you know it.. it’s kind of happened again.  And with another trip to Madrid, no less!!!

Only this time it isn’t an issue with the flights (I checked.. again), but with my accommodation.  Dammit..

When I was there in January, I’d met an absolutely gorgeous, sexy and super friendly guy, and we’d hit it off right away.  We’d spent a chunk of my weekend there together, and had kept in touch after I’d returned to London.

We were chatting just after I’d returned from Gran Canaria, and I joked that I should come for a visit.  He agreed, so I looked at flights and made sure he was around next weekend, and figured all was good to go.

But over the past week or so, I’d started to get a little niggling feeling in the back of my head, especially as I hadn’t heard from him since I’d booked my flights.  And I started to get a bit paranoid that I’d just assumed that I was staying with him as neither of us had come right out and said as much.

Well… the worrying started to get to me so I sent him a message when I got home from work on Wednesday night.

And damn.. it was a good thing I did as he forgot all about it!!!! 

Basically, we were chatting about upcoming holidays and I’d mentioned I was looking to plan something for my week off in July.. but until I decided that holiday, I was just looking forward to my trip to Madrid next weekend.  To which he asked which dates I was coming…

That’s when the penny dropped.

After I told him my travel dates, and he immediately started to apologise.  Apparently he’d forgotten to write it in his diary and had already agreed for a ‘friend’ to come stay for the weekend.

WHAT?!?!?!

Let’s just say there was a hell of a lot of swearing and yelling (at my mobile) on my part.  A LOT.

How the hell could I have not made sure of all this before now?  I’d been worried about it awhile, so why hadn’t I mentioned something to him?

Of course, it’s not really my fault when you think about it.  I did tell him when I’d booked the flights and how long I was going to be in town for.  I even made sure he knew when my flight was arriving so we could arrange to meet up once he finished work.

I said to him point blank (finally) that I thought I was staying with him for the weekend, which was why I’d checked he was around back when I’d booked my flights.  The last thing I’d expected was to have to find a place to stay for the weekend.. especially as the main reason I was going to Madrid was to spend time with HIM.

There was a LOT of apologising on his end for obvious reasons.  He said he usually always writes this sort of thing down (how many ‘friends’ does he have come to visit him?!?), but somehow forgot about me.

Just my damn luck, huh?

He did confirm that his friend wasn’t arriving until Saturday afternoon, so I could at least stay with him on the Friday night.  So then it was about scrambling to to find something relatively decent for the remaining two nights.

It’s most definitely NOT what I had planned or budgeted for, but it’ll have to do.  My poor credit card…

All I can say is he’s definitely going to have to beg and plead for my forgiveness on the Friday night (he’s joked that he’ll be my slave for the night… hmmmm).  He can at least buy me dinner for all this trouble.

The upside is I now have a centrally located hotel for the remaining two evenings, so who knows what trouble I could get myself into.  🙂

Escapada de Madrid

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Sometimes you just need to get away from your daily routine and do something different.  And sometimes it’s more about getting away from your surroundings and seeing somewhere new.

I was starting to feel the usual urge to get out in the world a bit and do some travelling.  I’d come to the realisation that I hadn’t really been on holiday since last June when I spent my birthday in Rome.

Well, other than when I went home to Canada to surprise the family back in October.  As lovely as that was, it was less a holiday for me as for them if that makes sense.

Anyway, my decision to go to Madrid last weekend was fairly spur of the moment as I happened to find a super cheap flight online so decided to go for it.  Once that was booked, I found a simple little room that was quite central and walking distance to the Chueca area (where the gay bars are).

20170127_104721What also helped the decision was I have a friend that moved back there from London about 6 years ago and we hadn’t seen each other in at least that long.  We’d talked several times about me coming over for a visit, but I’d never gotten around to it.

Plus surprisingly I’d never been to Madrid before.  Any other trips I’d taken to Spain over the years have always been in the South or to Gran Canaria (where I’ll be visiting once again this coming April..).

Interestingly, unlike other trips I’ve made in the past, I didn’t really have a plan for once I’d arrived.  I’d kinda looked online at what there was to do there, but instead decided to just wing it and see where the weekend took me.

I just wanted to have a nice fun, relaxing weekend.  And that’s exactly what I got.

20170129_140357Unfortunately, my friend that lives there was going to be in Seville for most of the weekend and wouldn’t be free until Sunday afternoon/evening.  So that meant I had from Friday afternoon until then to keep myself entertained.

After checking into my little room (when they said small single, they weren’t kidding!), I grabbed a map and started wandered around the immediate area to get my bearings and to find a bite to eat.  It’s definitely a walking city (with an extensive Metro system) and I found my way around easily.

