A week in Madrid where we did NOTHING

Madrid ~ May 26th through June 2nd

View from our balcony and what I looked at most of our week in Madrid

Evening view from our balcony and what I looked at most of our week in Madrid

We spent an entire week in an amazing city that has a LOT to see, do and places to explore and I barely left the room except to eat. Pathetic really…

So, how did this happen? 

In all honesty, I’m not sure. I had pretty much recovered from having a cold, but was not feeling great. I was not sleeping well and tired. I was missing family, friends and home.

I think I hit the wall and was suffering from TRAVEL BURNOUT.

Is there such a thing?

I just know that it took all of my energy to get dressed and walk a couple of blocks to a small restaurant, El Salero,  that I came to love. They welcomed us warmly each time we walked through the door, helped us translate the menu into words we could recognize and Tim did not get any food reactions.

Our one big day out included walking through town for a visit to the Prado Museum. This was the number one thing that I most wanted to see in Madrid and it did not disappoint me. A bit intimidating by its immensity, it holds masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rafael, Rubens, El Greco and so many more familiar names. A note of warning, even getting there first thing in the morning, the lines are long to get in. 


I took this one picture inside the museum before being advised that no photography was allowed.

Currently they are highlighting a special exhibit by El Bosco (Hieronymus Bosch,) which was worth the price of admission just to see it. You can click here to see examples of his work.

A few more random pictures I took on our outing that will at least give me a couple of memories of Madrid.

Mostly a pedestrian walkway

Mostly a pedestrian walkway


Puerta del Sol Square

Oso and Madrono

Oso and Madrino

The bear and strawberry tree are the official symbol for Madrid. This statue is located in Madrid’s most famous and most central square, La Puerta del Sol.

Carnivores abound in Madrid

Carnivores abound in Madrid

I had to wrestle with myself to get over the “guilt” that we were in this amazing European city, the capital of Spain, and I virtually wasted a week. Sometimes we just have to listen to that inner voice. This time it both whispered and shouted at me to rest and get revitalized.

And that is just what I did.

Still feeling a little guilty though…

We have two more major trips already booked for this year and I am thankful for our ability to see so much of this amazing world. On July 12th we will fly to Switzerland for two weeks and then board a Uniworld River Cruise in Basel to sail on both the Rhine and Mozelle rivers ending in Amsterdam. Then in the fall we get to explore Ecuador, travel up into the Amazon area, and then cruise through the Galapagos Islands.

In the meantime, we are still trying to find a small RV so that we can do some more road trips here in the USA. That is unless a certain person gets elected, then I think we may be hitting the road towards Canada…

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful to finally be back home and snuggled in at our tiny mountain cabin. We have been back in the states for two weeks now and I can loudly proclaim that it feels GOOD TO BE HOME. I know that before long the travel bug will be nibbling at my heals, that I will be pulling my suitcase off the shelf, doing some last minute laundry and trying to neatly fold far too many items into a small carry on size roller bag.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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39 Responses to A week in Madrid where we did NOTHING

  1. This is something I am afraid of! I’m going away on a three week trip in September and after an intense weekend in Rome recently I noticed how tired travelling really makes you! It’s hard to push through when you’re not feeling your best!


  2. Love your honesty. We have been traveling about 3 times a year, mostly for a month or so each time, then a couple weekish-long adventures closer to home. We haven’t yet found the perfect pace, but travel can wear you out just by being ‘travel.’ I think you are very wise to follow your instincts. 😉


    • Susan, I learned long ago that if I don’t listen to that voice when it whispers, it soon turns to shouting at me. And if I still ignore it, something greater will eventually happen until I finally pay attention. We all go through seasons. Perhaps, just perhaps, another chapter is about to get written??? I feel confident that we will continue to travel, as we both love learning, seeing, exploring. It just may be at a slower pace and not quite as often.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sibay says:

    great thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

  4. larrymuffin says:

    Indeed Madrid is a fascinating Capital. We have been several times mostly out of Season, in Winter at Christmas time or New Years and in early Spring. The city is always beautiful and there are no line ups. At least you went to the Prado Museum to see the collections. I think what I like the most about Madrid is how elegant a City it is.


    • Larry, I do feel a bit foolish to have squandered my time there. I listened to what my body needed, and I’ll just have to be OK with that. Don’t know when or if I will get a “do over”, but from the little that I did see, I have to agree with your description of Madrid being an elegant city.


  5. Doing nothing is definitely important. I always factor in some do nothing days. I find on those days I tend to meet more of the locals and they turn into my best memories.


  6. In the other half of my life I manage a musician. When we tour, we work a leg of ten days to two weeks. We go home for about a week and then go back out. There’s a reason for it. Even though you (like us) like traveling, constant movement from place to place is mind numbing, wears on you physically and beats you up emotionally. For us, it means the shows get flat. For you, it meant hunkering down. It just happens…


    • What an interesting “other half” of your life. You probably do get it more than most of how exhausting it can get to constantly be on the move. Thanks for sharing your insights. Can’t let those shows get flat!


