The Long Farewell: Hasta Luego, Spain!

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leaving spain

As some of you might already know from my various hints on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or maybe we’ve talked through normal means of communication, I’ve left Spain. Indefinitely. For a while. Maybe.

Jesus, that was hard to write.

I’ve been back home in DC for almost a month now, and it’s taken me nearly double that time to get all my conflicting thoughts written down in some semblance of a post. Leaving Spain is without a doubt one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

In short, Spain and I broke up. Actually Spain dumped me, let me hang on like a sad little puppy for 4 months as “friends” then tried to get back together with me after I moved on. Clearly they haven’t heard T-Swift’s latest travesty of a song. But I digress.

leaving spain

I was an auxiliar English teaching assistant for the past two years with the Spanish Ministry of Education. Last year in Logroño and the year before in Córdoba. I tried to renew for a third year, but I was on the wait list all summer. My visa expired in May, but I had three extra months to sort it out.

All summer the Ministry led me on, promising me a spot in June, July, then August, but nothing. By August I had to make a decision, and once I found out I had been accepted at the Blog House, I was resolved to risk international incarceration and stay in Spain through September before coming home to the US after TBEX. By September I couldn’t risk staying longer without a visa, and the Ministry and Foreigner’s Office made it clear that was not going to happen. Leaving Spain was my only option.

Plan B: I would come home for a few months, reapply for Spain next year and in the meantime work and blog, saving money and trying to build up my site so I can start working full-time as a travel blogger, hopefully within the next six months. It’s all very hush hush, but mysterious plans are in the works for me moving to a new and wildly different country for the rest of the year, but I can’t give away all my secrets just yet. Let’s just say that in spite of being at home in the US, my goals, dreams and aspirations have only grown bigger over the past month.

So I flew home, visited friends, traveled to the west coast for the first time, drove my car for the first time in a year, redeveloped an irrational addiction to vanilla lattes, and began looking for a job.

And you know what popped up in my inbox a week ago? The Spanish Ministry offering me a job in Madrid! Can you believe it? Talk about messing around with me since MAY! I couldn’t believe it. I STILL can’t believe it. Don’t worry, I have a loooong post coming up next week about this. This post is instead about goodbyes and farewells. Sobre las despedidas duras. 

leaving spain

So Spain, my first and only true love, here is my goodbye for now. First in English, then in Spanish // aquí está mi despedida, primero en inglés, y después en castellano.

Spain, you’ve tested my devotion and tried my patience over the past 6 months, but I forgive you. I just need a little break. Spain and I are meant to be, no question there. But I need some space to discover myself and grow up to be the world traveler I dream of being. I want to be the next Hemingway. I dream about writing for National Geographic. I would do anything to completely rewrite every section in Lonely Planet about northern Spain.

I want to ride elephants in Thailand. I secretly wish to climb to Everest base camp. I need to prove that I can live in another country besides Spain. I have a hankering to cycle Bolivia’s Death Road. I long to learn French in a little village in Provence. I have an insane desire to bungee jump off Victoria Falls. I yearn to chase the Aurora Borealis in Iceland and I hope to climb Mount Vinson in Antarctica one day. And so much more. Then, I’ll come back to Spain; I want Spain to be my home. Until then, I am on a journey to self-discovery around the world.

leaving spain

I love you, Spain, and I know you will always be there; leaving you broke my heart. You are the soybean butter to my jelly (I have a peanut allergy), and you are the CSS to my HTML. Spain, you are the sangría to my paella (sorry, I just went there!), the Xabi Alonso to my Casillas, and the red to my yellow.

If you all didn’t think I was bats*** before, you do now.

After over 3 years on and off, Spain will always be a home for me, and I know one day soon I will be back. I am trying to look at this break-up as an opportunity, a chance for me to try something different. To challenge myself, to go somewhere new. In the meantime I am taking the this time to expand my travels on my quest to becoming a professional travel blogger. I have some incredible new adventures lined up for the year that I will be sharing with you all shortly. And don’t worry, guys, I still have TONS of stuff to say about Spain.

Until then, I won’t say goodbye, instead, until next time. (Cheesy, I know, but I am a cheesy girl).

Have you ever had to leave a place you loved unexpectedly? How did you cope?


¡Ahora en español! 

Mi querida España, qué dificil escribir estas palabras de despedida. Llevo más que un mes con la intención de terminar este post, y no podía hasta ahora. Tengo papeles, papeles y más papeles con unas palabras mezcladas con frases no terminadas. Sobre todo, no podía aceptar que me tenía que marchar de España, de La Rioja, de Logroño.

Al final, fue sencillo, No podía renovar los papeles, digo, el visado. No, esperad, mejor dicho decir que no me dejaban renovar el visado. Después de esperar 4 meses que el gobierno me dé una beca, que me prometieron una plaza antes de agosto, y al final nada, y con más que 5 ofertas de trabajo enseñando inglés, todavía no me dejaban renovarlo, simplemente por ser americana y no europea. Y dos semanas después de volver a los eeuu, después de vender todas mis cosas, alquilar el piso, y despedirme de todos mis amigos y alumnos en España, recibí un email del ministerio de educación con una oferta de trabajo en Madrid que comienza imediatamente. ¡Qué fuerte!

leaving spain

¿Qué hago? 

Acabo de empezar un buen trabajo aquí donde hablo mucho español, pasar tiempo con amigos y con mi familia, los que no he visto hace más que un año. No es lo mismo, pero siempre intento mirar estas cosas de una perspectiva positiva.