Once back in my room to relax a bit in the evening, I logged into the usual social/dating apps to see what sort of guys were in the area.  I had a few messages from a couple guys but one definitely caught my eye.. a tall, fit, sexy guy who clearly liked chubbier guys.

After a bit of online chatting and flirting, we decided to meet up for a drink and he even offered to meet me at my hostal to walk to the bar together.  Such a gentleman.

We spent a lovely evening together in a couple of bars chatting about life, drinking, and yes, flirting like crazy.  We seemed to get along quite easily and it felt quite comfortable spending time together… so much so, that I stayed at his place that night and we spent most of the next day together cuddled up on his sofa.

Such an amazing way to spend the day and get to know each other a bit.  I’d originally planned on leaving around midday to play tourist, but the day completely got away from us.  Next thing we knew it was about 6pm and he had to get ready to meet some friends for dinner, so I leisurely walked back to my hostal with a promise to meet up later in the evening for drinks.

20170130_122102What I hadn’t expected was to get to meet a couple of his friends when we went out for drinks that night.  And one friend of a friend turned out to be a guy I used to run into occasionally at the bear bar in Soho.  We weren’t friends so I didn’t even know he’d moved to Spain.

Anyway, it was a fun evening but I chose to be a ‘good boy’ and go back to my hostal for the night so I could get up and do the touristy thing on Sunday.. though I could have easily spent the entire weekend with him.  He was that easy to get along with, and it seemed like the feeling was mutual.

The rest of the weekend was spend wandering around, seeing the sites as planned, and then meeting up with my mate Sunday evening for a couple of drinks and a catch up.  He took me to an area I hadn’t explored yet but was quite close to when walking back from my new friend’s place.

All in all it was an excellent weekend away.  And as glad as I was to get home Monday evening, I could have easily stayed a couple more days.  I found the city to be quite comfortable to walk around with lots to look at. And yeah, lots of handsome Spanish men to check out.

It’ll definitely be one of those cities I’ll want to return to in the future.. maybe even to visit my new friend. 🙂

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Collage of pics taken over the course of the weekend

An Adventure in the Sun

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It’s amazing sometimes how something as simple as a brief holiday or getaway can recharge your batteries or help you realise your own self-confidence.

That’s what happened to me on my recent trip to Gran Canaria, staying in the Playa des Ingles/Maspalomas areas.

For me, this was my first real holiday in close to 3 years.. and by that I mean my first time abroad in that time.  I’ve done the occasional weekends in Brighton, Manchester or Edinburgh, but for some reason I still yearned for an adventure abroad.

And what an adventure it was.

20151117_174642It was a bit scary to going holiday alone, but it wasn’t the first time.  Although before was usually to stay with someone in that city after chatting online for awhile or meeting in person in London.

This was the first time in about 5 or 6 years that I’d gone away totally alone.  A Spanish mate of mine was going to be there around the same time, but we barely saw each other over the week.  Too bad, but it was good as it pushed me to actually get out there and meet people, which I did.

Also, instead of getting a hotel room or staying in one of the resorts, I’d rented a fully fitted one bedroom apartment through AirBnB.  It was perfect – quiet, with a kitchenette and a little balcony, and was a 5 minute walk from where all the bars were.

From the moment I landed, I could feel the difference in the air.. Somehow, the place seem super-charged sexually and you could feel how laid back everyone there was.

I easily absorbed this vibe and found myself more relaxed and confident with myself than ever before.  I even went out wearing a shirt completely unbuttoned, meaning anyone could see my belly and chest hair.  And for a shy guy with body issues like me, that was an accomplishment!

In fact, I was so relaxed that between the beach and the apartment, I was basically naked all week.  I’d even rigged a bit of cover on the balcony so I could sit out there naked, day or night, without anyone being able to see (much).

20151120_144736The relaxed atmosphere carried on to the beach.  Everyone seemed chilled, friendly, and didn’t give a damn what you looked like naked.  Or at least that was my perception of it.

I’m normally quite shy when on a nude beach, never standing up or walking around naked, and usually getting dressed while laying down.

Instead, I found myself not really giving a shit if anyone looked at me, and found myself standing up, walking around, and even going down to the water’s edge to go swimming in the ocean.. which meant walking through the clothed people walking along the beach.

And oh my god.. the feeling of being naked in the sea was absolutely amazing! This was my first time swimming in the ocean ever, and I had to keep pinching myself to remember that this was a reality, not just some dream.

