Sad goodbyes and new beginnings

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moving to spain from usa

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” Andre Gide

No matter how many times I travel abroad or move to another country, the goodbyes don’t get any easier. I am so happy that I have the opportunity to live in Spain, but when I am about to go through security at the airport, all I want to do is cry and stay at home. Saying bye to my mom is the hardest part, but leaving behind everything comfortable, everything that I am used to, is equally challenging, no matter how many times I’ve done it. I get very attached to places, which is surprising considering how often I uproot my life and resettle somewhere different. I love to nest and to settle; last year when I was really homesick, I found myself buying things like marble coasters and wall decorations!

moving to spain from usa

Nerja, Spain. It inspires me to travel more

When I was visiting friends in September in western Massachusetts where I went to college, all I could think about was how much I loved it and hoping that I could move back there one day! Living abroad is not just a fun vacation; it can be incredibly challenging and difficult (something a lot of people don’t realize), but the experience is so rewarding (for me at least) which makes it worthwhile.

moving to spain from usa

Switzerland always inspires me. Don’t you want to go here?

So when I get sad about leaving home and everything I know, I smack myself and remember that I get to live in Spain! I am living the dream! So many people tell me how much they envy me, that they wish they could live abroad too but they don’t do anything about it, which honestly, when I hear that, it makes me a little peeved. Anyone can do it-it is so easy to find a way to travel, you just need a kick in the ass to motivate you and some inspiration. Take the time and put aside the money for it, and its completely possible. There will always be 9 to 5 jobs; there will always be grad school; there will always be houses for sale and husbands to find, and children to have. But you are only young once, and what better way to find yourself and grow than to travel the world?

moving to spain from usa

Toledo, Spain. I love scenery like this.

It has taken me years to realize that self-growth comes from self-sacrifice, putting yourself outside if your comfort zone and experiencing something different. So many people spend their whole lives not doing this; comfort is easy while trying something completely new is challenging. I promise no one regrets traveling (unless they do something stupid, like drink the water in Peru or bring your passport with you everywhere and get robbed-not from personal experience haha).

moving to spain from usa

So as I go through security, I wave goodbye to my mom for the last time, dry my tears, and look forward-figuratively towards a new chapter in my life, literally towards a Starbucks (salvation) and my boarding gate. 24 hours later, I step off the bus in Logroño, and breathe in the sunny, clean air of La Rioja, my new home for the next year (well I breathe it in once I leave the fumes of the bus station). I get swept up in preparing for my new life abroad, meeting new and incredible people, planning out all of the adventures I will have an most importantly, in anticipation for all the new things I will learn. It’s what I live for.

Woah! Who knew I could be so cheesy and philosophical (and random)? I hope I didn’t bore, overwhelm, or piss you off with my musings. It sort of came out of nowhere. Since I still don’t have internet in my apartment and I haven’t started work yet, I have (too much) time with my own thoughts and for reflection. What are your thoughts on traveling and living abroad? How do you balance finding adventures and the comforts of home? And most importantly, what inspires you?

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12 Comments on “Sad goodbyes and new beginnings

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  1. […] posts about this program and dealing with expat life in Spain that you can check out here: Why living abroad is an important experience My thoughts on my first yr and why I decided to renew My personal experience with residency and […]

  2. Hmm I have to think about it. I will soon be posting a page with a lot of links to various expat sites, including many Spain blogs, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I think the hardest thing to beginning a life as an expat is working up the courage to do it. alternatively, working in Spain versus south america is not very comparable. save a lot of money and be prepared for a beaurocratic mess, but just remember it is all worth it in the end!

  3. At risk of being the first man to comment on this post – you’re absolutely right. There is nothing more frustrating than when people say “I wish I could do what you’re doing.” They don’t seem to register that we’re not following a master plan but puting a lot of effort into ideas we hope work and seeing how it all pans out.

    Having said that I hope this idea works; I’m trying to contact people who have succesfully started working in spanish speaking countriesand ask them if they’ve any advice on beginning life as an expat? Alternatively, do you know any blogs out there that might have some tips and tricks to starting a life in a foreign country.
    Above all, I hope you’re well.

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