Y sobre todo, que en los últimos días en España era cuando empecé a realizar mi sueño escondido de hacerme escritora profesional de viajes (¿lo he traducido bien?)  de ser travel blogger; ya he empezado planificar unos viajes por el mundo después de las navidades, igual me traslado a otro país nuevo. Ahora todo es secreto pero pronto revelaré todo aquí en mi blog, shhhhh!

Los últimos dos años han sido inolvidables. Ha sido una experiencia única, más que especial. Me enamoré totalmente de España, de la gente y la cultura, el paisaje y la diversidad, y (lo más importante) la comida, los pinchos, y el vino tinto buenísimo riojano! ¿Sabéis lo que vale una botella de reserva en ámerica? ¡Más que triple! Ya me muero de falta de buen vinto tinto aquí! ¡Alguien me debe mandar una botella de Marqués de Riscal 2006 por favor!

leaving spain

Pero si volveré a España ahora, ¿está seguro que puedo repetir estas experiencias tan perfectas? ¿O sería mejor seguir con mis planes, seguir desarrollando este blog y el contenido, y seguir con mi vida aquí? España siempre estará allí, igual con una comunidad menos, pero de todas formas allí.

¿Debería mirar esta vuelta no anticipada a casa como oportunidad para probar algo nuevo? Yo sé que para mí España es mi país, y viviré allí otra vez pronto, pero ahora, soy ciudadana del mundo, y quiero explorar y ver todo lo que puedo. He dejado parte de mi alma, de mi mismo en un piso pequeño en Logroño, pero en este momento estoy contenta con todo lo que he aprendido, con mis amigos majos, y con la garantía de vuelta a España un día. 

Así que no digo adiós ni me despido de nadie. En vez de decir esto, solo digo hasta la próxima.

Besos, Liz xx

(¿Qué tal mi español? ¿Escribo fatal?)

¿Qué pensáis? ¿Si estuvieseis en mi lugar, qué haríais? Algunga vez habéis tenido que despediros de un lugar que habéis amado? 

¡No olvidéis seguirme en Facebook!

leaving spain

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55 Comments on “The Long Farewell: Hasta Luego, Spain!

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  1. Another wonderfully-written post, Liz, one straight from the heart; I could really feel the emotions you were struggling with as you had to make this hard decision. And I can almost relate to your frustration with Spain dragging their heels (they placed me in early July—phew!). Sadly typical.

    Although, I am looking forward very much to seeing where your next adventure takes you! I like your down-to-earth, informative style, and can’t wait to read about your “hush-hush” location 😛

    BTW I enjoyed reading the Spanish half of your post. Did you ever take the DELE while in Spain? I feel like you could probably ace the C2 test after spending five years on and off in the country 😀

    1. Gracias Trevor!

      This one was a killer to write, but it needed to be said. so glad you liked it!

      hush-hush location will be announced soon, hopefully 😛

      Glad you liked the Spanish side, I’m trying to branch out and try some new things. I never took the DELE, too lazy and I didn’t think it would be that helpful for me. Are you gonna take it? I know some people who have and were happy with it.

      1. Yeah—it’s definitely not for everyone and I guess since you know that travel blogging/writing is the field you want to get into, having the DELE credentials just wouldn’t be worth the time and €€€ spent on preparation & fees.

        I’d like to take the test at the end of two years in Spain (and a college major hehe) because I feel like it would open up more opportunities, be that working in business, education, or government. At the moment, I don’t know what’s the next step after language assistant, so the more options the better, I guess!

      2. That’s a good way to think of it, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think you’d really need the DELE credentials looking for a job in the states. Just saying you spent X amount of time living abroad in Spain and speaking fluent Spanish is a HUGE plus! I got several job offers just off of that since being back. Really think if it’s necessary before taking the steps for the exam 😀

  2. Spain toys around with us all, I think. I’m similar to Cat in that I’m here for the boy. Lame, but it’s true. I think I wouldn’t have the energy to fight to stay here if I had to. Now that you’re free, so to speak, you can go off and build your blog the way you want to. I’m not a big travel blogger or anything but I really hope you succeed!

  3. Shame you’re not coming to join us auxies in Madrid, but I agree with the other commenters that this is a wonderful opportunity to continue exploring the world. I’m loving Madrid so far, but I’ve already decided I won’t renew a second year. I have dreams of volunteering in India, tutoring at summer camps in Asia, living in the middle of nowhere Georgia and studying Portuguese in Brazil just in time for the 2014 world cup. Ya ves, somos compatriotas! …ciudadanas del mundo 😉 Suerte, Liz!

    1. I haven’t completely tossed out Madrid yet, but I think it’s not gonna happen. I haven’t even gotten my school placement yet. follow your dreams girl! Glad to hear from someone like me! I want to volunteer in India or Asia or anywhere really. I need to get out of my comfort zone of Europe haha.

  4. Great post, and you seem to have such an amazing attitude about this new stage and adventure! I’ve been reading (and loving!) your blog for a while, but haven’t commented until now. So excited to live vicariously through you and hear about your upcoming plans. And if you ever want to meet up for coffee or drinks in DC, that would be awesome =) Good luck!

    1. I’m so glad you finally commented! Thanks!

      We should totally meet up! Send me an email or tweet me sometime and we can make some plans!

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