It has been just over a year since I started writing this blog. Admittedly my posts have been very sporadic, slightly out of order, and there is still loads I have done in the last year that I need to write about. But one year on from graduating and I am still doing what I promised myself I would do, which was to leave England and experience something completely new. In the last year I have proved to myself that I can do anything and go anywhere that I want to go, find adventures in all shapes and forms and have learnt much more about myself that I ever had before. So upon reflection here is what I have done (and learnt from!) this year:
- I have fallen in love with Spain. This whirlwind romance started in Barcelona where I did my TEFL course, leaving me desperate to stay in the country and learn the lingo
- And that is just what I have done. Speaking a second language has been on my bucket list for a while now, and although I am definitely nowhere near ticking it off and declaring myself fluent, I am undoubtedly closer to achieving this than I ever have been. When I arrived in Barcelona back in September I had to ask the taxi driver how to say thank you! Daily Spanish lessons and living with some lovely, patient Spaniards means I can now get by, even if some confusing looks accompany the conversation every so often!
- Since living in Madrid, I have explored Spain at every opportunity. Bank holidays, Easter, weekends. Buses, trains and hostels were booked and I ventured to see what other Spanish cities had to offer. Never have I returned disappointed. Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Granada, Sevilla and Cordoba- you were all fantastic!
- Teaching English has taught me so much. I never knew there was so much to the English Language. But not only that- I have learnt about myself, how I work and interact with others. My patience has been tried and tested, my imagination broadened and working habits developed. This last 6 months has been a two way street of teaching and learning for me and my students alike.
- Working at the educational camp in Os Peares in Galicia opened my eyes to the way of life in a remote village. With only about 40 inhabitants there at the time, 2 bars, 1 shop and 1 pharmacy, life there was certainly different to anything I had experienced before. One daily train took you to the nearest town, twenty minutes away. And then there was the weather. After wading out more wet days in a month that I ever have before- NEVER will I complain about the rain again! Yet I still recall that month with fondness and met people there that were to accompany me in moving to Madrid and have been a continual presence in my life since!
- Once again I find myself in another camp, this time taking remote to the newest level yet. We are living in a hotel in the mountains, with NOTHING else around. The nearest little village is 5km away and the nearest town is 15km away! But the beautiful sun, stunning views and incredible starry night skies mean I am not entitled to complain!
- I have learnt that my family and friends at home will always be there for me wherever I am, and I will always be there for them. It goes without saying that I really can be the worst person at staying in touch, despite today’s technology. But when I catch up with that handful of awesome people back home it’s fantastic and they never complain about my lack of communication, it’s as if we were speaking yesterday. And that’s how you know you are the luckiest girl with the best friends and family in the world.
- And I can’t forget where my adventures started a year ago…. Camp California. That oasis which will forever have a piece of my heart, providing me with lifelong friends and lifelong memories.
It is impossible for me to reflect on my last year without feeling like the most blessed girl in the world. I have met some of the most wonderful people, achieved and explored more that I could have hoped. It has been the best year of my life. So, here’s to the next one!
My year in photos…