4th November: I’m Home

Good afternoon, or morning, or evening, from Toledo!

IMG_20170904_190257_HDR

Not the best pic, but my balcony view!

So…it’s been two months since I wrote anything on this blog. Yikes. I think any “travel blogger” (or in my case, wannabe-travel-blogger) commits to writing a certain amount of posts before they take any big trip. But then, we actually get to our destination, and the adventure just takes over. Whether you’re cruising the Mediterranean, hiking the jungles of Brasil, or building a¬†life in a completely new country, it can be hard to remember to post. No worries to the few people who actually read this blog, because I am back, and pledge to write more every week!
In which case, you’ll likely hear from me again in two more months. ūüėõ

The main reason I haven’t posted on this blog is because I am super busy! Welcome to Spain as an¬†auxiliar de conversaci√≥n¬†or “language assistant.” I will post more about my school and a breakdown of the types of things I do in a different post, for anyone interested in doing a similar program in Spain and what to truly expect. But as a quick breakdown, I have been:

1. Teaching/Assisting
I work 24 hours per week (the maximum number of hours assigned at random by the BEDA program) at a¬†concertado, which is a school that is half-public, half private. Some things are paid for by the local authority while some are paid for the families who attend. I have 24 different classes of students ranging from 7 years of age to 18, from 2nd Primary to 2nd Bachillerato. In the Canadian education system, this translates to kids from Grade 2-12. It’s sometimes difficult to manage activities and games for such a diverse age range, but I love to prep for my classes and discuss ideas with my fellow teachers. They are all very sweet and eager to practice their English, but are also gracious in allowing me to practice my Spanish with them too! Every day we have a “coffee break” in the staff room which makes me feel super professional, haha. I am able to chat with the teachers there and we also have lunch together. I may work more hours than some of my other friends in different programs, and work Monday to Friday, with only weekends off, but I am really enjoying it and feel that teaching is, in some form at least, my true calling.

2. Private classes
Compared to Canadian cities of the same size, the cost of living in Toledo is fairly cheap, and the monthly stipend provided by my school is definitely enough to cover basic expenses like food and rent. I have leftover cash to go out with friends and grudgingly pay my student loan back at home since I wasn’t able to defer it. However, most people come to Spain with the plan to travel around Europe, which is half the fun! While I did save money before I came, I also took up the practice of doing¬†clases privadas here in Spain, all gained solely by word of mouth from my fellow teachers. Basically, I spend around an hour with each person (mostly children aged 8-15) providing English conversation practice. Education here in Spain is great when it comes to grammar and such, but like any language, English is best learned by speaking out loud! Parents know their kids can be shy in a class of 25+ and so they often get native speakers to provide this conversation time and pay a fee. I have 10-11 clients (depending on their schedule sometimes) that I do this with every week from Mon-Fri. Some of my friends also do lessons at English academies in their free time. It’s a necessary thing to do here if you want to save some money, but I really enjoy it!

22850254_10155081657140975_982845227_o

Just some prep!

3. Making friends
Lame, I know, but I’ve met a tonne of great people already here in Toledo! Besides my fellow staff members, I’ve made friends with many other¬†auxiliares¬†through connections like regional Facebook groups. We love to go out to explore the city, and I’ll admit that it’s really nice to speak in my own language in a non-academic/teaching kind of way. I’m so happy I’ve met so many people, although I’ve yet to meet any fellow Canadians ūüė¶
I also spend a lot of time with my roommates, who are all Spanish and don’t speak too much English. But I don’t mind, because my Spanish has improved immensely, even in just two months! We watch TV together and hit the gym, which has been an interesting experience on its own, without the foreign language thrown in! The families of my private-class kids have also been super welcoming, often making me a meal or snack while in their home.

22834584_10155081658825975_1268784450_n

My roommates and I at the bar!

4. Trying to make the most of my down-time
Between teaching, private lessons, prepping for lessons, hanging with my friends, hitting the gym, and doing normal person things like, ya know, eating and sleeping… I’ve been trying to maximize what little down time I have by improving my Spanish! I got a library card to take books out in the target language instead of buying them, and that proved to be a big help, because the first book I checked out (a young adult novel) was written at a much higher level than I can comprehend. I have around a B1-B2 level in Spanish, which is to say, fairly conversation and can discuss a wide variety of topics with ease, but still not fluent and lacks significant vocabulary or grammar poignancy to be considered fluent. In order to learn more vocab, I borrowed some primary level books from my school, notably¬†The Adventures of Geronimo Stilton. I comprehend about 90% of the books, and although they’re a bit infantile, I love using the context of the words I know to learn new ones. Another favourite tactic of mine to learn is to watch TV with Spanish audio and Spanish subtitles. I’m at a good enough level to understand most of it, but if I have the Spanish subs on, it forces me to read it and think, not just see the translation in English. I find it helps to watch shows I’m familiar with already, like The Big Bang Theory, Spongebob, or The Simpsons.

