Greetings from Granada, Spain, where...
You get a free tapa with every drink order.
You're surrounded by hills covered with old (in the good way) walls and whitewashed houses.
You constantly gape at the architectural wonder known as the Alhambra, which crowns the city like a 13th-century cake topper. (If you want to see the inside, buy tickets way ahead of time!)
It's been a lovely month here. Granada is, in my mind, the perfect size for a digital nomad base: plenty to do, but not so much (ie: Paris) that you feel guilty any time you’re not SEIZING EVERY MINUIT.
In fact, we haven't done a whole lot in Granada, and that's been the beauty of it. We've mostly spent our time wandering around the narrow streets, relaxing on outdoor patios with 2€ wine and free tapas, sniffing the air because lilacs and Seville orange blossoms have draped themselves over every available wall and corner and it smells like Bath & Body Works wherever you go, and buying bread and cheese from tiny specialty shops because it makes us feel super European.
By the time you get this, we'll have left paella and Moorish buildings and snow-capped peaks behind, and will be in Crete, where we're meeting up with one of my best friends for 10 days of adventure in a Fiat Panda (or similar). We're really hoping it's black and white…
After that, we've switched up our 12-countries-in-12-months schedule a bit, and have rented the cutest stone house (!) on a Croatian island (!) for the month of May. I have wanted to visit Croatia forever, and am so happy to finally make it there. We're visiting King's Landing beforehand, so if you have any tips, please send 'em our way!
Ear/eye candy of the month
I’ve been listening to a lot of Spanish guitar while I work because I’m cliche like that.
Here’s a tune to get you going:
Then there’s this photo, which encapsulates everything I've enjoyed about Granada: flowers, old buildings, mountains, and quaint hillside homes. (Plus it reminds me of one of my favorite babies, whose middle name is Iris, and who just turned four months old. Hi Baby A!)
On the blog
I went in-depth on my decision to quit Facebook and Instagram.
As you'll see, at the root of it all is the Annie Dillard quote: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Interested in this topic? At the bottom of the post, I included a helpful list of other articles, podcasts, and books where you can learn more about digital addiction. Would love to hear your thoughts on this issue — just click reply to chat!
Other things I did this month
Relaunched Where to Pitch! It has a sleek new design, thanks to my partner in crime (and unpaid-by-me web developer) Tyler Hammett. It now features links to each of the publications, too, making it a much more useful tool for freelancers.
Completed a massive guide to becoming a freelance writer. People are always asking me about this, so I figured I might as well write out all my advice (and hopefully nab some affiliate sales, as well!).
Wrote about what Daenerys Stormborn can teach you about money, how women can get the salary they deserve, how to KonMari your finances, and which credit cards get you Priority Pass Select (totes worth it).
In the preceding months, I explained how people can be climate-conscious over the holidays in Playboy (I know it's not the holidays anymore, but most of the advice applies year round) — and pondered if marriage proposals are outdated in the LA Times (ignore the awful headline).
What I'm reading/listening/watching
This fascinating podcast by Jane Marie about the incredibly complex (and sordid) history of multi-level marketing schemes in America. Trust me — just listen.
"Where did my eyes linger today? Where was I blind?... Whom did I neglect? Where did I neglect myself?" John O’ Donohue’s "Mirror of Questions" to end every day with. (Don’t let your eyes linger on the fact it's in Comic Sans.)
If you want to have reality-based nightmares, read this Rolling Stone feature on how climate change could lead to human extinction.
More good news: Women suffer needless pain because almost everything is designed for men.
"Canada is proving, once again, the deep political power of boredom: if you want to suck the power and glamour out of drugs, let the government run them." I was in Canada the day weed became legal... and, of course, nothing happened. The War on Drugs is a failed policy, and I eagerly await the legalization — and boring-ification — of weed in the States.
Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This book warmed my heart, and made me so excited to have a garden/goats/chickens/maybe a llama someday.
Definitely checking my Airbnbs for hidden cameras from now on.
You are better at dancing than you think! (But worse at kissing.)
This gorilla selfie is everything.
What do you think of the new newsletter format? Anything you'd like me to add/change/never do again? I'm all ears! Thanks, as always, for being here.
PS. This is the first newsletter I'm sending from Substack, rather than Mailchimp. If you notice any glitches, please let me know.
PPS. If you thought this email was as cool as your third cousin’s kid’s first-day-of-school pic, would you consider doing what you’d do for them, and clicking the heart below? Doing so will help this newsletter get found by more people. I know this might be a hypocritical request, given my reasons for going off social media, but I am not Beyonce and have no control over the way the world works.