I have a big announcement. It’s one that’s been SO HARD to keep quiet, but that I’ve been waiting to write until about it was finally, officially real. Ready?
I’m moving to Spain in exactly 16 days.
I applied back in February, and did so without much thought. No one was sure it was a real thing. I wasn’t sure it was a real thing. And yet here we are.
As much as I love Los Angeles, and my friends, and my career, I never meant to settle down and stay. Not yet. There are about 195 other countries I want to see first, and some languages I’d like to learn, and a few other things that are pretty important for me to feel like I’m living the best life I can.
So on a whim I decided to make a move. It’s kind of crazy how little thought I put into it. A few friends were teaching in Vietnam, so I decided to do that. I told one of my closest friends, just to see how it felt to say it out loud, and she told me I was insane and if I was moving anywhere, it shouldn’t be farther away from Gareth. I think it was even her who suggested Spain. She is a very wise woman.
Spain meant Gareth was a two hour plane ride away. Two hours. Right now, if I’m lucky enough to find a direct flight, it’s still around twelve. I could fly on a budget airline and be in London, or any other European city, for about $100 return. Can you imagine?
Then I found the ministry’s Auxiliares de Conversación program. I’d looked into teaching in Spain back in college, when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the gap year between school and work I had so planned on taking. I had only heard of CIEE, which charges a few thousand dollars to do the same exact thing as the ministry. (Ministry is free.) I filled out my application that day. I had to wait a bit for things like my transcript and letter of recommendation, but I think the time from first hearing about it until completed application was about six days. I was ready.
I’m going to make a post with the timeline, but my readiness meant nothing, and what I actually did was wait around for a few months before hearing anything. Not exactly easy, cause patience is hard, but finally I found out I’d been placed in La Rioja, and then a few weeks later that my school was in Logroño, the capital of the region.
You guys, Logroño sounds amazing. I’m sure you’ve heard of Rioja wine–this is where it’s from. There are dozens of wineries in the region, and twice a year they have big wine festivals. San Mateo, the wine harvest festival, is in September. There are fireworks and parades every day, and fountains of wine, and possibly a giant food fight? Not sure but am very excited to find out.
And then in June, there is San Pedro, a wine battle (Batalla del Vino). Which is just what it sounds like. You wear all white and fill up water guns and have a wine war. A WINE WAR.
Logroño was also named the gastronomic capital of Spain a few years back, and the food is meant to be delicious. It’s not a touristy city, so it’s crazy cheap (like under $200 in rent) and English isn’t nearly as prevalent as in Madrid or Barcelona. It’s also gorgeous and right in the middle of northern Spain, which is overlooked for reasons I don’t understand. I’ll show you soon, but it’s beautiful up there.
I’ll be teaching English for 12 hours a week at an elementary school, and should have Fridays off to travel. I’m going to try to take Spanish lessons 3-4 times a week, because half the purpose of this trip is to get conversational/fluent. I’m definitely going to look for work doing private lessons to help beef up my (teeny, tiny) paycheck, but will hopefully be traveling at least once every few weeks to meet Gareth in whatever city sounds good that month. Basically, life is about to get PRETTY GREAT.
For now I’m in LA. And that’s wonderful because I really do love LA. It’s gorgeous, we all know the weather is perfect, the food is delicious, and everyone here has a dream and ambition and passion, which is a pretty cool community to belong to. Will I come back? I hope so. I think. I’m not totally sure what comes next after this–hopefully spending some time seeing parts of the world with Gareth. Regardless, right now it feels like anything is possible. Which is kind of the best feeling I can imagine. I’m so excited for the future, and though I’ve had my doubts (believe me), I feel really ready for this.
Also just to be clear, Brady? He’s coming with me.
Spain, here we come!