Sometimes I need to ask myself whether I am a lunatic. I say this because I know I am about to do something that most “sane” people would consider absolutely bonkers.
I’ll explain, but I should probably start at the beginning.
I was always been a little “off” as a child. When I was young I wanted saree bed comforters, Moroccan lamps, and Japanese ink painting kits. Fast forwarding to college, I wanted to study abroad in Spain, and after graduation, teach English in Japan. Neither dreams worked out (oh, the things young people do in relationships). A short while after graduation, I found a site called Matador Travel which really does a marvelous job of fueling my wanderlust. An entry about an English teaching experience in Spain caught my attention and I ended up applying to a program called Pueblo Ingles. I was accepted! Sadly, I was working at a low-paying job (ie restuarant) and was saddled with a fair amount of credit card debt coming out of college. I knew I wouldn’t have the funds to take the kind of trip I hoped without sending my credit debt to abysmal depths. Luckily, I started a government job and eventually decided to apply to the program again. As soon as I received my acceptance email for October 2011, I began planning for a trip spanning Spain, France, and Germany.
Pueblo Ingles was honestly one of the most fabulous experiences I’ve had, but there is too much to say for this post. Maybe I’ll evetually post some stories and pictures about that month in Europe. My time in Spain was amazing. I met my Australian pen-pal of 14+ years for the first time in Madrid. We both completed the program in La Alberca. She and I then travelled to Sevilla and Granada before heading back to Madrid.
This is when I began struggling with the notion of my sanity. The entire time I was in Spain, it was where I wanted to be. When I continued on to Paris and Berlin I still had a wonderful (and memorable) time, but I missed Spain. When I returned home I missed Spain. It became a habit. Hear Spanish? Miss Spain. Someone asks about the trip? Miss Spain…and then excitedly relay a story from the trip. Seven months after the program I still miss Spain which has led me to decide to live there for a while. My plan is to stay at least a year and preferably at least three years. After three years I think I should be fairly fluent in Spanish. I should also have a good idea of whether I want to continue living there.
“Yes, the Spanish economy is not doing well. Yes, I’m 25 and have a well-paying government job right now. No, you are right. It doesn’t make sense.” I feel like I have various versions of that conversation every day now.
I believe I am finally coming to terms with my decision. This is probably the reason for this post! Once you make your ideas public they become more real….