But down-time with a lazy brain is also important. I finally watched¬†Stranger Things and loved it, I watch Vine compilations¬†a lot (RIP VINE), especially when I’m feeling down. I read books in English, write poems, research travel destinations, and make pros and cons lists of options for teaching/living abroad in the next few years. A big thing among expat friends here is that we feel we always have to be¬†doing something because, duh, we’re in SPAIN and should be maximizing every moment! But we’re also in Spain for seven more months. There is time. If you’re in a similar situation, just breathe, and take time for yourself.

IMG_20170910_115511

A cable car in Porto

This is getting pretty lengthy, so without going into detail, I have also: traveled to Portugal (my fourteenth country!), gotten a really terrible cough¬†AND food poisoning, navigated the Spanish red tape of getting my ID cards in order, been to the hospital (for the terrible cough, I didn’t know how to make a doc appointment), been to a Maluma concert in Madrid, went to a few Spanish National Day events, cooked a lot more for myself, embarrassed myself countless times at the supermarket, and stayed awake until 5am partying Spanish-style.

IMG_20171006_123728

National day celebrations (Guardia Civil)

I love it here, and encourage anyone who has a similar dream to go for it!

xoxo Cady

 

3rd September: Toledo Livin’

Well, I’ve made it! After a long wait at the airport in Toronto, a relatively quick-seeming flight to Madrid, an even quicker train ride to Toledo, and countless muscle aches from dragging my 60 pound suitcase all over the cobblestone streets, I’m here. I’m living in Toledo, Spain!

21247697_10154944389490975_1866733472_o.jpg

View of the Old Town about five minutes walking up from the train station!

Toledo is beautiful, but I can already tell I’m going to get a work out just by walking from my apartment to my school. There are so many hills! It appears to be split between the “old” town and the new and is fairly navigable. I’ve already downloaded a helpful city bus app, which also has information about out of town buses. (If you’re spending any longer than a day in the city, I’d highly recommend it; I found it by searching “Toledo Bus” in the app store.)

I spent my first two nights here in an Air BNB, my first one ever! I’ve always been a bit wary of things like Uber and related companies just because it seemed so sketchy to me. A room in a person’s house? For a night? Is it like a hotel or a hostel? I have the keys to their house? I stayed in a bottom floor flat with a room to myself, sharing the bathroom and common areas with two others who I rarely saw. My only complaint would be that the place was difficult to find. The street “Callejon de Cura” might as well have been an alleyway with how tiny it was, and signage in Spain makes it tough to spot the street name until you’re basically there. But otherwise, it was cozy and a great way to start my adventure in Toledo!
Click here for a link the one I stayed at, my hostess Manuela was very kind and helpful, especially when I told her I was looking for an apartment. She called a few of her contacts and told me about the neighbourhoods of Toledo.

Afterwards, the real work began: my apartment hunt. I’ve been back in Spain for almost five days now, and already I’ve experienced one of my least favourite things about the country…the attitude of “ma√Īana.” This Spanish word means “tomorrow,” but is also a common joke about how slow the pace of life is in Spain, because here, everything can wait until “ma√Īana.” I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to be laid back, but I need an apartment! Hello! I messaged probably 40 people in total regarding their ads for rentable rooms, most of them on the Spanish renting site idealista.com. Around ten didn’t respond to my messages at all, more than fifteen were already rented out (then why is your ad still up? Because ma√Īana, probably), and a few ended up being out of my price range. I saw four places in total and ended up in one in the neighbourhood of Buenavista.

21329692_10154951306195975_192468037_o

Buenavista is Spanish for “great view,” and that’s what I’ve got! -From my balcony

I have a different job than a lot of Spaniards, so it’s hard for me to say if life in Spain is low-cost. I mean, for me, it totally is…my room costs me 200 euros per month including the internet, cable, water, gas, electricity, etc. and came furnished with a bed, armario (I don’t know the English word for this lmao), an armchair, a desk, and a desk chair. The neighbourhood is beautiful and I’m on the 6th floor, the only fly in that ointment being that our elevator is currently broken… time to get fit I guess. I live with three Spanish women which will hopefully help me learn this language to fluency even faster. There’s also a POOL in this complex that will 1. hopefully be open for another couple weeks as it’s like 34 degrees here and 2. may have been my deciding factor in picking this apartment over others I saw. It might be a 30 minute walk to my school, but I’m committed to my fitness goals this time around in Spain, and if all else fails, the bus is right outside the gate!

