Travel addicts are dreamers.

We long for the far away, picture ourselves on planes, and love to imagine strange surroundings. That is, until reality sets in and we look out the window only to see the same view we see every single day. For most of us, travel is a luxury we only get to indulge in a few times a year, but it just takes a simple shift of the mind to make the most of home.

I’ve lived abroad a few times, but have recently returned to the UK and Ireland to explore more of my motherland. I set out to see it from the viewpoint of an outsider, and now I wonder why I hadn’t explored it much, much sooner. Below are a few things I’ve learned about how to be a traveler at home.

I moved to Barcelona, by myself, in January 2012 and lived there for seven months. It was the first time I had lived outside of the UK – my home – and deeply experienced a new culture. Despite having visited the country a few times before, living in Spain was an entirely different scenario. I was faced with the challenge of adopting a new way of thinking, and it was simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking.

At the time, I had no idea how much Spain would change the course of my life; I’ve traveled the world and lived nomadically ever since. Barcelona paved the way for that. Locals are masters of the slow life, and living there taught me a lot about the importance of balance, self-care, and simplicity – essential items for life on the road.

I’m sharing the five biggest lessons the country taught me, below.

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