Sunday, June 5, 2016

Why the Radio Silence? An Overdue Life Update

Oh, hey there! Long time no see. I've intentionally taken a temporary hiatus from blogging, but I promise my reasons are legit.

As Hemingway ever so wisely proclaimed,

In order to write about life, first you must live it.

And that, my friends, is exactly what I've been doing.

You see, today marks one month until I leave Madrid. For good. Cue sobbing.

I'm not even trying to be dramatic, for the mere thought of leaving this place immediately brings me to tears. I'm crying right now as I write this. I'm a hot mess, and at this point it's completely unstoppable.

Adelante
How I feel about leaving Europe... on opposite day.

When I get really anxious, I do this really fun thing where I internally panic until my stress physically manifests itself in illness. In just the past week, I've battled migraines, stomach troubles, and now strep. I'm currently bedridden with a plethora of antibiotics and painkillers, hence why I finally have the time to sit down at my computer and spill my messy thoughts.

Weakened immune system aside, I've actually been having the time of my life during these two blog-free months. I promise to divulge all of the details in due time, but for now, here's a glimpse into what I've been up to since March - as well as what's to come!

I channeled my inner Indiana Jones at Petra, Jordan.

Petra, Jordan | Adelante

I fell really, really hard for Israel.

Tel Aviv, Israel | Adelante

Prepare for a post that fully discloses my intense love affair with the Holy Land!

I still think Asturias is Spain's prettiest region.

Cudillero, Asturias | Spain Photography | Adelante

The colorful fishing village of Cudillero gave me so many heart sparkles. I also ate my way through Oviedo, which consequently warranted a two week detox and about three month's worth of Tums.

I said hasta luego to Sevilla, my favorite city in Spain.

Plaza de España, Seville | Spain Photography | Adelante

I also did some serious sightseeing through my tastebuds with Devour Seville Food Tours, which I will recount in full detail when I'm not writing on an empty stomach.

I went back to Cádiz for the first time since studying abroad six years ago.

Cádiz, Spain | Adelante

The entire weekend was such a blur, and while that's partly the tequila's fault, I think it's mostly because it felt so surreal to be back after living there so many years ago. The town itself hasn't changed at all, but I feel like a completely different person. (Can you believe that back then, I actually hated living in Spain?! Blasphemy!) While revisiting old haunts felt entirely bittersweet, I had an incredible time giving the city the second chance it deserves. After this visit, I feel like things have truly come full circle.

My best friend came to visit!

Adelante

We took way too many selfies, drank way too much rosé, and laughed so hard our stomachs hurt.

Then we went to Stockholm and ate all of the gluten-free snacks.

Stockholm, Sweden | Adelante

Because Celiacs that travel together stay together. Also, why is Sweden so good at everything?!?

I finally got Snapchat.

Hi Courtney, welcome to 2016. The last to hop on the bandwagon per usual, I finally succumbed to my millennial fate. Follow along with my unfiltered misadventures at courtney.likkel

WHAT'S NEXT?

Next weekend I'm wrapping up my European farewell tour with one last visit to my favorite city in the world... Paris!

As soon as school finishes, I'll bid my darling, germ mongering preschoolers adieu and jet off to Croatia for eleven days with my momma. I couldn't be more excited to traipse through the Adriatic with my original partner in crime and all-time favorite travel buddy.

On July 5th, I'll reluctantly drag myself to Madrid-Barajas airport with an obscene amount of baggage, both tangible and emotional. From there I'll cry all the way to Iceland, where I'll spend a few days pretending to be outdoorsy before flying home to Seattle on July 8th. (That is, assuming airport security doesn't escort me off the plane. Whoever is seated next to me is in for a real treat.)

As soon as I get in my fix of Chipotle and snuggles from Kitty Purry, it's time to start adulting. That entails buying a car, applying for jobs, and saving money to move into a place of my own. (Much like my fellow Spaniards that live with their parents for a shockingly long time, I'll be crashing with my pops until I can get my feet on the ground. Which is actually great, because my dad is my best bud, the ultimate grill master, and the cleanest person I know. The only catch is that he lives in a retirement community, so... yeah. Better save that cash quickly.)

Skydive Interlaken | Adelante
My entire life will be turned upside down (though maybe not this literally)

In between all of this "adulting", I'm going to need a mental escape from the drudgeries of suburbia and reverse culture shock. This is when I plan to tackle my massive back log of travel posts, because at this point I'll be desperately needing to relive my adventures.

I know I haven't been the most consistent these past few months, but I hope you can forgive me and stick around as this tumultuous journey continues!


Have you got any advice for this soon to be ex-expat?

Please share your wisdom! (Or just send wine.)