Spain Travel

Workation In Sunny Spain: The Future Of Work

We started calling it “Spanish hair.” Ever since we’d arrived, my son’s hair had grown big and tall, pointing this way and that. It was unapologetic. It was hair with an exclamation point at each side.

The first breakfast after our return home, I noted its conversion back into “Finnish hair”: smooth, subtle, fluid. The side partition he’d had from birth had made a reappearance and all was back to normal, like we’d returned from Wonderland.

The best thing ever in Spain was:

  • Surprise ball machines, if you are a five-year-old boy
  • Green parrots and tall, green palm trees if you are a sun-starved parent of two five-year-olds who loves green

The boys started saving one euro coins for Spanish ball machines months ahead. I must hand it to them, they were thinking outside the box for ways to gain more of them. Toys were thrown on the floor, then the room was tidied up to the pleased delight of a grown-up in possession of said coins. Park benches were crawled under in inspection of possible forgotten treasures. Tedious multiple layers of morning routine outer clothing were applied with self-confidence. They had earned their surprises.

The surprise balls bring me back to a time when cereal boxes had toys and even the smallest freebie was appreciated. Summers were eternal back then, and perhaps this is how our month in Spain felt like for my kids. It was clear they were living in the moment, not missing home. As we walked, they chatted away, waving a happy ¡Hola! to dogs we passed, collecting sea shells, and jumping in the waves. And checking every surprise ball machine.

I was more relaxed, too, but it wasn’t a holiday. It was the future of work: I was finally able to do something that people always laughed at when I suggested it 10 years ago. I packed my laptop into a bag and worked from a rented flat in Spain, instead of my home in Finland.

I always said, I want to work under palm trees and why can’t I? What’s the difference? Covid emptied our offices and thankfully, my employer now decided they trusted us enough to let us work from abroad. I jumped at the opportunity and cherished every moment. With thank yous to my mum for babysitting, it was business as usual in the mornings, and adventure in the afternoons. The winter weather in Benalmádena was even nicer than I dared to imagine.

I felt reborn. Until it was time to come back, yesterday. Until next time. I’m already envisaging what my kids’ hair might look like in France or Croatia.


65 replies on “Workation In Sunny Spain: The Future Of Work”

An inspiring post. Thank you. I know what it’s like to travel – Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Greece. Of course mine was just a cruise. I’d love to work in those places as well. So happy for you that your 10-year dream came through.

Liked by 4 people

Well well, Andalucia! ¡Oh! Cómo amo el sol español, cómo amo el cabello español, apuntando hacia el cielo! That is one benefit Covid brought us, not being stuck to the office for work. Lovely post Snow, and I now want to visit Spain even more.

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I’m glad to hear that you were able to mix work with some pleasure. Though, I wonder if such a future will make us work even more. I visited family around Christmas time and worked some of the time only and then just unplugged completely. Allowed me to be out of the office for longer, while taking a regular amount of days off.

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Hmm, that’s a valid point, Sam! Though I think it depends on the individual + company. I know many people who answer work emails or phone calls during holidays, evenings, and weekends. I’ve never gone down that road, because I value my own sanity! I had no problem keeping to work hours in Spain, nor at home where I’ve worked for the past 3 years. Laptop lid shut, work forgotten! What was great about this workation was, like you said, the possibility to do something interesting without losing my allocated days off.

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Nothing better than having a good balance of work, relaxing and enjoying a beautiful weather! Thanks God I can work from home too, I dream sometimes at places were we can go and work from, but unfortunately my hubby can’t do that. But who knows, in future? You showed us this is possible!
Have a lovely weekend!

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To work under palm trees… I am sighing thinking about it. I’m glad you got to have this experience and that your twins learned the importance of planning ahead. I love knowing about them and the surprise ball machines. It all sounds like FUN, even if part of it was work.

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That is fantastic. Well done, you. And kudos to your mum. My sun-starved sister always plans a conference or visit here in sunny SoCal to help her with her winter SADS. I keep trying to put the umbrella over her so she won’t get sunburned and she pushes it away.