Tomorrow I’ll be finalizing the contract to live here, and I can’t wait! I still have two days after that until BEDA orientation, and on the 9th I’ll be off to Portugal to kill some time before classes officially begin on 18th September!

xoxo Cady

I’m Going Back to SPAIN!

Hi everyone! I’m a bit delayed in writing this post, but I’ve been so excited, I’ve barely had the time to think! Look what came into my email the other day:

Capture

That’s right, your girl got a spot in the BEDA program to teach English in Toledo, Spain from September 2017 to June 2018! Why would I want to do this, you ask? Well, there are a few reasons. The first is that I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, but over here in Canada, most of our college applications require some¬†experience. And I have none! So I figured why not gain some valuable teaching practice in a lovely place like Spain? That’s reason number two: I fell in love with Spain years ago and have been itching to go back ever since. Almost exactly three years later, here I’ll go! ūüôā

toledo-spain-896x448

I’ll be teaching here! Image from:¬†https://nationaltokens.com/7-new-locations-toledo-spain/

Wow, was this ever an agonizing wait! I joined Facebook groups for both the¬†BEDA and¬†Auxiliar programs, and I’ve been anxiously watching others post their acceptances since I returned from Varadero in early May. I even racked up some pretty hefty roaming charges while in Cuba, because I was constantly checking my email for word! The year before, I heard pretty quickly from BEDA, but this year seemed to take more time. Finally, on May 17th, I had my answer!

The letter I got details my assignment (primary and high school students) and the amount of hours I’ll work each week. 24 may not seem like a lot, but in fact it’s the maximum you could be working with BEDA! Positions are assigned from 18-24 hours and are given at random. It’s a lighter work load because we’ll also be taking classes about teaching theory through the University of Comillas. I’m not sure what to expect from those, but I’m sure they’ll look great on a resume.

toledo2

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1328388/Spain-weekend-breaks-Toledo-steel-heart.html

I’ll be living in a city with roughly 83,000 people, but it’s only 45 minutes from the Spanish capital of Madrid. Heart eyes! I have to confess, even though I spent nearly five months in and around Spain in 2014 during my exchange, I’ve never been to Madrid or most other parts of Spain (broke student life). I’m excited to discover the castles and cobblestones of Toledo, head to Madrid for easy flight-hopping and¬†El Clasico¬†(I’m getting tickets ASAP, baby!), take a train down to Malaga, Cordoba, or Cadiz, and explore the rest of Don Quixote’s province. I also can’t wait to visit the friends I made while living in Bilbao!

The process of applying for a student visa, which we’re technically under since we’ll be studying at Comillas, is a long one, so I promise to detail the steps that lead up to my BEDA experience as I go along! I’ve already put in an application for my national background check to be able to work with children, and I’ve made a massive list splitting up my tasks in nice “To Do” checklists for June, July, and August. Classes start on September 18th, but I’ll be in Spain long before then to apartment hunt and settle in! Oh, and I’m going to Varadero again in two weeks, for possibly the last time for a year! ūüė¶ I’m very sad about being even further from my boyfriend for 9+ long months, but we’ve spoken about this at length, and on a sort of positive note, we’re already used to distance. I’m excited to explore Spain and the rest of Europe, and to be back in one of my favourite countries once again!

Did anyone else apply to BEDA, UCETAM, MEDDEAS or the Auxiliares program in Spain? Anyone in the Madrid/Castilla La Mancha area? I’d love to connect!

xoxo Cady

Go For Spain 2017: BEDA and Auxiliares

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I posted on my blog! This stems from the fact that I declined my BEDA offer last year and instead opted to stay here in Ontario to make some money. Did it turn out to be a good decision? Honestly, I’m on the fence about it. I really do like my job (and its benefits), I’ve met a lot of great friends through work, and I’ve been able to save some money this year which can hopefully go towards a job in Spain in September/more travels. But in contrast, I’ve also been shivering away during yet¬†another Ontario winter, wishing I was eating churros and watching futbol in a tiny bar in Galicia (the place I was supposed to go to with BEDA!). But as they say in El Sal, #socks: eso si que es. I’m back with news though: I’ve applied to both BEDA and Auxiliares de Conversacion for the 2017/2018 school year! I never really planned to stay long here, but I did want to earn some money so that I’d be more comfortable if I did move abroad soon. Here’s hoping I get a job with either one, and here’s an update on both!

