Although I hate to really think about it, my time in Galicia is slowly coming to its natural end. Feels like just yesterday I was writing about reaching that 1 YEAR ABROAD MARK. . . And yet no matter how much I try not to think about it, I now have just one month left here in my home in Lugo, España. No matter how much I haven’t seen yet of Galicia, no matter how much the Gallegos tell me I have to stay and keep exploring this region they are so proud to call home, I know that on June 1st it all ends, or at least this Chapter does. My departing flight is on the first of June in the afternoon and I have flexible plans for the summer, but I won’t get into that yet. Instead I’d love to reflect a little on what these 18 months have meant to me. YES I HAVE SPENT A YEAR AND A HALF LIVING ABROAD and it still blows my mind sometimes.
By most definitions, I am an Expat now. By my own definition, I am that feather at the end of the Forrest Gump film going where VIENTO wills, sometimes landing in the most unlikely places, while other times precisely where I manifested.
I have nothing but love in my heart for the people and places that have changed me. I have nothing but the warmest feeling when I think of my students and fellow profes from my colegio where I’ve taught in O’Corgo. GALLEGOS are some of the best people I know. Gallegos are going to stay with me for a long time to come. From their melodic way of speaking, to their exaggerations and tall tales, to their warm and inviting nature, their smiles and their candor, their dirty mouths too (me cago en la puta madre. . . ), all those nights (or afternoons) spent sharing copas de vino o cervezas y tapiñas, or stories about anything because no topic is off-limits. I know I’m going to miss all of it. I’m grateful to have lived it though.
I’m so very blessed that this was where the feather first landed. . . FERMOSA GALICIA/ BEAUTIFUL GALICIA!!
Has living in España changed you?
Absolutely. I have changed. Besides the natural growth that occurs with the years, there is also the growth that comes from Independence. Moving to another country where I would be away from absolutely everyone I knew meant that I’d have to rely solely on myself. I’d have to figure out all the logistics by myself, I’d have to find my apartment and pay my bills and deal with the shitty Spanish bureaucracy that makes life difficult sometimes with paperwork and legalities, I’d have to hustle hustle hustle to make my teacher’s salary stretch so that I could accomplish all the things I wanted to. I made new and beautiful friends. I fell in love with a Gallego and later had to let him go. I had colleagues that I learned from and exchanged with that praised me for taking this position in a foreign country far away from all family, friends or support system. BUT I FUCKING DIT IT; ALL OF IT. . . and I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience, about my process. Every little difficulty or bump in the Galician road meant that I would grow and change even that much more, and that I’d bloom into this Fully Independent Goddess who can be challenged time and again.
Where is home for you now?
Home is in the Present Moment. So for the next 30 days home is still Galicia. After June 1st, home will be on the road a bit in Europe. After July 6th, home will be California and the Southwest and maybe parts of México for a bit. Then who knows. . . I’m not so focused on the idea of a PERMANENT HOME.
Will you continue teaching English? Will you continue teaching in España/Spain?
Yes I will continue teaching English. It’s what allows me to live in Europe right now and I am grateful for the freedom and flexibility I have with this job. I will also continue teaching English in España, though the matter of Where isn’t completely sorted. I requested a warm region with lots of surrounding ocean . . . and now know my regional placement. . . See Below.
Where specifically will you open your heart to next?
(***UPDATED!!!! woooooo hoooooo)
Patience is a virtue when it comes to this particular teaching program in Spain because you cannot rush anything, not even an answer. They tell you in their timetable and you have to be ready to roll with it. ***I can now announce that I will be living and working on the islands off the Eastern Coast of Spain: LAS ISLAS BALEARES, o ILLES BALEARS (in Catalan, the language spoken there that I’ll surely learn to love). Now I must wait to find out which Island, and which city/town.
Now here’s a little RECAP:
Days spent living as an Expat:
# Copas de Vino/Glasses of Wine had:
No way to know/Un mogollón
Articles of clothing lost to the Galician elements:
1 scarf to a night out de Vinos, 2 wool hats to the Wind, & several pairs of shoes to Mold that was growing in my old apartment
# of Family members/friends that have visited me in España or in Europe:
España, Portugal, The Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Denmark, Sverige, Italia, Morocco, Deutschland, France, Israel & Palestine
Time spent outside of Europe
Two weeks each for two separate trips: Morocco and Israel
Capital Cities Visited:
Other Favorite Regions Visited:
Some new places I hope to manifest this summer:
Austria and Scotland
# of days until I move from Galicia, España and finish my teaching contract
# of days until I fly to Los Angeles, CA
Come back for more Galicia, Spain posts. This EXPAT is not finished exploring the region yet. LOVE AND LIGHT to each of you!!