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Oh, that sounds great! I’ve been wanting to go to Croatia forever and I’ve become friends with a Croatian blogger here on WordPress, making me want to visit even more! Have fun! And yes, I wish I could stay in warm places all winter, but I have small kids. One month was a good start, though, let’s see where this goes!

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Croatia is amazing. The coastline is fantastic along the entire stretch of it. I spent a month of parental leave last year with my wife and the kiddos. The national parks are superb. Food good, too. I met people there that were working full-time from their campers. Seemed to be an interesting option, although our van is certainly too small to work from with a family of four. A rental place would be pretty easy to arrange, I’m sure 😊. Having local friends always is a plus!

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I was hoping there’s a post from you when I open WP and voila! A nice story about weird hairstyles, working under palm trees, and the possibilities of work in the future to make my day. It is possibly water+humidity in Spain that causes the exclamation mark, haha! In Japan, my hair is soft and flowy, but back here I look like I got electrocuted daily. 😃

I hope to join your work+adventures mixture soon as I just found a remote job! 😊

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Excellent summary and inspirational for stretching the boundaries of working offsite. I spent the past four months traveling for work – but also back home to the States, where I worked offsite, and it went incredibly well. I found inspiration, put forth new strategies, and overall, like you, I felt reborn. A significant trend for those who can create something positive with such flexibility… And loved the idea of your son’s hair taking a vacation as well 🙂

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Thanks, Randall! I hope that this is just the beginning, not only for me but for anyone who has dreams and wants to do things in life while working and while having a family… sometimes I think people are forced to wait until they retire to do what they dream of and it doesn’t seem right. The idea that work shouldn’t be fun seems very old-fashioned! If work is fun (whatever your definition of fun is), you’ll certainly be more efficient, more inspired, generally happier, and produce better quality. I’m happy to hear you’re benefiting from this trend, too. Hope it lasts!


Thanks, Manja! Yes, it was a great feeling to realise that we can still do these things with kids, they adapted so well! I’m so happy I went through with this plan. And a month was the perfect duration, it was nice knowing we had plenty of time and it wasn’t about to end soon.

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Did Spanish Hair only happen to one of the twins? Oh no & how strange. That’s going impact their ability play twin-tricks in the future 😉

Remote work is an automatic yes for me. Toronto just got hit with the worst storm of the season – snow, gale force winds and thunder storms – so I fully appreciate the benefit of not commutng. Remote work in a sunny vacation spot ? I think I could do it, so long as I could hide myself in a darkened locked room. Otherwise, I’d be back to my uni days when I’d ‘study’ on the common and pretend I was taking ‘Clouds 101’ when I was in fact supposed to be doing Physics.

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Well, I didn’t have any problems with self-discipline after working from home for 3 years. And I had so much work, multiple deadlines, that people would’ve noticed if I was playing Cloud 101! 😅 But the fact that I was there, working in a new place, made me more efficient because I didn’t want to waste the hours sitting by my computer and I didn’t want to stay after hours. I focused and got things done! Not that I’m less efficient at home, but there’s less pressure from myself and from my own expectations.
Spanish hair happened to my other son in the last days. I think maybe his hair was initially too short!

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Oh, I’m so happy for you! I have learned how you love green trees, ocean views, and warm weather, and I know winter in Finland does not contain any of such pleasures! I love the image of the Spanish hair, too (and its return to Finnish hair); it’s a perfect symbol of letting go and then coming back to reality. And now you’re a whole month closer to spring!

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Thanks Lexi, and I know you understand me perfectly! I actually said to my kids that spring would begin soon after we got back. But we came back to cold, snowy weather and one of my sons was disappointed, ”It was supposed to be spring!!!” He hates dressing in winter clothes.

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What a lovely post! I remember those surprise ball machines from when I was a kid, it was definitely the best thing ever! It’s great that you could telework from abroad. I only have a few days to do that so I usually take them to work at my mom’s or dad’s, but I would love to do like you did and spend a whole month somewhere! It’s great that you could enjoy it!

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Thanks, Juliette! I hope you get the flexibility at work that suits your dreams and life pace 😊 And funny thing, I remember surprise ball machines, too, but I don’t remember what was inside. That makes me think it perhaps wasn’t important? The machine itself is fun to operate and so colourful!


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