Poc a poc

It has now been more than four months since we were first introduced on Spanje Vandaag*. Both of my sisters were working in Switzerland at the time and it was (mainly) up to me to put the Bed & Breakfast on the map. And although I have had to say “no” for a number of weekends because we were already fully booked on a certain day, we are still far from where we want to be. I am well aware that it takes time to put a completely new business on the map. You have to compete with countless other beautiful accommodations with hosts who are just as friendly and hospitable and, in addition, have had many years to get regulars and repeaters.

Am I discouraged by this at times? Of course. Because whether there are guests or not, the bills have to be paid every month. So when both my sisters received an offer to work in Switzerland for an extra year (for a better salary), we were forced to weigh the pros and cons. Of course, I can take on a lot less alone than together. But with a guaranteed salary from Switzerland, we can finally start paying off the loan we took out from our parents. Because both of my sisters’ partners also decided to continue working in Switzerland, the choice was easy to make. They are going to exchange the beautiful Spanish landscape for the Swiss mountains for yet another year. Better them than me.

But now that they are back home for a short visit (and can finally reap the benefits of the business we have all been trying to set up for five years), they can hardly temper their enthusiasm. Of course I understand! I am also very eager to take on numerous things in the future. Organizing wine tastings? Workshops? Retreats? (Small-scale) parties or weddings? The possibilities are endless. Especially because we complement each other well. Not only in what we are good at, but also in what we actually enjoy doing. But until then (when the three of us can focus on our own business instead of just me), we are focusing on setting a solid base. The fact that I consciously make choices about what I will or will not tackle, with one thing receiving more attention and priority than the other, is necessary if I am (mainly) on my own for another year. It is not surprising that I not only look at what I find important, but also at what I am good at and actually enjoy doing. Because if you can turn your hobby into your job, you will get twice as much done.

For that it cannot be a surprise that running and promoting our Bed & Breakfast has become a well-thought-out interweaving of prioritizing, balancing and combining. Nor that the guest experience comes first. Thanks to the spacious, new and clean rooms with wonderful beds and the extensive, fresh and varied breakfast, we have already received many wonderful reviews in a short time. The fact that these guests share their good experiences not only with their own friends and family but, thanks to their reviews, also with our future (yet unknown) guests is the most important thing at the moment. Only when all that is running smooth, will I happily turn my attention to other things. Filling our Wikiloc account (a handy app with walking routes) with both short and long walks. Visiting a new city with my mom. Showing curious passers-by or locals, who often unexpectedly show up on the doorstep, around. Writing a new story every week. Taking a photo for Instagram. Sharing an interesting article on Facebook. Giving that one wall another layer of paint. Or practicing a dish for the days when the restaurants are closed (in the evening). It doesn’t matter that we still have a long way to go. The wine tastings, workshops and retreats can wait. Poc a poc. Little by little, we’ll get there.

*’Spanje Vandaag’ is a Dutch (news)site that writes articles about Spain. It’s in particular interesting for foreigners living in Spain or foreigners interested in moving to Spain. Since January 2024 our blogs have been posted on their website as well.