      • It becomes a job like any other, I think. But, I do know how you feel. A lot of it involves losing context… you don’t really know what’s going on at home even though you can call, text and all of that. It also follows a clear pattern that all touring musicians agree on. Excitement at the start, becoming just a job and finally, can we just go home now? It may get that way for you as in “Oh gosh, do we have to go to another ancient church again?” 🙂

        We have pretty good ways of recovering. Even so, that usually it just means being home.


      • Yes, there is something very healing about HOME.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. While I can’t imagine doing so I Madrid, I have laid on a beach in Mexico for a week, only leaving to eat and sleep. It’s the true difference between travel and vacation!


    • I love that you mentioned the difference between traveling and vacation. What we normally do would definitely fall into the travel category. It sounds like we needed a bit of vacation time mixed in. Eventually we will figure it all out 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh don’t feel guilty Joanne, all long-term travellers get travel burnout, and we’ve done exactly what you did – been in a fabulous place and done nothing. Mendoza in northern Argentina comes to mind – two weeks there and we did nothing of significance. Like you we needed to recharge our batteries. Also in Quito we didn’t do nearly as much as we could have. And you made it to the Prado. Nothing else is needed.


  9. I was impressed with the Prado even though it was years ago when I visited. I still have a memory of a large room totally dominated by an El Greco. Unfortunately, I also remember a long hall dedicated to the decapitated head of St. John the Baptist. As for burnout, we all get it. Travel is hard work and we need to recharge our batteries on occasion. 🙂 Small RV: Peggy and I have really enjoyed our 22 foot Pleasure Way made in Canada. We’ve now had two and travelled a couple of hundred thousand miles in them (about 4 years total). We just completed an 11,000 mile journey where we retraced my bicycle route.–Curt


  10. Marie says:

    So happy to read your post. It is so nice to have company. I was feeling guilty as well because I spent much of the five days I was in Bucharest recently not doing much. I used the weather as an excuse a couple of days but really I was just tired after three weeks and suffering from visual overload. Churches, museums and monuments were beginning to run together.


  11. Marie, I’m so thankful to have my many pictures and blog to refer back to. I can’t tell you how often I have referred back to one of my posts to figure out where we were, or the name of a church or monument or city we were in. It does run together after a while!

    I’m also thankful to hear that others have had similar experiences and took some time to just rest, even in a magnificent place half way around the world from home.


  12. Paul Finnell says:

    Linda and I have Booked a 16 day cruise on the Rhine and Mosel in March of next year. We leave from Basel and conclude in Brussels/Antwerp. We will be anxious to view your progress and highlights to help us map out what we must (and want) to see on our excursion. The only thing we have planned between now and then is an Alaskan cruise in August.

    Living vicariously with you and Tim (and Karen and Dick).
    Linda and Paul


  13. salpal1 says:

    It sounds like you had the kind of week you needed to have – and as other have noted, it is OK to “miss” Madrid if it means you did not collapse! I am glad you have a cruise to look forward to – to my mind, that is a much less stressful way to travel, in general, as all the moving and sorting out is done only once, then you can relax and enjoy the trip. As for road trips through the USA (or Canada), those are always fun, as long as you build in the down time. 🙂


    • We have made a few adjustments over the past three years trying to find the right pace. I think we will be enjoying some more time at home with friends and family as well as more travel in the USA. Not ready to give up all those foreign adventures just yet though 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  14. John Love says:

    As you are what I call a traveling professional team, I am probably not going to offer information you have not already considered, but here goes anyway. If you are not interested in buying an RV renting from a regular RV rental supplier can be daunting. So if you search for RV rental private party a whole page of choices pop up. One of them might have a nice RV at a significantly lower rate. Oh, and I am excited about the upcoming adventures, so both of you stay well, I depend on it!


    • John, we have looked into renting an RV, but yes, it can be challenging and rather expensive. I have confidence that the right one is out there somewhere – just have not found it yet. Not to worry, we are not quite ready to leave our passports in a drawer for too long…


  15. ardysez says:

    Four weeks is about my limit in one hit. Last year we had a trip planned for around the world. We carefully talked our travel agent through every flight and step of the way. A couple of weeks after he’d booked it I just said to my husband I need a year of consolidation. I need to be at home. So, much to the disappointment of our agent, we cancelled. It was the best thing we could have done because this year has had travel in it that is out of necessity rather than pleasure, but at least we have the energy for it. You can’t choose the times when travel fatigue hits you, it just does. Have you done a post that shows where your cabin home is? It sounds very comfy. Thanks for the great travel tips, candour and photos along your journey.


  16. ardysez says:

    I’m sorry for being so presumptuous asking about your cabin. Of course it is your sanctuary and I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t write about it either. I very much enjoyed the post link you provided, however, thank you.


  17. Lol I was suffering travel burnout in Madrid too! So I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should of


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