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.
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.
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!
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.
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.