November 24th, 2016 marks one year abroad, away, gone, moving through TERRA going where wind takes me. She speaks to me sometimes actually, VIENTO whispers in my ear of a place that could be good for my spirit, for a time. In 2014 she began speaking of ESPAÑA. She spoke to me:
Isn’t it time to return? Don’t you need some time away for yourself? Wouldn’t it be an adventure, a challenge that surely you could tackle?
I responded: Do you think so? I have actually been feeling itchy for something new. Time isn’t something that stands still afterall. . . and I have thought about going back for years now. Could I really leave them though? Could I leave him? Could I do this, tackle this next adventure?
A little more than 3 years later, I’m sitting in my apartment in Lugo, Galicia, España writing this. I listened to VIENTO and to HEART also and moved abroad in November, just one year ago.
So what has happened in this year you may wonder. If you have been a frequent visitor to this blog, you probably know that it’s been quite a year. Besides adopting the Gallego lifestyle aqui en España, as I live in Galicia in the northwest of Spain, I have become a teacher. I’m Teaching English in a small town called O’Corgo. But really, this year has been so much more than just a new job and location. This change was an epic one for me, one that in the months leading up to the move had me finally saying:
Maybe if I did this for Me, and only me, maybe that could be a great thing. I am at that point that challenges don’t scare me anymore, in fact they lure me.
One year abroad has felt like years already. One year abroad has taught me a plethora of life’s lessons, never letting me forget that change externally can lead to change internally. I treated this year as the YEAR OF ARIANA (not unlike the #summerofAriana), a year to let the goddess live her truest path, and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life. Now you may be wondering:
Is it as great as you paint it to be? Don’t you miss home? Don’t you miss important people in your life in California? YES, YES and YES.
So why do you stay away, living abroad, and will you ever move back? I’ve had my fair share of emotional moments here. I’ve cried myself to sleep feeling the pull of both my forever home (LA) and my current home in Europe. I don’t have all the answers. VIENTO doesn’t tell me too much at once. She likes to give me a little bit of a whoooooooooooooosh hint every now and then, but she never forces me to go any which way. I have the ultimate say. I have to meditate and get mind and heart on the same page before I make big life decisions, and I don’t know my plans after May 31, 2017 (when my second school year here in Galicia ends). I am not afraid of the not knowing right now. When the time comes, I have a feeling I will take time in a peaceful space with music and incense to talk to VIENTO and loosely draw out my next life steps.
Do you still have strong ties with friends and family back home? I know firsthand that life takes us places, to and away from people. I have always had difficultly understanding why friendships could end, or why relationships with close friends and family could be so one-sided at times. . . But they take a lot of time and energy to maintain. . . and distance makes this much harder. I have close friends in Los Angeles and other parts of the states that I care deeply for, that I wish could come see me in Europe and share in my adventure while living out their own, but this hasn’t been the case. We are all on our own journeys. I respect their present journeys, and I love them from afar (for now). I Skype with some and connect with others via email/whatsapp/facebook. I have to live this present moment with all my energy and send love across the seas to these beautiful people. They know who they are. Thank you for keeping me in mind and heart too, and for supporting me emotionally when I needed it. YOU ARE ALL STILL VERY WELCOME TO FLY OVER HERE, just say the word.
Has Traveling helped you feel more or less homesick? The short answer is it has helped me feel less homesick. If I am away from friends and loved ones, SEEING THE WORLD is a Must!! (as much of it as the budget will allow anyway) I decided long ago that the world was to experience. I watched travel shows and took mental & physical notes of people and places I wanted to encounter. I also got into the habit of depositing a little of each paycheck into a designated travel jar somewhere in my sock or underwear drawer. Even while living in Spain it became clear to me early on that little trips outside of Spain were necessary for my Soul; to excite the goddess in me and to inspire many moments that I have written about in this blog. Especially this summer, with 3 months of traveling and a beautifully formed philosophy about what it means to feel ALIVE, Traveling has helped me be a warrior, a listener, a friend, a sister, a visitor, a guest, an observer, a participant, a woman whose essence is one of LOVE and GRATITUDE that will be shared, always.
And what about GALICIA? Was this the right place for you? Universe knows best. Galicia was and is exactly where I was supposed to be, a place where I am the student of its teachings.
Galicia, You gave me a rebirth of sorts
You know you have lived in Galicia if know what these words/phrases mean:
YO QUE SÉ
QUE FAGO?!! (my student’s say this all the time!)
ES LO QUE HAY
ME MOLA/ MOLA MUCHO
GUAY. QUE GUAY. ¡QUÉ GUAY TÍO!
JOLÍN. JOLINES. ¡JODER!
TU ERES LA LECHE
ME CAGO EN DIOS/LA OSTIA/LA LECHE
VALE, VALE? VALE! VALE. ¡VALE VALE VALE!
ESTAR DE RELAX
ECHAR UN POLVO
POIS. . .
My little cheat sheet for living in GALICIA:
Bos Días- Good morning; typical greeting in Galicia
pinchos- “a bit” of something/ a little piece of something; generally a snack in a bar/restaurant that is usually free!
queixo Arzúa- the best Gallego cheese there is (from the region Arzúa)!!! I recommend you accompany it with Membrillo.
Vinos Gallegos: Galician Wines, produced in the Region of Galicia
Tintos/Reds– MENCÍA, RIBERA DEL DUERO
Brancos/Whites– ALBARIÑO, GODELLO, RIBEIRO
chorizos- what they call people who steal (although it literally means sausages) / les llaman a gente que Roban
No hay pan para tantos Chorizos.
la matanza- the killing; specifically referring the the season of killing the pigs here in Galicia to have meat for entire winter season and beyond.
At school I asked my students one day what they did on the weekend and they told me about some typical activities like sharpening knives and la matanza.
calle de vinos- the street of Wine/Bars; this is the area of Lugo (or another Galician city in the city center) with all the nightlife, the pinchos, where you drink way too much wine and quite likely always run into someone you know.
licor café- a delicious liquor made from spirits and a touch of roasted coffee. Be ready for a wild night once you introduce this into your system. STRONG! YOU ARE WARNED!
licor de hierbas- aguardiente/homemade liquor/moonshine usually made of herbs. It’s likely you will like the KICK you feel when this passes down your throat and into your body. Bad decisions you will make cannot solely be blamed on this alcohol. YOU ARE WARNED!
fai frío- It’s cold chove- It’s raining
People talk a lot about the weather here in Galicia, more than any other place I have been. Although the majority seems to dislike the constant rain and cold that lasts here three seasons of the year, they also believe the sun could make you sick. I heard several people warn me of the sun before summertime. It’s like they don’t trust the sun that arrives before summer.
estar de pingo- haciendo nada/ to be doing nothing at all
El chaval estaba en la calle de pingo.
una burrada- something that is nonsense/ algo que no tiene sentido
se le fue la olla- he/she’s gone crazy/ se volvió loco o loca
Gústame Moito- I like it a lot!
grasiñas- thank you
poquiño- a little bit
a lúa- the moon
This year I have done so many amazing things, seen amazing places and met such warm, open, beautiful people, gorgeous lights and spirits in this journey of mine. In Galicia and beyond. En España and beyond. Throughout Europe too!! Gratitude for these moments.
It’s been a great fucking year here in España and Europe, quite possibly the best year of my life, so I thank each of you for being a part of it. . . And this chapter is not over yet!
With the end of 2016 fast approaching, I’ll save the rest of my favorite photos for my YEAR IN RECAP POST. Love and Gratitude, or GRASIÑAS to you and you and you!