With each new beginning comes feelings of uncertainty and excitement. What will this new opportunity bring? How will things go? Sometimes I have to stop thinking and focus on what I can control and what I can’t and just let life happen.
What I can control is: what my goals are and what I hope to learn and gain from my second year abroad!
Returning to Spain is a golden ticket for me to pursue a lot of personal interests and goals. Last year it was a dream come true. This year provides an opportunity to expand my skills and try new things!
1. Take Spanish classes.
This year I’ll be in a city rather than a small beach town, which means there will be a lot more possibilities and opportunities including Spanish courses! Yippie. Last year, I came to Spain with a level of high school Spanish under my belt and the occasional practice sessions during few vacations to Mexico and a 6 week visit to Chile. But practice alone wasn’t enough. I know classes while speaking on the daily and being immersed will help me improve faster. And will help me learn the various verb tenses- subjunctive, conditional, past present, past perfect, you know- the things you don’t really remember after 10 years. This time I know fluency doesn’t just happen by being immersed. It takes a lot of dedication, time, effort, and practice and less speaking in English with expat friends… (that part isn’t so easy)
2. Take Cooking classes
They say Basque Country has some of the most delicious food, with San Sebastian being the Gastronomic capital of the world. I don’t know how a city can get such high merits or be able to make such a big statement but they do. I plan to find out just how accurate this is by eating my way through a year living in Basque Country. There is only one way to find out, right? I want to learn their craft, pick up their techniques and see how the Basque do it. And what better hobby to have while it’s cold and gloomy outside, I can fill my tummy with love and fill the apartment with delicious aromas.
3. Get involved within my community
So you know I love food. I love eating food, tasting food, cooking food, growing food, and I love learning how things are made. I want to get involved within the food scene, whether that’s shadowing a goat cheese maker or assisting at the local farmers market. I wanted to get involved last year but I wasn’t quite sure how, who to ask despite the abundance of industrial green houses within view and truthfully, I wasn’t quite ready with my constant travel plans.
4. Get my groove on
I love to dance. Always have. Give me some good beats and I’ll be grooving on the dance floor while friends queue for liquid courage at the bar. I blame it on my mom for enrolling me in Ballet classes when I was 4 years old . Ballet is now too disciplined for me but I love all types of dance. Ask me, I’ve probably tried it. It’s been far too long since I was last in a dance studio and this year, I’m ready! I want to learn new moves and not only give my body a good work out but my brain- memorizing and learning new routines. I want to Hip-Hop and salsa up my life!
5. Visit 3 new countries
Last year I traveled a lot. It seemed I was away every other weekend, if not more! But guess what, I only visited 3 new countries + discovering Spain. I had the joy of visitin my friend Sarah in Ireland, camel riding in Morocco and and enjoying azulejos, Gloomy porto skies and Lovely Lisbon charm in Portugal with my brother.
This year, I hope to visit a friend in Switzerland and my globe trotting buddy whose been on the road for 2 years who plans to make a brief visit home to Belgium in March or April and I’m curious about Finland (and know next to nothing).
6. Write write write.
I love writing about my adventures, life abroad, food and about the ups and downs of being an expat. I plan to write even more on this lovely blog and big Gulp: start making a conscious effort to take it to the next level- Getting published on other blogs, websites and publications. Big dream would be to have an article published in a travel magazine. If I’m going to dream, May as well dream BIG! I’ve been inspired by other bloggers who are making it happen but I still feel unsure just how to go about it. This year, I’m going to put the fear aside and just start doing it. I’ll figure out just how to start doing it too.
Yes, fellow bloggers reading this who have taken the leap, please share your secrets, ahem, share your tips on how you made the leap and how to do it. Thanks.
7. Make friends from all around the world
Last year I was fortunate enough to meet my dear friend Jessica in Roquetas de Mar and Angelica my first night in Spain, jet-lagged and all. Angelica seemed cool and I knew I had to strike up a conversation with her despite feelings of deliriousness. I was also fortunate enough to get to know a teacher at my school, who sort of took me under her wing always inviting me to join her friends, every weekend I was in town. WIthout fail. I’d tell her, “Estoy aqui este finde” and she’d always call me and invite me to tapas or somewhere. I’m so grateful for these friendships and connections. It’s not everyday you meet people you really connect with. I’ve been fortunate. I look forward to what this year brings.
This year I’d love to have more of a social circle- people to cook with, watch films with, practice Spanish with, share my common interests with. I’m certain that by getting more involved within the community, staying in my town more often than not and taking classes of all sorts will help.
Do you make goals when you start something new? Are you more successful in your endeavors?
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