With only a month and a half before my departure to Almuñécar, Spain, I’ve been thinking more and more about what my goals for this adventure will be. I’m going into this with an open mind hoping to grow a lot as a person. As my time in Spain progresses, I’ll revisit this list and update it – hopefully with positive news!
Improve my Spanish
I would assess my Spanish to be at an intermediate level. It’s certainly nowhere near fluency, but I am able to make conversation (at least in the U.S.), and can understand most of what I hear. Obviously living in a Spanish speaking country and working with Spaniards will immerse me in the language, and in a sense, force me to improve my Spanish while teaching in Spain. When I studied abroad, my Spanish skills increased ten-fold, but have since regressed as they have been used little. I completely understand that fluency won’t ever come without lots and lots of hard work and effort. I plan to put myself out there, and really do my utmost best improving my Spanish.
Get an idea if I want to go into teaching or not.
There are many former and current auxiliares de conversaciónes who have said that the teaching part of the program can be limited. unfortunately, a major drawback to the program is that your experience can vary widely depending on what school you’re in and who your school coordinator is. Working in the education field has always been an interest of mine, and I’m hoping that teaching in Spain will help me get an idea of whether or not I want to continue my career in education or not. I’m going into this with a completely open mind, so whichever type of experience I end up having I will be ready for it and will not regret it.
Make friends from all over the world.
Since I’ll be living abroad, I figure it’s only natural to want to make friends while I’m there. They may be other auxiliares, Spaniards, or a multitude of other nationalities. I’ve always surrounded myself with my friends, so in traveling to a foreign land, it will be important to me to make friends with people. I don’t think this will be too much of a problem as long as I’m willing to step outside my comfort zone and open myself up to the limitless possibilities that come with teaching in Spain. Here’s to hoping my roommate(s) will be a good start to this goal. I’ve already started meeting people from all over the world and consider them friends, although only virtual ones at this point, since I’ve started this blog.
Stay in contact with friends and family back home.
I will be keeping in contact with my plethora of close friends and family back home as best as I can from thousands of miles away. The distance and time difference can make it tough, but this is very important to me as my family and friends are everything to me. Most importantly, they’re the ones who have encouraged me to take this step and go on this adventure. Without their support, I would most likely not be doing this. Thanks to the inventions of Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp, and other social media it will be easier than ever to update them with pictures, send them messages, and talk to them “face-to-face.”
Prove to myself I can live in another country.
Yes, yes. Technically I did this when I was studying abroad. However, this time around I will have found a job, applied for a Visa, rented an apartment, bought food, and done laundry all on my own as opposed to doing it through a study abroad program. Nothing against studying abroad, as I still say that it was the best decision I made in college, but I’m looking forward to the challenges and rewards of proving to myself that I can successfully live in another country with a different language than my native tongue and be happy. There will be ups and downs, but proving to myself that I can do this is very important to me.
Try new things.
In coming into this experience with and open mind, I will be looking to experience anything and everything that I can. Whether it’s new food, awkward situations, or adventure sports, I will be excited to try it out. These next 9 months – or more – will be about stepping outside my comfort zone and having the adventure of a lifetime. Doing this is something that most only dream about, and then make excuses as to why they cannot do it. Well, I will be doing it, so I am going to be taking full advantage of it! Plus, when I was growing up my Mom would always tell me at the dinner table, “You have to at least try everything on your plate. If you don’t try everything once, ho are you going to be a world traveler?”
First off, thank you Mom, and secondly, Hey Mom! I’m really doing this! I am traveling the world!
There are no ands, ifs, or buts about it. I want to travel while I’m in Spain. This includes both within and outside of Spain. There’s not too much to say because I believe that this goal is fairly obvious. After all, this is a travel blog, and I’ve already written a post on where I want to travel to.
Build this blog.
When I first started looking into teaching abroad, I talked to everyone I knew about it and then began perusing the internet in search of all the information I could find. I fell in love with reading people’s tales of travel, adventure, and living outside of society’s standard of a 9 to 5 and following their dreams. As my journey through this thing we call life continues, I plan to update my blog – more frequently than I have been in recent months – because not only will it help me achieve a previous goal of helping those back home know what I’m doing, but it has also been something I’ve enjoyed building. I’ve surprisingly found myself enjoying this whole blogging thing more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve almost met a bunch of wonderful people who have been incredibly supportive and encouraging, even though they have never even met me in person. Thank you! I can’t wait to meet all of you at some point!
Live with no regrets.
Aside from this being something I generally try to do, I will be trying to do this while I teach abroad. If you’ve been following this blog at all, I’ve gone through a fair number of life events since applying for the auxiliar de conversación program. After I finally applied for the program and was all geared up and ready to go, I had some swings in emotion and thoughts towards the program. At some points, I was ready to jump on that plane, and at others, I was ready to leave it all behind. Maybe this had to do with the lull between applying and finding out my placement. In between there, I got two promotions at work and broke up with my girlfriend. These events complied with family health issues, leaving friends behind, and just leaving all familiarity behind in general contributed to me sometimes wavering on my decision to teach in Spain. However, I’m gladly going now! I do not want to think about the past and have regrets. I know the if I did not go to teach English in Spain that I would have regretted that forever and always wondered what if?
What are your goals for teaching in Spain, your next big trip, or just life in general?