All I know thus far is that I'm assigned to the region of Madrid - but the city, school, and age group of kids I'll be teaching are still unknown. I'm still numb and in shock from the euphoria of it all - it all just feels so surreal. I'm moving to Europe!!!!
There are so many thoughts racing through my mind right now. All of the cities I want to visit, all of the countries I want to travel to, all of the work I need to do in order to obtain my visa, how in the world am I going to find an apartment, what city am I going to end up in, what movie do I want to watch tonight that somehow reminds me of Spain, why don't I remember how to conjugate verbs in the "vosotros" form, etc. All pretty irrelevant things to worry about in the grand scheme of things (except for getting my visa... I guess you could consider that important!) However, all of these anxieties are cancelled out by my sheer excitement for this upcoming adventure.
Although I recognize that this experience will be vastly different than my time spent in the South, I feel better prepared this time around knowing what to expect in regards to living in Spain. (I studied abroad in Cádiz, Andalucía for five months in 2010. Time flies!) When I moved to Cádiz three years ago, I had many romanticized and idealized notions about life in Spain. When reality fell short of my expectations, I felt disappointed and depressed. Combined with two horrible host family experiences and unknowingly having Celiac disease whilst eating loads of gluten, I felt miserable. Despite many fond memories and epic adventures in Cádiz, I wouldn't classify my first Spanish experience as entirely positive.
My first time living in Spain, I rushed into it when my gut told me the timing wasn't right. Now, I can feel that this is my time. It won't be perfect, because adjusting to life abroad is hard. It's difficult, it's exhausting, and it's arguably the best thing you could ever do for yourself. I'm so excited for the adventures to come, and I'm confident that this experience is going to profoundly change my life in many ways. I can't get over it - I'm moving to Spain!!