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8 + 8 + 8

8 + 8 + 8

There are 24 hours in a day. Those 24 hours can be divided into three sets of eight hours. The Spanish day essentially follows the structure of 8 + 8 + 8. Eight hours of rest, eight hours of work, and eight hours of free time.

We’re thinking that we are not going to possibly have enough time to get all our schoolwork done and explore the city and absorb the culture and travel, but eight hours a day for free time is a lot. And that’s just the five-day work week.
It’s interesting that Spaniards think of the day this way, with free time and time to enjoy oneself built into the routine. In the U.S. it seems like we know that we need to be at work or school for eight hours a day, but then we have to come home and do more work and more things and if we don’t totally get eight hours of sleep then that’s the way it goes. We enjoy life so much less than we should.

Here, things are more relaxed. Whenever we leave to go on a walk or to go out for food, our host señora says “se disfrute mucho”, which means “enjoy yourself to a great extent”. Here, the meals are slower. They are meant to be cooked with love and shared with friends over good conversation. Life is lived in the street so that it can be shared, so that experiences can be had and friendships can be made. Life here is about enjoyment and living in the moment.

If nothing else, this is what I want to bring home with me. To remember to let myself enjoy life, and to remember to divide my time so that I can equally feed my body and my soul, as well as my obligations to society.

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