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!
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.
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.