Just Under 3 Weeks Until Spain…

It’s officially just under 3 weeks until I board that plane in Chicago to head over to the land of tapas, sunshine, and siestas: Spain! That’s only 2o days and counting, folks.

While my excitement to leave is tough to contain, I still have quite a bit to get done before shipping out. This became all the more real to me once I made out a list of things I need to do before I leave the other day at work.

This Friday I am officially done with work, and while I’ll miss all the people there, I can’t say the same for the work itself. However, I need to put all my knowledge down on paper so my replacement will know what’s going on. Unfortunately, I haven’t been too good at that over the past 3 years; otherwise, this transition would have been a lot less work. Compiling my knowledge on of 200 social service agencies in Milwaukee, writing up a customer service plan for new people I would have been training, and making sure all my random notes can actually be read is more of an undertaking than I imagined. Plus, the most important and difficult part is saying goodbye to people.

For me, it will be a large transition from working 40+ hours of work a week at desk where I knew exactly what the next day would bring to venturing to Spain and teaching English, something I’ve never done before. I’m up for the challenge and cannot wait for all it will bring!


We live in the upper flat.


As for my current living arrangement, I live in an awesome apartment with two great roommates whom I’ve known since 1st and 7th grade. Aside from simply moving out by my fly out date, our lease goes through November, so I’m doing my best to find someone to take over my portion of the lease, especially because my roommates want to stay there. That fact helps me too because they are actively looking for someone to move in too. If no one does, it’s ultimately not the end of the world as I’ll only be on the hook for an extra two months of rent.

Cleaning. Donating. Moving.

Cleaning. Donating. Moving.

And then, there’s the getting rid of stuff part. I’m hoping to only bring a suitcase and a large, carry-on backpack. This means going through my closet and dresser multiple times and separating stuff into keep and donate piles. It’s actually gone a lot better than I would have thought. Typically, I’m a bit of a pack rat and don’t throw things out, but through this process, I have realized that I don’t need all these more material things. I’ve also realized that I have clothes in the back of my closet that I haven’t touched in 6 months. Can you say “donate pile!”

Ugh, then come the questions. Questions, questions, questions….

What to do with my car?


Applying for a credit card? I somehow have made it through life without one thus far. Also, a big thank you to Nomadic Matt on this one!

Do I have all my documentation for my NIE/TIE?

Figuring out my phone situation…

And the big one, deciding what to pack!

There is just a ton of stuff I need to get done before leaving, and more importantly, in my eyes, is being able to spend as much quality time with family and friends as possible which is why I’ve been posting a little less frequently than normal.

It’s truly an odd feeling being excited for a new adventure and being so bogged down and overwhelmed in the present. I feel as though moving to Spain isn’t actually happening in just 20 days. When people ask me about Spain and my trip, lately I’ve felt that my true excitement and passion has not been visible.

Each day as I cross things off of my To-Do list, it magically seems to grow. This could be a primary reason for my sense of feeling overwhelmed and not as excited. It could also be because I’m having to already say goodbye to friends and family, even though my departure date is still a few weeks away. That’s an odd feeling itself because it’s essentially prolonging the stage of me saying goodbye, or more like see you later. Every time I go out and do something with friends or family, I realize that it will be probably be the last time, for a year at least. And while I realize it, I sometimes chose to deny it because while 20 days is not a lot of time, it still isn’t tomorrow or the next day which puts a crimp in my overall excitement.

However, I believe that it’s just hard for me to fathom right now that I’m giving up a completely known future for one that is unwritten. Maybe I’ll stay in Spain for a year, and maybe I’ll stay forever. Heck, I may even wind up in a totally new country next year, or in 30 new countries. Who knows?

For the last 3 years of my 9 to 5 working life, plus most of my life before that, I have, for the most part, known what each day will bring. This is a completely new adventure that will both challenge and reward me in more ways than I ever could have imagined. My excitement to move to Spain is still there; it always has been. It’s just buried deep down under my list of to-do’s (it doesn’t help I’m a procrastinator), my denial, and a little bit of fear of the unknown. I don’t think that my true excitement and passion for my adventure will truly hit me until I land in Madrid, eat my first pincho on Calle Laurel in Logroño, and have my first sip of that delicious Rioja wine. Then, it will truly hit me that I am living my dream.

