A Day in the Life of a Digital Nomad (Toledo, Spain Edition)

by Gigi Griffis

Every so often, I document a day in my not-so-average life. Last time, I told you about how I ditched work one sunny day to hit the trails in the Swiss Alps. Today, I’m in Toledo, Spain and this winter I’ve been working hard. So, what does a fairly average day look like now? Well…

9 / I wake up naturally to the soft light of morning, which is how I almost always wake up. I only use an alarm clock a few times each year and only if I have a very early flight, call, or deadline. I prefer to let my body settle into its natural rhythms, which here in Spain seem to mean late nights and late mornings (in other places, I usually wake around seven or eight).

I do all the normal morning stuff—take the dog out, put on some jeans and a shirt (simple, black, collared), toss my hair up in a messy bun, and make breakfast for Luna with an episode of the Loveline podcast (which I have loved for years) in the background.

9:30 / I’m not normally a coffee person, but since I was up till about 2 a.m. last night working (I normally wouldn’t work that late, but I took most of the day off and was on a roll that evening), I decide to go for coffee. It’s a good idea, as it gets me outside in the brisk morning air walking through the extremely pretty Toledo city streets before many people are on them. In the middle of the day, this part of town is too crowded. But now it’s perfect. And beautiful.

Toledo Spain

I listen to my audiobook on the way (I Am Pilgrim), find coffee, and head home.

10 / I dive into the final edits of my Switzerland guide. I’m more than halfway there after a couple days of work and I’m hoping to finish today, though I won’t push myself, as I’m trying to scale back.

1 / I break for lunch—leftover pasta, simple with tomatoes, garlic, and onions—and a little strawberry bread pudding for dessert. While I cook and eat, I catch up a bit on the Tim Ferris podcast and jot down some blog post ideas that occur to me.

Lunch in Toledo

In the meantime, Luna is lounging in the sunshine where I’ve opened the doors (there are doors instead of windows in three places in the apartment, all with a balcony railing outside them but no actual balcony, which is totally okay with me. I love having the doors—balcony or no—and letting the fresh air and sunshine stream in).

1:40 / I return to my editing feeling relaxed and creative. It’s afternoon, though, so my pace has slowed a little. This is generally how my work rhythms go. Mornings are wildly productive, afternoons a bit sleepier.

4 / I break again, this time for a walk and a mini quest to obtain some dessert. I stop at my favorite little shops, picking up a few small things and then returning to the house to bake the second to last portion of the mini bread pudding and then top it with the ice cream I’d purchased. A perfect afternoon snack, which I eat while listening again to Tim Ferris.

5 / I’m back to editing again. There’s only one section left to do and I think I can finish it tonight, so I press forward, breaking often to check social media or snuggle or feed Luna. It’ll take longer to finish this section, but that’s okay. Going at full-speed all day just isn’t a thing my mind is usually capable of.

7 / I’m rewarded two hours later with the satisfaction of finishing the project. The final edit—that monster—is done. DONE. I’m relieved and elated. I backup the file (something I’ve been doing every hour or so all day), post my joy online, and log off to make dinner (more pasta), which I eat sitting on the floor in the open doorway of the sort-of balcony, where a happy breeze pushes my hair from my face.

The view from the sort-of balcony.

8 / I return to I Am Pilgrim still sitting in the doorway of the sort-of balcony until the light starts to fade.

9 / I send one last work email (some preliminary questions for an interview call I’m making on Tuesday) and then browse mindlessly online for a while before landing on the question of what to read next since I just finished my first Stephen King novel yesterday (and deliberately did not pick up another book since I wanted to finish edits today and not be partway into a new plot).

11 / I snuggle under the covers, listening to Loveline until I start to drift off. There’s something comforting about familiar voices in the background when you’re alone in a not entirely familiar place, so listening to Loveline late at night is something I often find myself doing.

What does a typical day in your life look like these days?

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Victoria April 27, 2015 - 7:05 am

What a lovely day… thank you very much for sharing. It’s fun to know how you fit in working around fun and relaxing times. Toledo also sounds ace!

gigigriffis April 27, 2015 - 7:54 am

Thank you! And yes, Toledo is lovely! And I got really lucky with my apartment (which I’ll be posting about next month); super cheap and really wonderful and close to everything.

Jessica April 27, 2015 - 9:01 am

Gorgeous photos!

If you enjoyed “Under the Dome,” I’d recommend “The Stand” and “11/22/63” – both King books that are completely immersive.

Rachel April 27, 2015 - 11:48 am

My day would be very similar, but with a bike ride thrown in! The only difference is, I don’t have a lovely little dog to keep me company like you do…. one day I hope to! Love to Luna x

Bob Watson April 28, 2015 - 4:00 pm

What an idyllic day!
Definitely get a copy of The Stand!

Marjie May 18, 2015 - 5:18 pm

I wish I knew how to fit things in and manage my time better. Some days I’m all over the place and at the end of it can’t really think of anything useful I’ve accomplished.

gigigriffis May 18, 2015 - 11:15 pm

I think we all have those days. :)

anne May 11, 2016 - 8:27 am

This is a really fun way to get a glimpse into life on the road as a digital nomad. I have to admit (minus the dog!) our days sound quite similar from time to time. :)


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