BEDA:¬†I applied to BEDA as soon as applications opened in early December, and I received a notification for my ¬†Skype interview several weeks later. I’ll be having it in a week from tomorrow (!), and I’m not too nervous, except for the fact that I did defer my position last year. I hope this won’t affect my chances! I wrote a bit about my experiences with the application process here, and getting the job with BEDA last year¬†here. The interview last year was pleasant, straight-forward, and completely in English. Applications are still open although it does say until January 2017, so I’m not sure when exactly they will close. If you’re interested, apply now through this link!¬†ūüôā

Auxiliares de Conversacion:¬†Last year I ran into a few problems with my application for the known-to-be-disorganized ADC program, which I wrote about here and here. Today I finished my application for the 2017-2018 year, and I’m inscrita (application number) 715. I wanted to be earlier, but I forgot that the applications opened on January 9th at midnight SPAIN time, and not Ontario time. Still, I submitted it, and 715th is not too shabby. I’ve heard that generally return applicants get their first choices and then it all trickles down through the ranks from there. Surprisingly, this year’s application offered not only a choice between your top 3 Spanish autonomous regions, but an option to select Andorra as a first or second choice over Spain. As far as I know, this is the first year that Andorra has been open on the program. I picked it as my second choice, because I really do love Spain, but if I got placed in Andorra I wouldn’t be disappointed. Applications officially opened today and go until 18th April 2017, but placements are on a first come, first serve basis, so apply now if you want one here!

Both programs start giving placements around the end of April/beginning of May, so you may not hear anything for awhile about that, but if I have any updates I’ll be sure to post them. I’ll also soon be writing about a recent trip to Cuba that I took, which was my first big trip since my 2015 China disaster. I have trips planned in 2017 for Cuba (again) and possibly Mexico or the Dominican Republic too. Hopefully September will also be bringing me to Spain or Andorra!

Glad to be back in the travel game ūüôā

xoxo Cady

Guidebooks: Yes or No?

Recently I moved, and fortunately, my house happens to be a ten minute walk from a popular Canadian bookstore chain, where I’ve taken to spending a lot of my time when I’m not at work.

Since I’m still in the process of planning a possible mini-trip, I decided to browse the many guidebooks to Greece, Spain, and Europe in general that the bookstore offered. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I go there almost every day to look through guides and travel stories. It got me thinking: should I get a guidebook for my time in Spain, or for my (hopefully) future trip to Greece? Would it be worth it to spend upwards of $40.00 on something I may only flip through once or twice, especially in an age where we have the internet at our fingertips almost anywhere?

13334286_10153699325165975_1766824266_o (1).jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before my exchange to Spain, I purchased Rough Guides’¬†First Time Europe. It had a lot of professional insight to everything from packing, planning, safety, and even tips for those who planned to study or work abroad. My favourite section was the back, where there were short guides on must-sees in each country in Europe, including sections on Russia and Morocco. I still refer to it from time to time when planning things, because it’s for exactly what it spells out: a first time in Europe, and it’s written in a really nice step-by-step way. Even though I’m onto my second now, the book has proven to be an excellent purchase and something I’ll keep in my luggage when I cross the pond.

But, a book that’s mostly about organizing your adventure is a lot different than a guide strictly devoted to one place or region. In addition to the Rough Guide, I also picked up Lonely Planet’s¬†Discover Spain.

lonely-planet-discover-spain.jpg

I’m going to be honest: Before I started researching schools to apply to for exchange, I had never even heard of Bilbao, the Basque Country, or¬†pintxos (tapas), so I figured it would be a good call to familiarize myself with the regions of Spain. Although my budget ended up restricting me from seeing a lot of Spain back then (something I hope to remedy this time around), I really liked that this book dove into the “best” spots, pointed out all of the neat things about select regions, and didn’t bother going into a detailed description about every single town on the Basque coast. However, some of my best experiences in Spain and other countries happened in places that were a little “off the map,” so I’ve been toying with the idea of a large guidebook that will point me in the right direction.