20 responses to “Just Under 3 Weeks Until Spain…

  1. I have less than 3 weeks as well, and it definitely feels surreal. I absolutely agree that excitement can be buried under a to-do list, mine sure is. I’m now the owner of a credit card per Nomadic Matt’s suggestions too, lol. Lately I’ve been reading blogs trying to figure out how to pack…

    Getting rid of stuff feels great, I had a big yard sale back in July. And I had to pack up my classroom and house items and move this summer. Now I’m back at home till I leave. I’m leaving my car and belongings with family. What would we do without them?

    Hang in there, Spain is so close!

    • Couldn’t agree more! I am very grateful that my parents are willing to store some of my stuff at their houses. Without them, I’d be jamming it in a backpack or suitcase or parting with stuff I’m not quite willing to part with. We’re almost there!

  2. It sounds like you have quite a handle on things. You may not cross off all the things on your to-do list, but everything will work out in the end.

    I finished my twelve week summer internship last week, and I leave for my year studying abroad in Spain in five days! I can definitely relate to some of the emotions you’re feeling.

    Take it a day at a time and you’ll be in Spain before you know it!

    • Given my delayed response to your comment, my guess is that you are just getting ready to leave now! How exciting! Where in Spain will you be? Maybe I’ll see you over there!

  3. I still haven’t gotten my visa yet but last night I went ahead and bit the bullet, buying my last roundtrip plane tickets to Spain. Even though I’ve been doing this for two years now, it’s the big steps like this that make it all seem Real–as in, A Thing That Is Happening. Good luck on figuring out what to do with your car and getting a new roommate!

    • Thanks, Trevor! I’m sure that bitting the bullet always makes it seem more real. I just had my last day of work yesterday which made things seem all the more real.

  4. This post encapsulates everything I am also feeling right now! Especially the part about being so bogged down by the present and trying to get as much friend/family time in as possible, which makes it seems like we aren’t really leaving in 20 days etc. Its hard saying goodbye to people when it doesn’t feel like it is even happening.

    Hope you enjoy your last couple weeks at home, really enjoy your blog btw!

    • Thank you, Laura! I had my last day of work yesterday and now can pack, enjoy time with family and friends, and get ready. It’ll be easier now because I can pack and do stuff while all my family and friends are at work. Enjoy your last few weeks at home, and I’ll see you over in Spain!

  5. The to-do list is always daunting at first, particularly the moment that you actually arrive in Spain. I think the most important thing to remember is that as long as you’re prioritising, not everything needs to be done at once! Enjoy your first few pinchos first and relax 🙂

  6. You are not alone! Just when you cross something off the list, two more tasks get added. Good luck winding down your responsibilities in the states; I will see you across the pond!

    • Thanks, Ashley! I had my last day of work yesterday and now it feels all the more real. Although, I still have a ton to do. See you over in Spain!

  7. great! only 3 weeks to get to this beautiful country..i am absolutely sure that you will have a good time whether you only stay for 1 year or your whole lifetime..who knows how long you will stay? only God knows..in case that God exists…

    you mention Rioja wines? yes they are good, but overrated as well…try Jumilla or Ribera del Duero, above all Jumilla ‘cos they come from my region 🙂

    by the way, i read that you are going to watch Packers matches before you come to Spain ‘cos you think that in Spain you’ll not have NFL or american rugger as many of us prefer to call it…well let me tell you that you can get all the NFL that you wish whilever you pay for it, haha…i mean, only if you get a pay-per-view channel that offers foreign sports you will have the chance to watch it, as you will not find them on the normal TV channels, that is as sure as my name is Pedro.

    please note that by saying normal channels i mean the national public channel TVE, many national private channels like Telecinco, Antena 3, etc and regional channels.

    • I just finished my last day of work yesterday, so now I have two and a half weeks to pack and get ready for the bug move to Spain. I can’t wait, and you can be sure I’ll be trying all the wines, not just Rioja!

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