Last Thursday I booked a flight to head to Switzerland and Germany for the weekend. It's probably the most last-minute trip I've ever embarked upon (and still one of the cheapest). It was also one of the most cathartic. I got to walk the festive, Christmas-decorated streets of Zurich before purchasing making my way to the train station to buy a ticket to Stuttgart (beef: I noticed since the last time I was at Zürich's train station a few months ago, they've replaced the old-school split-flap departure/arrival board with a digital one, so the soundtrack inside the station isn't quite as classic now; the Christmas decorations almost made up for it). The rest of the weekend was spent in Germany with Georg. I've been feeling cooped up in Madrid lately, so we spent most of the time outside including exploring the grounds of the Castle Solitude and the extravagant Christmas market in downtown Stuttgart. It was a treat.

One of the simplest joys is to travel in the absence of plans. Step off the plane and follow your gut, let your eyes lead you. Get a little bit lost, meet some people and share a few moments, have a cup of coffee by yourself and people watch until you find something beautiful to smile about. Then get up and start walking again.