Musings with Only 7 Days Left

7 days, one week, 168 hours…

Time has certainly flown by. I am both having a difficult time wrapping my head around the fact that I leave in one week and how am I going to get everything I need done in one week. There so much to do, so many people to spend time with, and so many loose ends I need to wrap up before jet setting off to Spain.

I’ve dreamt of going to Spain–living in Spain–for four-and-a-half years now. Now, it’s only a week away. It seems like just yesterday that I quit my job to truly begin this adventure, but in reality, that was over a month ago!

With only a week left to go before moving to Spain for at least the better part of year, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts, musings, and feelings as I countdown to my big move to Spain.

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Where did all the time go?

As I’ve already mentioned, time truly has flown by. When I quit my job to teach in Spain, I gave myself two-and-a-half weeks after leaving work to fully prepare for moving to Spain. This meant moving out of my apartment, getting any last minute stuff I needed, seeing family and friends, and trying not to totally freak out about the life-changing adventure I was about to embark on.

Today, I’m about halfway moved out, almost have everything I need done, my “practice pack” went well, and I haven’t totally freaked out, but I time really feels like it’s whizzing right by when it comes to family and friends. I’ve tried to spend every waking second with them. Well, except when they’re all at work and I’m here moving, packing, and running errands. While time seems short, I know deep down that even if I gave myself more time to prep for Spain, I would have procrastinated with doing anything substantial on the moving front until now anyways, which would have just about killed my mom.

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There are so many loose ends to tie up…

When I decided that I was going to go teach in Spain (ahem, this year), I thought I had everything all set to go in my head, but as my departure date came closer to the present and less of a distant date somewhere out into the future, I realized how many small, little things there are that need to be taken care of. I knew my phone needed to be unlocked, my suitcases packed with whatever clothes I wanted, and all my NIE/TIE and Visa documents had to be ready to go when I arrived. However, I didn’t consider all the time it would take to move, especially getting rid of all the stuff I had accumulated over the past few years. So much was donated, and so much was tossed.

Then there was my car. Do I store it? Sell it? How much was insurance going to be if I kept it? Did I want to deal with selling it? Long story short, I haven’t 100% decided what I want to do with it. I will be keeping it and storing it. I just don’t know where yet. It’s not a fancy car by any means (2000 Ford Taurus with scratches and a cracked bumper), but I think I can store it for cheap at a friends cabin. Plus, the insurance only ended up being $5 per month. Not ideal, but I will probably sell it next summer if I decided to return to Spain.

Aside from the car, there’s doctor’s appointments, calling my bank, getting a new credit card, opening a Charles Schwab checking account, and buying some things before I leave that I can’t necessarily buy in Spain. Oh yeah, and buying my bus ticket from Madrid to Logroño for the day I arrive. I just remembered that one!

Plaza de España - Sevilla, Spain

Plaza de España – Sevilla, Spain

Confidence.

Luckily, I still feel 100% confident in my decision to do this. Although, not going into work every day knowing what to expect with be a change. I had a friend pose a question to me last night, “So, do you regret your decision yet?”

My response was a resounding NO that I followed up with saying that in all honesty there will probably come a time while living in Spain that I do feel like I regret my decision based on homesickness, culture shock, or just something else. I’m well aware of the ups and downs of moving abroad, and while I’m prepared to deal with them, that doesn’t necessarily stop the downs from occurring.

On a more positive note, I wondered if after leaving my job to teach abroad if I would be regretting doing so, and I haven’t thought that once. In fact, I know I made the right decision and am really excited to be going. I’m not entirely sure the full weight of this adventure will hit me until I’m a few weeks in though, being that it may just feel like a slightly extended vacation up until that point. I’m good with that though. This is an adventure, and an adventure is what I wanted.

adventure hobbit photo: Hobbit- Going on an Adventure Bilbo-Adventure_zps3dae882f.gif

Overused, but accurate.

How will my daily activities change in Spain?

This sort of plays into the unknown factor that many potential auxiliares deal with. I’ve gotten used to my life in the US and have a standard routine when it comes to things. Some of this is good, and some is bad. Moving to Spain will undoubtedly shake up that routine, which is good. However, I do want to keep some of that routine going when I’m in Spain.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t say routine. Basically, I want to continue writing this blog and staying active and healthy. Without knowing my work schedule (or social schedule), it’s difficult to think too far in advance and know when I’ll have time write and go running. Being at a school for adults, I’m assuming my classes will be more evening-based, so I may have to switch my running to the morning. It’s not really a big change at all but is something that has crossed my mind as I look ahead to the opportunity that is just beyond the present.