My last post, where I reflected on some mistakes I made in planning last time, detailed the points when I neglected to book ahead or see where the best places were before heading off. My recent foray into the guidebook game helped me to realize a few things, especially when I picked up one specifically dedicated to travel in Greece:

  • Greece is pretty big, and getting around the islands can be a costly and time consuming affair. As much as I’d like to zip around the country and then head to Malta as well, I’m now thinking it might be smarter to just spend two weeks or so exploring Greece in depth
  • There’s so much to see in Greece, and transportation can be limited around this seafaring country, so knowing when and where to avoid crowds is a big plus
  • Although we do have the internet at our fingertips, that only counts if you’ve got Wi-Fi, which can be sparse in some parts of Europe and is virtually non-existent on trains. If something happens where I end up without a reservation in a town I’m not familiar with, having a guidebook that suggests some hostels or hotels wouldn’t be such a bad idea
  • As a person with generalized anxiety disorder, letting myself get “lost” and going with the flow is actually kind of difficult. I like having an itinerary and something to refer to along the way
  • Guidebooks can offer places and things you might never think of doing. I really want to try SCUBA diving, and the book I looked at had a whole section dedicated to where the best places to go for that are, as well as suggestions for itineraries, foods to try, which airlines go where, and tonnes more I never thought of
13316994_10153699322940975_3746043106389378786_o

One of the ones I was checking out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m on the fence really. ¬†I can’t remember if it was a book or a website that alerted me to the Catacombs, but I hadn’t heard of it before my first Euro trip, and it’s now one of my favourite sights in Paris. The books tend to tell you when each excursion is open until, how much it will cost, best ways to get there, etc. This can be hard to remember for tonnes of ¬†different places when you’re heading out on a train ride, hungover and sleepy, and unable to access that website that told you everything about Greece. Plus, I’m not taking Busabout this time, which includes planned destinations, a mini-guidebook, hostel dropoffs, and an on-board trip leader to tell you things about where you’re going.

In contrast, I found out about one of my other favourite places (Sorrento)¬†through the internet in 2010, and finally made it there in 2014 without any pages to aid me. These books can be expensive‚ÄĒsometimes around $60.00 if you’re getting a full Europe one‚ÄĒand tend to be geared towards travelers with a more average amount of money to spend, versus backpackers who are usually looking for the cheapest hostels and excursions.

What do you think? Are guidebooks a good investment, or only if you’re planning months in a single country? Are the regional books (Europe, Asia, etc) better than the country-specific ones for spotting the highlights of each?

xoxo Cady

Planning a Euro Trip… the Second Time

 

As per usual, I’m not only looking into how to get myself to my destination for my teaching job, but also if and how I can do a mini Euro-trip around some popular places before I arrive in Orense for September. Two summers ago, I was already booked and waiting anxiously for my trip with Busabout around France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, with a few stops in between. The prices with Busabout were great and I enjoyed my time with them, but if you read my review you can see why I probably won’t go with them this time around. If it’s TL;DR then basically: I hate riding the bus and there were no bathrooms.

Now, I’m looking into stopping in Greece and possibly Malta before making my way back West for my BEDA job. This has proven to be a lot harder than it sounds to make work, because Orense isn’t located near a major airport, and I’ll be bringing 9 months’ worth of stuff with me that I do NOT want to be lugging around while I (hopefully) tour Santorini’s little streets or hop budget airlines. There’s a lot to think about, and while I’m slowly looking into the logistics and budget of everything, I thought it might be a good idea to reflect on some mistakes I made last time I toured Europe, which was my very first time doing a solo trip!

Mistake #1: Not taking the time to convert the currency

Only 25 euros? That’s not bad! 60 euros for a last minute hotel room? Pretty good! Only 75 euros for this 6 hour train ride? I guess it could be worse.
Which it was, because I was always thinking in euros instead of the Canadian dollars that I actually had. My money slipped through my hands faster than an Italian high-speed train. If you’re coming from a country that doesn’t use the euro, consider what you’re actually spending before you drop the big bucks.

Mistake #2: Not planning my time off of Busabout

Busabout made things pretty simple: Reserve a bus seat, get on, arrive at your next destination at a hostel that you’ll hopefully stay at because we’re dropping you there. It was relatively painless. However, there were a few places Busabout didn’t go, so I took myself there on trains and buses and just wandered around hoping I would find accommodation. In the peak travel season of August, this was a terrible idea. Not booking ahead had me paying a lot more up front, and forced me to spend time in places that I didn’t want to stay in because trains were all booked up. One time, I arrived alone at night in a strange city with no idea where any hostels were, so I paid out the ying-yang for a hotel near the train station to avoid skulking in the dark alleys with my valuables. Smart? Avoiding sketchy streets at night was, but dropping major cash on a hotel because I’d neglected to book ahead was not.

