So, as you all know, I’m studying/working/living in Spain. And please, don’t get me wrong, there are some absolutely amazing factors of living here. HOWEVER, there are some very real, very serious downfalls about living abroad.
These are my straight-up truths about living abroad in general, not specifically about Spain.
TRUTH #1: It can and does get SUPER lonely. Like… SUPER lonely. Understand this fact before you leave. Even if you are a super-introvert and you think you don’t need anyone else around you, believe me, being by yourself in a new country CAN and WILL take its toll on you. When everything around you is unfamiliar, you look for something that fills that void of familiarity. Except… nothing does. Which leads me to …
TRUTH #2: Things are different. In fact, if you’re anything like me, it may be an integral part of why you left your home country to begin with. However, again, if you’re anything like me, you don’t quite realize how different everything will be in this new place. The people, the brands, foods, stores – EVERYTHING- is different. And while you may have wanted something different, you would be amazed at how stressful it can be to be thrust into a completely different environment with no prior knowledge about the nuances of daily life in this new country. Knowing that there are differences is like this “DUH!” moment, but it’s one of those things that doesn’t hit you until it HITS YOU. In the face. With a lead pipe. And all you want to do is go/call home and have mommy make it better.
We all know those days, or weeks, where you just feel like nothing is working out how it should be, whether small or large. Those times when we know that we have just bought a one way ticket on The Struggle Bus. Sometimes it’s a little more serious than just a bus. Sometimes we’ve accidentally signed up for the U.S.S. Struggle. Or worse, you’ve realized that you are the actually the pilot of the Struggle Plane.
Been there. Done. That. Please trust that I am an Honorary Accidental Struggle Captain. BUT because of this, I want to encourage those who are having some problems of their own now!
Firstly, please, PLEASE know a few things.
- You will not always be there. Just because you are currently on a struggle vehicle doesn’t mean that you won’t ever leave.
- You are not a failure. Also, just because you are currently on a struggle vehicle doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything right. It simply means that you’re human.
- You’re not alone. Literally, EVERYONE has moments when they feel like the head of the Struggle Army.
Long time, no see, readers.
So, I know that I’ve been gone quite a long time. Why? I’m honestly not super sure that I can give a proper response to that. But I do know that during my time away from this blog, I’ve had a chance to do some decent thinking.
What I’ve come up with is this: as much as I love the concept of “taking advantage of each day”, which was the original concept behind To Carpe Your Diem, I don’t think that that particular topic is solely what I should focus my blog on. It is indeed important to make the most out of every day and to grow and learn from every experience. With that said, however, I think I’d like to expand this blog to be more than just travel and new and exciting things and such. I’ve decided that it’s time for a change.
So as you may or may not know, I was in Tarragona recently (if you didn’t, check it out here!). I saw some AMAZING Roman ruins there, but the trip as a whole was loads of fun as a whole. The city itself is actually quite cute. Mind you, it is small. Very small. But very cute nonetheless.
I mean, look at this. This is the city center. There is a cute little park with a bridge and fountain, and even a playground (not pictured) in the middle of the city. This should be, like, the definition of quaint. Read more
So, I’ve been doing all types of stuff lately and it’s high time I start putting it up here with some great pictures. Recently, I had to chance to go on a trip to the city of Tarragona. Heard of it? No? That’s fine. I’d be willing to wager that many people in the country of Spain have heard of it either. But it is here.
The small city is usually overlooked for the larger, more famous cities (Barcelona, Girona, Valencia, etc.), but this place is a gem on its own. However, the main reason I took a trip to Tarragona was for this:
So for those who know me personally, or those who are just plain reading my blog, you all have probably figured out this little secret. But in case you haven’t, I’m gonna drop this little mini-bomb. Ready?
I know, right?! Crazy discovery.
Anyhow, because I really, truly do love food oh so much, I find it pretty imperative to share with all you readers the super tasty places that I find to eat. And, as it turns out, I’ve found some super tasties right here in Barcelona. Read more
So, I’ve been here in Spain for a solid 2 months now, almost to the day. Frankly, I can hardly believe it; I’ve been living in a totally, TOTALLY different place for two whole months. And last time I updated all of you on my opinions of Spain (here), I was kind of on the fence as to whether or not I was feeling the country. Now that I’ve been here for enough time to properly observe and see what it really like now that the honeymoon-country goggles are off, THE VERDICT IS IN….
So, I was looking over my bucket list again, and I was thinking that I was falling really behind with progress. Factually, my life is more about the day-to-day. Sure, you readers are on here and you read about my adventures or awesome things that I’ve seen and taken pictures of. But in all honesty, my life isn’t made up of those moments, but instead it’s made of the smaller, daily things and the super-cool are just sprinkled here and there.
Then I realized, that even though I haven’t done the best job of keeping up with the blogging thing, it is indeed on my bucket list. So, I’m gonna write a bit about it. I’m being super meta here, but bear with me for a minute: I’m blogging about blogging (hehe). Just because it is a blog doesn’t mean that it has to be only about the successes. It is about the experience as a whole. And lemme tell you, BLOGGING IS HARD.
Okay, maybe not the actual action, at least not anymore. But to be sure to fit in time to write while you are also working, having a social life, trying to explore, having family life, and reading a book and/or watching Netflix, I mean, it’s hard to pencil blogging into my schedule, honestly.
I think I may just be making up excuses.
In all honesty though, I think it has been difficult to remember to blog mainly because it is something new to me. Perhaps after I am used to keeping a log of my adventures and my excursions then I will be able to do so more consistently. Stay with me, readers, as I try to figure this thing out.
So recently, a friend of mine, Jewel, came to visit me here in Spain from the U.S. ( I know! So far!). She spent the week with another friend in Madrid, but spent the weekend with me in Barcelona. While she was here, I showed her around the city a bit, but I even got to see some things that I hadn’t gotten an opportunity to as yet: namely, the Fonts de Montjuic.
These fountains near Plaça Espanya are hands-down some of the most beautiful displays of lights, color, and water that I am liable to see for the next half-century. While I have no actual idea of the time-frame in which I will see something beautiful, I do know that these fountains are actually breathtaking. Read more
So for those who’ve read my “Capital of North America… Part 1” post, you know that
- I know that there is no actual capital of North America, being that it is a continent and not a country. And..
- This is the post that is actually about a capital – Washington D.C.!
So this past May, I had a fantastic opportunity to visit Washington D.C., the capital of the United States of America, with my family. I generally think it’s a good idea to visit ones country’s capital before one leaves the country. And while I had left the country before I actually did go to D.C., at least I had never lived there.
Anyhow, I was in D.C. And it was FANTASTIC! For those who know me, I fall in love with almost like every new city that I go to. D.C. was no exception. I immediately fell in love with the city. Now, even though I fall in love with a new city almost every 5 minutes, I do have some criteria.
Things a city needs for me to fall in love with it: Read more