These are just a few of the more prevalent thoughts that have gone through my mind as I ponder the week ahead. Many goodbyes have been had, but there are many more to come as well. It will be a big week, both in terms of having to get stuff done and emotionally dealing with the adventure that lies in front of me. When I boil it down, I almost cannot describe how excited I am to begin this adventure of a lifetime because, well, that’s simply what it is.

 

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18 responses to “Musings with Only 7 Days Left

  1. So in one week I leave to go teach in South Korea for a year and I was just debating whether or not to write a post like this, you pretty much summed up all of my own thoughts! It definitely seems like the time with my family and friends is dwindling away and I don’t want it to! I too haven’t decided what to do with my car, going to let it sit in my parents driveway I suppose while I continue to make payments on it! Not ideal at all. Good luck in your move and your new adventure!

    • How exciting! First off, good luck in South Korea! I considered teaching there, and may in the future, so I’ll definitely be following along on your adventures. Having a car and deciding what to do with it is definitely a pain. Since mine will be parked and not being driven, my insurance company said it would only be $5 per month for the comprehensive insurance. Enjoy your time with family and friends over the next few days!

  2. Wow I can’t believe it’s a week away! I gave myself two weeks after my last day of work to prepare also and it’t not enough time! Haha! I left everything to the last minute of course. I’m having so much trouble deciding what I want to do with my cell phone since I’m still in contract. This is stressful haha. I guess it’s preparing me for spain! See you in Spain =)

    • Haha. That does sounds stressful. I’m in a similar boat though. My phone is out of the two-year contract, but it’s also dying. The battery lasts maybe half a day, and many of the buttons don’t work. I’ve had it for 4 years, so I guess that’s what I should expect. I’m debating just biting the bullet and buying an unlocked phone in the states that will work over in Spain.

  3. I’m leaving for Spain exactly two weeks from today so I totally feel you right now! Glad to hear you got the logistics of your car all squared away–and $5 a month for continued insurance isn’t a bad deal at all. Have you considered taking the train to Logroño? You might be able to find some promo price train tickets on Renfe’s website if you look online now…plus their website is marginally more dependable/user-friendly than Alsa’s

    • I’m glad you can relate, Trevor, even though this is your third time getting ready to leave for Spain. I’ll take a look at the train. Last time I checked, the train and bus were about equal time, but the train was quite a bit more expensive. I’ll check the promo price though!

    • Sadly there’s not a direct train from Madrid to Logroño, (Logroño is quite poorly connected with other big cities) so it’s probably better to go buy bus (Alsa or PLM).

  4. I was silly and gave myself like 4 days from when I quit to when I left. Thank goodness my boss was super awesome and let me go a few days early (with pay… thank goodness) so that I wasn’t so stressed anymore. This is going to be such a life changing experience and like you say, you can’t really plan how it’s going to change everything, you’ll just have to adapt. As for your car, I had the same dilema. Once I realized that a life of travel was for me, I definitely sold her (my car’s name was Rosita). It was my last real physical tie to a life in the US (besides friends and family) and it was hard but it was very freeing as well. Can’t wait to see where you go with this all! 🙂

    • That was so nice of your boss to give you a few extra days! I can’t imagine having only 4 days to get ready. I leave in 5 days and by this Friday I’m hoping to be all ready to go. Then, I can just enjoy my last weekend with friends and family.

      • You are a much more prepared planner than I am! I was finishing moving out of my apartment the day I left the country eek! Your last weekend will be good and emotional, and leaving your mother will be hard but teaching is Amazing! You’re going to love your monsters, ahem… Children. I can’t wait to see how it all goes 🙂

  5. life is an adventure Mike..and even if you feel homesick or sad after some time in Spain you should not regret…life is short, we are doomed to die sooner or later as we are just lifeforms, so better if you see the positive side if regretting later.

    by the way, do you mean only 5 dollars monthly of your car insurance? wow! that is bloody cheap! only 60 dollars per year!! and still i tend to read some other bloggers who claim that Spain is cheaper than the USA…no way Mike!

    Spain as any other European country is terrible more expensive than the USA, in fact Spain is one of the Europe’s most expensive countries in terms of petrol, water bill, electricity bill, taxes, etc……because you mentally adjust to a 700 or 1000 euros salary being Auxiliar does not mean that Spain is cheaper…i can prove it with lots of real facts, but such a thing is an offtopic so i shalln’t do it of course unless you bring up a new blog post about it after some time in Spain 🙂

    • Thanks! My car insurance in the US is actually around between $50-60 per month. It will be $5 per month when I am in Spain because the car is being stored and not being driven. Sorry for the miscommunication on that!

  6. Hi Mike! I’ve just found your blog as I was looking for English native speakers in Logroño. I live here so if you want someone who knows the city and someone you can do a language
    exchange with just send me an e-mail!

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Daniela

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