5 ways to make the most of 2020

2020 has been a difficult year, to say the least. Covid-19 has caused many deaths and is having a crippling effect on the economy and people’s psychological well-being. During lockdown, people had to dig deep to keep a positive frame of mind. Choosing a new pastime has been a popular choice among many. BikeAlao has chosen 5 of the most popular pastimes.

Riding a bike is the best pastime in Valencia

1. Exercise

Initially, there was a total lockdown in Spain. Outdoor exercise was not allowed. The internet was the main source for exercise classes from yoga to crossfit. If you live in a flat, your downstairs neighbours were not delighted. As May came around, outdoor exercise was permitted and people could go running, walking or cycling. There are some great routes that can be done in an hour or two and many people contacted BikeAlao in Valencia to rent a bike, as they did not have storage space at home for their own bike. This allowed much needed outdoor exercise and the ability to cover greater distances in a shorter time by bike.  

2. Learning a new language

Language centres around the world had to quickly adapt to providing online courses to existing students. Many people felt it was a good time to learn a new language and existing online language schools benefited due to restrictions on face to face classes. Many expats living in Spain took the opportunity to learn or improve their Spanish online. Linguaschools offers online and presencial Spanish classes in Valencia, as well as six other locations in Spain and six in Latin America.

3. Cookery

From baking bread, to cooking authentic Indian curries, cookery was one of the few things that most of us could learn or brush up on. Last year we - the owners of BikeAlao - were lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka, where we fell in love with their coconut dal curry. The ingredients were simple to find from the local Valencian markets and we followed a few recipes, eventually settling on a mix of a couple, runningonrealfood.com and foodandwine.com. Other great ways to learn are to follow videos posted by keen cooks. We enjoyed some of the Spanish cookery videos on Youtube by Leftbanker, particularly the Asturian/Valencian take on fabada.

4. Writing

They say we all have a novel in us. Be this the case or not, a lot of people started writing journals, blog posts and social media posts to record the time we are passing through. Others took to creative writing to entertain themselves and others. There are many online creative writing groups as well as courses on creative writing, blogging, vlogging, flogging, trolling, journalism, … the list is endless.

5. Relaxation

From busily running around all day, to house confinement in 24-hours was a huge shock for most people used to the fast city life. From people living alone to families with young children, the shift was incredible. For single parents, finding time to relax is nigh on impossible. Many people looked into meditation, mindfulness and relaxation techniques. We tried a 21 days meditation course by Deepak Chopra and found it reduced stress levels immensely, as well as providing a handy distraction from the television news.

Whatever you decide to take up during these testing times, we hope it will be beneficial and that the future will bring brighter times.

Turia park in Valencia is a good place to mix some of the pastimes listed above



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