10665748_10152408297935975_2380161344027357862_n

Mistake #3: Making my own assumptions about the weather

Ahh, summer in Europe. It’s generally warmer than Canada, so I can assume that it’ll be alright to wear shorts all the time and don’t need to bring anything to keep myself warm…
Wrong again. When I arrived in Munich it was rainy and cold, and I stopped off at H&M for a beanie and some leggings just so I could wander the streets without freezing my butt off. In Paris, I waited in a long line, shivering under a sunless sky for three hours to get into the catacombs, which were even colder underground. A kind woman behind me gave me an extra coat that she had for the duration of the tour, but because I finished about 20 minutes before her, I had to wait at the exit for her to be done so I could return the coat.

Mistake #4: Not planning some relaxation time

Europe was go, go, go from one attraction to the next. I assumed this was how everyone did it, catching what sleep they could on over night trains and adopting a sort of “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” type of mantra. Maybe some do, but I found that it was terrible trying to fit too many sights and journeys into three weeks. Even when planning this current trip, I was thinking of zipping around from Budapest to Hungary to Athens to Corsica, without considering how much time it takes to check into airlines and get into the cities and throw your stuff down into the hostel, while taking time to eat, sleep, and just CHILL. Trying to see too many sights can be a sensory overload. I’ll definitely be planning some leisure days at a beach or even just reading in my hostel, in order to balance out the fun filled tourist stuff.

There were definitely a few more errors I made, like eating out too much (Italian pasta is just so tempting!), using Wi-Fi that wasn’t free just to talk to people back home, and forgetting to bring my towel. If you’re planning on hitting up a lot of churches in Italy, it’s worth it to bring a shawl or skirt, as I was denied entry into some because of my bare shoulders and legs.

I’m taking my time with my Greek adventure and trying to make sure things go alright. In true travel fashion, I’ll probably still have some hitches, but at least I know what kind of mistakes to try to avoid for round two.

Any tips for planning a trip? Did you make any mistakes traveling for the first time that you wish you’d planned better for? Tell me!

xoxo Cady

 

Back at it with BEDA!

Sticking with my style of doing complete 180s when it comes to life plans, I’ve had a change of heart in terms of teaching in Spain. I wrote a bit about my interview with BEDA here, but I had already basically decided to go back to university and bump up my degree to an Honours, and then go to teacher’s college here in Canada afterwards. But, I received acceptance into BEDA a few days ago, and I felt like I couldn’t say no.

Why? A few reasons. One, I feel like I have to try teaching somewhere¬† before I end up committing to a two-year money-draining Master’s program in teacher education here. If it turns out that I go through all of this, graduate when I’m 27-28, and end up hating teaching, it’ll be a waste of my time AND money.

Two, school will always be there, but traveling opportunities come with age restrictions and responsibilities. I’m not a parent, home owner, or car owner, and my lease ends in September. What better time to go?

Three, I love traveling, and I love Spain. While my China teaching adventure didn’t end up working out, I largely attribute the failure to my lack of proper medication for my anxiety and the language barrier around me. But hey, I speak Spanish, and I’ve already researched that my medication is available abroad. Plus, I was assigned to the beautiful little town of Orense, Galicia, which is a region completely unexplored by yours truly! How could I turn it down?

Ourense-view

Image from galiciaguide.com

Four is that I love the idea of teaching, and I’m itching to travel again. I want to explore more of Spain, and see other countries I never got to see the first time around. As well, I have some friends I met during my exchange that I miss dearly, who would be easy to visit once I was already across the pond.

I don’t want to be sitting in a classroom during a cold Canadian winter, wishing I’d taken the plunge but being too afraid of past failures to do it. We’ve all got to move on someday, and I’m ready to put my unfortunate China experience behind me.

I’ll end this post with a quote from one of my favourite books, and probably my favourite work of non-fiction, Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves:

“My wanderlust had only been in abeyance, like a briefly dormant volcano. There was so much of the world I hadn‚Äôt seen yet. There were lives, so many, that I hadn‚Äôt experimented with. What if I was meant to be an aid worker, a dive instructor, a spy? What if I was meant to be a writer in New York? And forget even what I was meant to be. What would it feel like to just wander the world, free of all responsibility, knowing I could stand on my own two feet?”

What if?

 

xoxo Cady

P.S. Anyone else get into BEDA or any other program? Let’s connect!