It’s crazy to think that I have been officially living in Madrid for six months. As I reflect back to when I first arrived, I have grown tremendiously. So many new experiences and people in my life I would have never encountered living in the States. I have learned to adjust to constant changes and traveled to three countries and twelve cities in Europe.
To be honest, teaching abroad has been a lot harder and time consuming than I originally thought. A lot of time and effort goes into lesson planning and commuting from class to class. It is also very unstable because students can cancel class at any point. And six months in, my work authorization is still pending. However, my students are amazing. I enjoy getting to know them and helping them learn. It’s the best when you hear an advanced student say, “wow, I have never learned that” or “this is great, I will be able to use this.” Not only have I helped my students learn, but I have learned more about the English language (do you realize how much we use phrasal verbs, which do not exist in the Spanish language??), the Spanish culture, and about life in general.
Summer has been going well so far, mas or menos as the Spanish would say! I have been able to relax poolside, attend my first professional orchestra concert, in which my favorite waiter composed some of the music, experience pride week in Madrid, party like a Spaniard (party all night until the metro starts again in the morning), had a picnic with fellow expats in Retiro park, and spent time with my friends before most of them leave for the summer. Also, my summer work schedule has begun, and I honestly feel more exhausted than before. In Spring, I had block schedules, which means I was in one place for more than one hour or class. Now, I am running from class to class in completely different areas of the city and to my Spanish classes. Although, the summer will be a lot of running around in the heat, I am grateful to still be able to work and support myself.
I am really looking forward to my big summer trips. Everything is set for my Central Europe trip at the end of the month. Only thing outstanding is the time until I board the plane to Prague! I am happy to say that I booked my flights to and from Croatia. At this point in time, it will be a solo trip. Regardless, I am excited to explore this country I have always wanted to visit, meet new people, eat traditional food, take hundreds of photos, and relax!
The biggest thing I have learned is to live in the now. I have been struggling with this for a while now. All last year, I just focused about my big move to Spain. This year, I have been worried about making enough money, looking forward to my next adventure, and contemplating daily about whether I want to continue my life abroad or move back home. I want to enjoy living in Spain and the people I have and will meet. The future is not guaranteed so I am going to stop wasting so much time worrying about it. It is time to live in the now.