Laughter is the best medicine so they say. After my recent weekend away, I can vouch for that being true. Here’s why…
I’m unfortunately very prone to headaches and in particular, to migraines. Although I’ve managed to get them under control over the past few years by cutting lactose out of my diet, I still often get tension headaches and sometimes the odd migraine. Last week was one of those weeks. I had a pretty sore head all day Monday and Tuesday, and I figured it was maybe just tiredness, but by Tuesday night, my whole head was pounding and every single source of light or sound, no matter how small, felt like a sensory overload and was multiplied by hundred. I took the medication I normally take, which normally works, but I woke up on Wednesday feeling awful. Blurred vision, dizzy, nauseous, pounding head. I went to the doctor who gave me an even stronger tablet, but after 24 hours and 3 of doses of medication, I still wasn’t feeling 100%. I stupidly went into work on Thursday, eager not to miss too much and trying to shake off the pain, but after a couple of hours and yet another visit to the doctor who gave me an even stronger dosage of medication, I had to head home. Back to a dark and silent room.
I had a weekend away with the Spanish girls from work planned from Friday to Sunday, and mid-week, mid-migraine, I seriously doubted whether or not I would be able to go. But the good news was that the weekend we had planned was a mini luxury girls weekend, in a 5-star hotel with spa access. I figured in the worst case scenario, the girls could go out and explore and I could spend all weekend in bed nursing my migraine. After all, if you’re going to have to spend all weekend in bed, it might as well be in a 5-star hotel room, with Egyptian Cotton sheets, fluffy pillows and wearing one of those fuzzy dressing gowns they always give you in fancy hotels.
But thankfully I woke up on Friday morning feeling much better. A little drained, but much better. I went to work, suitcase in hand, ready for the weekend. But still with the expectation I might have to call it a night early and rest up. Little did I know that as soon as the three of us left work that afternoon and headed in the car to our destination, it would be like magic…migraine no more!
First up, we spent the 3 hour car journey singing our hearts out to some of the most iconic pop tunes and Spanish “reggaetón” music known to man, before arriving to find a gorgeous hotel in the most tranquil spot. We spent Friday night at a candlelit dinner in the hotel courtyard with a live pianist, before having a few glasses (maybe bottles…) of wine and heading to bed. The next day we did a tour of the nearby town Caceres, then spent the afternoon having the spa to ourselves before getting dressed up to go to Atrio, a spectacular Michelin star restaurant in the heart of the old town of Caceres where we enjoyed an out of this world 23 dish tasting menu. On Sunday we spent all morning at the outdoor swimming pool before heading to a nearby town square for lunch to fuel up before the drive home to Madrid. We laughed all weekend, from start to finish, telling old stories, catching up on gossip and taking pictures.
Although I’m very aware of how lucky I am to have such amazing friends both at home and here in Spain, one thing that never fails to amaze me about my friends here in Spain is how even though I grew up approximately 2000km away, speaking a different language most of my life, in a completely different culture, the three of us have so much in common and it feels like we’re all one in the same. That made us laugh even more. The fact that we grew up listening to the same music, watching the same TV shows and movies (albeit with funnily translated names into Spanish) and wearing the same latest fashion trends.
The most important thing was that we relaxed. We forgot about work and migraines and Coronavirus. I feel like a new person this week. Laughter really is the best medicine! Either that, or a life of luxury is, I’m not quite sure. But for the sake of my bank card, I’m going to go with laughter.