The Perks Of Being A Freelancer
“Oh, so you’re your own boss? It must feel like a holiday everyday for you!” A statement I often hear and wish was true! If only everyone knew how much easier it would be being employed, working 9 to 5, switching off once I get home and having the weekend to spend with family. BUT, I love what I do, which is why I am my own boss! I get to manage my own hours, my family time, my holidays, lunches and nap breaks (haha!).
Having the flexibility has given me the opportunity to not only spend a week away with my family, but meet some amazing business owners in sunny Spain! We stayed at an amazing resort in Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol. Not only did the delicious food stretch our waistlines, the stunning views and architecture stretched my imagination for future projects.
Starting the week off, we explored the hotel and the nearby town of Fuengirola which had one of THE biggest markets on Tuesday. The bus was as full of people as my mind is when I receive an open design brief! The sights, sounds and smells of the market were quite incredible, stalls of hand crafted pottery, hand knitted jumpers for children, fresh sugar coated peanuts and almonds (delicious by the way!). Beautiful cafe’s surrounded the market serving traditional Spanish snacks and our family favourite, CHIPS!
Have you ever heard of a zoo being smack bang in the middle of town? Well neither did I until I went to Bioparc Fuengirola! A massive nature reserve designed as a walk-through jungle housing some rare and unique animals that even I have never seen before. Walking through the man-made jungle, my wife had an amazing idea about how we could capture the beauty of the place and use some of the designs, colours and textures for our future projects. So out came the Inkquisitive Designs business card and off she went taking pictures, it was like the business card was a model for her, different locations, different pose!
The rep at our hotel roped us into visiting Gibraltar and I’m glad we did as it is a beautiful place! I saw traffic lights that actually made sense, spoke to people without having to play charades to get our point across and even found a VEGAN DESSERT SHOP!! Obviously we stopped and picked up a huge bagful of cakes and croissants, which were beyond amazing. We even managed to find a vegetarian Indian takeaway that served some of the best street snacks we have all had in a long time. Having spent a few hours in the main town centre, we headed off into a minibus to go up into the mountains to see some macaques. At the top of the mountains, the views were breathtaking, the sun was shining, the harbour was full of boats and yachts and everyone was clutching to their bags for dear life from the monkeys! The main attraction at the mid point of the mountain is St Micheal’s Cave, a network of limestone caves with an area for concerts to be held inside. Just like a black and white design brief that is accentuated by the shapes and colours added by a designer, the natural lines, curves and roughness of the rocks were beautifully emphasised by the colourful, but dim, lights present within the cave. A must see place for all those who enjoy visiting somewhere unique and walking as there are ALOT of steps to go up and down. Crazy fact about Gibraltar: The road that takes you into the town is actually the airport runway! So we drove across the Spanish border onto the runway and on the way back we were made to walk back through the border to get back into Spain!
Next couple of days were spent at the hotel, taking full advantage of the all inclusive, the sun and pools! We decided to hire a car for a day and visit Mijas, Malaga, Torromolinos and Puerto Banus. Out of them all, Mijas was stunning! Driving on the other side of the road is no problem, driving with my family however is another story! I have never had so many people swear or jump so much during a 45 minute drive. We were literally inches away from the edge of the cliff, so I can understand why! The stone roads, traditional shops and the exquisite Chapel of the Virgin of the Rock, a monastery beautifully built into a cave.
The end of seven days came the dreaded packing and coming back home! Leaving the 25 degrees heat and coming back to the cold and rain was a ‘Back to Reality’ moment and of course, Back to Work!
So, No, everyday is not a holiday for me, but as a team, my wife, our designers, printers and myself all work our fingers to the bone to be able to save up for a special treat away, but the work never stops, even abroad!