Why Spain?

I’m enjoying my life here yet I haven’t felt the “magic of Spain”  yet. I don’t know what I expected but the magic isn’t there…yet. Mind you, I haven’t visited Sevilla or Granada, the bigger cities of Andalucia.

I haven’t felt the connection to the country, the feeling that this is “home.” A bit hard to explain but I’ve felt it before-when I first visited Cape town, South Africa. But everyone falls in love with Cape town.  However, when I returned to South Africa during my African journey (after 5 months on the continent), the moment I set foot in the North East of the country,  I had a strong and calming feeling “this is home.” This feeling never left me and I still consider South Africa a second home, though I have no idea when I’ll return or if I’ll live there.

Now that I’m more settled in my life in Spain, I wonder:  What compelled me to live in Spain? Is there a reason I had such an unexplainable desire to live here?

Spanish flag

Maybe time will tell and in the meantime, I’m enjoying living a calmer, relaxed life. (I do miss my friends, family and best friend back home but I know this experience is what I need to push myself forward and remind me of my true desires).

I am enjoying and embracing:

  • being in the classroom- I do love teaching and interacting with students
  • learning the art of relaxing
  • practicing and improving my Spanish
  • 12 hour work week (When else will I only have to work 12 hrs?)
  • 4 day week schedule with 3.75 day weekends
  • cooking (and when I have internet experimenting with recipes)

Some auxiliaries have been talking about the possibility of a second year. Some days I think- of course! and other days, I feel one year will suffice. Living here for 2 years would definitely benefit my Spanish speaking ability, though.

I look forward to coming to work (most days) and really enjoy my school, yet if I choose to renew I know I’d choose a new city, new opportunity, new perspective. And there is always a risk you take when you change.

Window in Mallorca, love the green!

The thought of returning home and looking for a job is daunting. I find the same fear lurks deep within me as when I returned from my African journey but this time I have loads more experience, more confidence and knowledge than before. If I’ve done it before, I know I can do it again.

I feel this is the first time in my life that I’m learning how to relax, to live simply and not be a whirlwind (as my mom knows me to be). My surroundings definitely impact how I act and how i live. I’m taking it easy and I’m not finding things to fill my schedule as I typically did at home. No volunteering, no extra university classes, no events to attend. Not even private classes to earn extra money.

Moon rising in Roquetas

I just want my freedom and after reading a piece I wrote for myself  “2010 in perspective,” it’s no surprise I’m taking advantage of a simple lifestyle. Finally, a year focused on me. A bit selfish, yes, but exactly what I need.

Recently, my cousin Fernando was asking”where do you see yourself when you return”, “what do you want to do”. He meant well but i felt like my dad was speaking through him. I thought, “i can’t escape the pressure of “a career”.” I get tense and annoyed. I want to yell, “leave me alone.” But I respond kindly. And then a few days later, my best friend implied that living in Spain is my opportunity to figure out what I want, What I want to do with my life. Yes and NO. Can I just be in Spain to enjoy myself, take a
break from the hectic world I live in and all I went through in the last few years and focus on me?
Why  does a career always have to come into the picture?

One day at a time.

Has anyone else felt at “home” in another country, another state or city? Where?

For other auxilliares, Have you felt that Spain is “home”? Do you find yourself doing more or less in Spain than in the USA (or your country)?


3 thoughts on “Why Spain?

  1. Pingback: Why Spain? Life lessons in a small town « Roamingtheworld

  2. Hi Lauren,
    Really enjoyed reading your blog as I could relate to much of it. I’m Candice, I was born in South Africa and even though I only lived there as I child I have a deep connection with the country, I was born in Pretoria but also lived in Cape town and have visited just about every 2nd year. This year in April when leaving Cape Town I felt so attatched to the culture and beauty of the place that I was almost tearfull as the plane left the airport.

    I spen a year in Panama at 16 as an exchange student, and from the Spanish I learnt there have now taken up the oppportunity to become an auxiliar de conversacion in a primary school in andalucia. I arrive on the first of January.

    Your interest in gardening, food and cooking is right up my street. I absolutely love cooking and have already reserved a seperate journal dedicated just to the food and the recipies I will encounter in my time in Spain.

    I have sent a request to be added to the facebook page for auxiliares in andalucia, however have not had a reply in over a week. When I sent the request, I didn’t have the opportunity to write about myself, I just clicked a button and it was sent, how do I go about being accepted?

    looking forward to hearing from you


  3. Wow, this post seems more relaxed too; you taking inventory of your life in Spain rather than sharing your long weekend travels. It seems like a pause. Always a good thing.

    About the career question. I think people ask that because that is the perspective most people come from. That is the question they will ask themselves until they find themselves in a secure and often compromised position somewhere. Then they can relax and not have to worry about other people asking THEM this question. I think most people who ask the career question are people who value “security” as their primary need, as opposed to freedom or self-expression or fill in the blank. You don’t fit the security mold so you will baffle the majority of people who aren’t as courageous as you are to live the life you love instead of the life you think you should.


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