I had a surreal moment while swimming in the ocean – I pinched myself when I realised that here I was, just a regular guy from small town Canada, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, on a small Spanish island off the coast of Morocco.  Was totally an ‘oh my god, this is actually real’ moment. Lol

20151120_184744Now as for the men… all I seemed to meet were Italians!! LOL  I know I totally have a type and all, but that was just too funny… not that I was complaining, as they were all super sexy guys. 😉

At one point on the beach, I was laying down on a sun-bed reading when I realised that I was on a Spanish island and the only language I could hear spoken around me was Italian.  Hahaha

In the end, this holiday was exactly what I needed.  I felt refreshed, confident, relaxed, sun-kissed, and more comfortable in my skin that I’d been in years.  I just need to keep that feeling going now that I’m back in London.. especially with all the crap going on with work (more on that later).

For now, I’ll just revel in all my wonderful memories of my week on the Island and all the fun I had while there.. and start planning for a return trip soon, possibly in the Spring. 😉

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Itching to Fly Away

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*Sigh*

I so need a f&*%ing holiday!!

I’ve so missed travelling the past couple years.  The feeling of excitement when you arrive at the airport and check in.  The anxiousness to arrive at your destination as the plane takes off.  The annoyance of the passenger beside you snoring into your shoulder.

(seriously?? it’s only an hour’s flight!!)

And of course the dread as you realise your holiday is over as you head back to the airport.  And that within 24 hours you’ll be back at work, chained to your desk until the next time you can get away.

*Sigh*  I miss it all, the good and the bad.la-nina-hotel

The past couple of years hasn’t allowed much opportunity for me to go travelling around Europe at all.  I love nothing better than to explore a new country/city, soak in the culture, admire the architecture, and just get away from the daily grind of life in London.

The last actual holiday (read: going to another country) I had was when I spent NYE with my friend in Luxembourg back in December 2012.. almost 2 years ago!!  That just seems so long ago!

The only ‘trip’ I’ve done in the past couple years was an extended weekend with my Scottish best mate back in June when we went to Brighton for the weekend for the bear weekend.  Yeah it was an amazing weekend and was good to get away from London, but it’s not the same as flying away to some new and interesting city (preferably along the Mediterranean, with a kickass beach lol).

Of course the main reason for the lack of travelling or holidays has been money.  I was unemployed for the better part of a year, and then took jobs at companies (including my current one) that were paying a lot less than I was used to before I was unemployed.

I’m not moaning about it.. much.  I know the situation didn’t exactly allow me the funds or opportunity to go gallivanting around Europe like I might have liked.  Sometimes life makes you prioritise what’s truly important, and sometimes that’s just keeping your head above water on a daily basis.

hot naked bear beachI suppose I’ve started thinking about it lately because I’m seeing all sorts of people going away on holidays as the summer comes to a close.  Squeezing in that last bit of fun in the sun while they can, before the usual grey Autumn and Winter sneaks in over the next couple months.

Many guys I know have all travelled to Sitges this weekend for their annual bear week.  A week in the sun and sand, with tons of hot bears, cubs, chasers, and all sorts around.  And spending the days relaxing on the nude beach.

*Sigh*  Maybe next year.

My Scottish mate was supposed to come down this month so we could do another weekend in Brighton before the weather got too cold, but his work has gotten crazy busy and can’t get any time off.  He’s said he probably won’t be able to make it back down here until just before Christmas time now.

Boooooooooo

(though we have talked about me going up there for the BearScots event in October.. but we’ll see)

I do know that I probably won’t be able to take any time off between Christmas and New Years as our office remains open, and it’s apparently quite busy. Which is fine, since I don’t really do much for Christmas and can’t afford to travel back to Canada for the holidays to see my family.

joe-manganiello-beachSo this leaves me thinking of maybe planning some extended weekend away, probably by myself, somewhere warm and sunny.  Sure, I still can’t really afford it but I think it might do me some good, especially if I can find something relatively cheap but nice.

As much as I’d love to have someone to go on holiday with me, I don’t mind travelling by myself.  At least that way I can do what I want, when I want to, and not have to worry about the other person.  It allows me to wander around a city with no agenda or any pressing need to get somewhere in particular.

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.  Maybe I’ll just take a few days off and spend them at home sleeping.  LOL

Guest Blogger: On Nakations…

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Here’s my guest post on A Guy Without Boxers all about how it feels to go to a naturalist beach while on holiday.. especially when you’re as body conscious as I am. 😀

Feel free to check out his other posts as well, all about being a gay nudist enjoying life and sharing it with others.