It’s been over a month since I left Spain. I lived there for 9 months. In that time I made new friends, travelled, drank copious amounts of tinto de verano and ate a whole lot of tapas. Oh yeah, and I learned a language!
The towns I lived and worked in are not big at all. I must admit, I was envious when I heard all my friends were placed in large Spanish cities. But once I arrived I fell in love. In the heart of the lesser known Andalusian region of Jaén, Úbeda and Baeza are beautiful towns that overlook the vast sea of olive trees that spread all the way to the Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Cazorla. The people are equally as friendly which was reassuring given almost nobody there speaks English. Now that really threw me in at the deep end!
I never had any troubles settling in, and naturally the more time I spent there the more comfortable I felt. When it was finally time to go, I was nowhere near ready. Typically, I only met some of my closest friends in the last six weeks of my placement. A short, but truly enjoyable time. I guess that just means I have a reason to come on more holidays to Spain. What a shame! I was also extremely sad to be saying goodbye to American friends this year, but as it happens, Mackenzie is staying in Spain for another year, so at least she’ll be on the same continent as me for another year. Silver linings. Silver linings.
There was a time when I couldn’t even imagine what I’d be doing or where I would be for my year abroad and now it’s over (part of it at least). For some reason, I chose Spain and it was the best choice I could have made. The work wasn’t necessarily fun, but then again twelve hours a week was small price to pay for what was essentially a gap year. I’ve had the year of my life and I’m not going to forget it in a hurry. A place that I once only associated with partying and beaches has so much more to offer than I ever could have imagined. Spain, you hold a special place in my heart and you know I’ll be back. Ciao for now x