I won’t bother with a detailed update of the last year and a half – I’ve been in touch with friends and family as much as possible, albeit not frequently enough.But despite the fact that blogs are so out of fashion now (NONE OF YOU WRITE IN YOURS), I figure it’s time to get this thing going again BECAUSE…
I’m planning a trip! A big trip. A surprise! Lots of surprises! I’m not going to share all the details yet because 1. I don’t know them and 2. I always seem to change my plans. However, something is going to happen this year. I can feel it.
Anyways, as for the update (short version), good points first? good point only? The highlights:
- Yoga retreat in Navarra
- Sunshine House and travelling in Greece with Sonia
- Crystal Fighters concert in a cave in the middle of nowhere, Basque Country (aka border between Spain and France)
- Trips to the Basque countryside and mountains
- Hosting Christmas and New Years
- Running in the San Silvestre NYE race and walking with moms in La Carrera de la Mujer
- Easter break in Cantabria
- Summer holiday in England for Truck Festival and sightseeing
- US visit to see old friends and family
The best part of all these things (and apart from these trips) are the people I met or got to visit again… visits with friends I met in South America 5 years ago and friends who I met in Vitoria who have since moved away — either them coming here for a visit or reuniting with them somewhere else. I think those moments were really the best highlights. Just saw a quote from one of my favorite websites TinyBuddha – “How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way.”
So that brings me to NOW.
I’m about to start my 5th (F-I-F-T-H) year teaching in Vitoria-Gasteiz. I’m staying at the same academy since I’ve managed to get quite a good set-up there after all this time. My duties include teaching classes, teaching teachers, interviewing students and reviewing their placement tests to group them into classes by level, some translations, and revising content for the website. It’s pretty great actually. I don’t know how people teach all of their lives because I DEFINITELY feel the burn out, and if it wasn’t for alternating between in-class teaching and these other activities, I don’t know if I’d still be here. Anyway, I have full legal residence with a work visa as a freelancer for the next year and the next renewal grants me 2 years. I don’t know what that means in the long-run for me but it keeps a nice option available. I’m ready for a bit of a break from the comfortable life and routine here (that sounds downright spoiled but it’s true).
Life in Vitoria has its ups and downs. Due to the nature of the field, a lot of friends come and go. Fortunately many are able to come back for visits, but it’s a very transient place. Most of the long-termers here are very settled with their own businesses, mortgages and children. I have found myself to be somewhere in the middle. Not a newbie passing through, but not quite ready to settle down here forever. Also, life just seems to happen and then hey! 5 years have gone by and I realize that I’ve been living here for longer than I consecutively lived in Boston! I’m happy here but I still miss things from the US at times, particularly after a visit. Hence, the escape plan to just get a “cambio de aires,” change of scenery, and we’ll see where I end up after that.
After seeing people from different moments of my past life and irrationally comparing my past self to my present self, I can only conclude that I can feel pull of life and trend of settling down getting stronger, and relations are more strained as time goes by. This is totally normal and you would think it would make me want to settle down more, but in fact I just have too many things I want to do before I get to that point. I come to realize the longer I wait, the harder it will be to just pick up and go. So just get it out now and maybe, maybe, I can stop someday.
So now’s the time! This year is dedicated to saving and planning, picking people’s brains who have been places and done things that interest me, and then we will see what next year brings. I’ll let you know when I know myself.
Inspiring quote on repeat:
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” ~Henry James