Window to Toledo is a travel blog written by me, Gordi. In 2017 I packed up, sold all my stuff and moved to Spain where I am a fulltime resident of Toledo, a wonderful city just 45 miles southwest of Madrid.

I am originally from a small town tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, growing up with a love of nature, appreciating the great outdoors, and New York-style pizza.

Several years hopping around the Information Technology field, working my way up through the corporate world as a PC and Network Technician, System Administrator, and IT Project Manager had taken its toll and had really left me feeling burned out.

I would literally come home from work and spend the entire afternoon watching House Hunters International on HGTV, and daydreaming about the life that the people in each episode must be enjoying. Eventually, my daydreaming at home turned into daydreaming sitting behind my desk at work. In fact, I am forever grateful to HGTV and House Hunters International for giving me the inspiration to live out my dreams of living abroad.

What happens if you go over to the other side? Say you grew up in the states and like a lot of us wondered, fantasized about what it would be like living abroad in old Europe, surrounded by crusader castles, delicious food, another language, another culture? What would that alternate life, that road not taken be like?

– Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown: Spain

After logging what must have been watching hundreds of hours of episodes, I had whittled my choices down to one destination. Sunny Spain.

Lots of people talk about how they find themselves when they travel. I imagined I would find myself in Spain drinking sangria, eating tapas, running with the bulls, Flamenco dancing, and bullfighting. You know, in other words, all those Spanish stereotypes that us ‘Mericans have.

What I have found out is there is a whole lot more to Spain than I ever imagined. The only people that seem to seek out sangria are tourists, tapas are indeed awesome, and more diverse than I imagined. I always thought that tapas were just a “bunch of small bites on a whole lot of little plates” but I was so wrong. Every city and every region can have a different take on tapas, and they are all so incredibly delicious. I also have come to realize that there is no way in hell I am going to ever run alongside 1100 lb beasts who would just as soon trample me as to go around me. Nor do I have any interest in watching a bullfight either. But flamenco dancing…that might be interesting!

The choice was easy to make. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I was afraid that if I didn’t do it while I still could, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.

My Favorite Things

  • Pizza – New York-style (as mentioned above)
  • Photography – but you would never know it by the crappy pictures I take
  • Dogs and cats – I love the loyalty and independence of each
  • Costco – Yes! Even in Spain