Saturday, May 25, 2013


Looks like my letter accepting Villacarrillo went through quite a trip to get to Sevilla:

Memphis, France, Madrid, and finally to its destination! Cost a whopping $76, so that it would arrive on-time. And it was only 3 measly pieces of paper. Junta de Andalucía owes me mucho vino.

My faith in my work company took quite a blow today. Found out my year-long leave of absence was NOT approved. It didn't completely surprise me, as my request for a raise a few years ago was also turned down. But in both cases, I was given reasons that don't match the reality I see. I am hurt, because I have given my best to this company for 13 years, and I know there are fellow employees who appreciate my work.

It makes me that much more certain that entrepreneurship and creating my own path are the way to go. When you apply to work for a company, you limit the opportunities available to you. When you cast your net wide and try to meet everyone, the opportunity you fall into can be anything.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


"Where?" you may be asking. Specifically, here:

It's a tiny, tiny town of 11,000. The nearest place where I'll probably be living, Úbeda, is 35,000. Well, I certainly got what I wished for! My first choices were Andalucía, teaching adults, in a place quieter than my hometown. I got exactly what I asked for! HA HA HA

To completely embarass myself: once the shock of seeing the placement email wore off, I actually CRIED. Out of happiness, of course! I was just amazed at the incredible luck bestowed upon me.

I'm so glad I'll be teaching adults. They actually WANT to learn English, whereas kids usually are not interested and feel like it's being forced down their throats. I was honestly very nervous about my placement, because the NALCA program is notorious for assigning placements not of the applicants' choosing. I wouldn't have been surprised if they had placed me in AFRICA, teaching GIRAFFES.

I've been procrastinating by reading websites over and over, such as the school's website and its Google Map. Dang, the town looks... tranquil. Reminds me of the quiet side of Quebec City. Little exciting blips of information pop up, such as the school's Christmas extracurricular activity: it includes KARAOKE! Hells to the yea!

My prof said I could possibly live in Vill., if I'm required to work a lot during the week. It would ease up my commute, because the town is 30 min. by bus from Úbeda. But Úbeda looks SO damn pretty! I wonder what it will be like, for a girl from a region of 600,000 to live in a town of 35,000. I don't know, there's lots of options and I can't decide until I arrive in Úbeda and look around Villacarrillo. However, ideally I'd like to live in the former; it looks like Vienna, Italy!
Úbeda (izq) y Villacarrillo (der); "One of these things is not like the other...."

Monday, May 20, 2013


.....and the re-obsession starts! Received my acceptance email a few days ago, and I confirmed that I'm going to ANDALUCÍA!!! My first choice when I was picking regions. 
My happy reaction  
I don't know which school yet, but I've been absolutely obsessed with reading blogs of people who were placed there in previous years. I refuse to look at too many pics, but I do remember the insanely hot sun, the Moorish architectural influence, taking the train, the thick ceceo-filled accent, and the olive trees.
It was funny when my roomate needed a distraction from studying one day, and said, "Tell me some good news - and NOT about Spain!" and I actually had EXTREME difficulty coming up with something! That's how obsessed I've been lately. It's 'cause I don't want to forget any details; moving to another country is a big friggin' deal involving a lot of bureaucratic paperwork and planning. It will be an absolute relief when I move into my new place in Spain.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What I'm Doing while Waiting

It's May 1st. The month when I'll (hopefully) receive my acceptance email from the program. I might even be taken off the BEDA waitlist, who knows? It's all up in the air and creating wayyyy too much anxiety for me. So how am I spending my time?

* applying for teaching work
* re-learning basic English grammar on the Cambridge English Teacher website; let's face it, I'm a native English speaker but I was barely taught grammar terminology
* learning Adobe After Effects
* teaching myself U.S. and Spain geography; Spaniards don't seem to care about Canada
* working as much as possible to build up the coin

What should I be doing, but choosing not to?

* working on my website (not this one); I'm having difficulty finding the motivation
* playing guitar - I just can't find the motivation, but I'm sure the need to play will come to me soon
* dating - not that I should be doing this, but I'm not actively out there in the scene because I'd rather spend my precious last few months with friends, or chilling at home getting stuff done and saving coin
* downsizing - I do it minimum once per week, but I'm not enjoying it so this process is THE slowest

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Things Peeps Say When I Tell them I'm Moving to Spain

I definitely get big smiles and big thumbs up when I tell people what I'm doing. I also get interesting comments and questions:

"Spanish men are cheaters."

Okay, I've heard the stories. Maybe a lot are, but surely not every single one? I mean, Vancouver men are mostly shy, reserved, and dress like shit, but not all of them! Surely there has got to be Spanish men who are loyal, kind, smart, and hot? One of my friends said, "You're better off finding a Spanish guy who's ugly, bald, and fat." Great, thanks.

"Spain's economy sucks. What kind of job are you going to do?"

Yes, I love editing and the excitement of news. But I need to be fluent in Spanish before trying to find media work. When I went and got myself CELTA certified, in the beginning I thought I'd only teach as a way to make money in Spain. But I discovered that I loved it! I look forward to incorporating it in my arsenal of many job skills.

"Are you moving abroad because you got dumped?" (Yes, someone actually asked me this.)

No. I know that a lot of people, upon a painful breakup, go travelling to "find themselves". I found myself here, in Vancouver, thanks to my inner strength and the most wonderful friends in the world. But since my trip to Spain in 2005, I've always wanted to go back. I honestly think there's a horseshoe up my butt, because as awful as the breakup was, if it had been delayed by even one year, I wouldn't be in this lucky position. The NALCA program generally accepts people up to age 35 (there are a few exceptions), and the Canadian work holiday visa program is up to age 35 inclusive. So I got dumped just in time! It's funny, at the time of the breakup many said I'd look back and see it happened for a good reason. At the time, I wanted these people to piss off. But I also knew they'd be right, and sure enough now I see they were. (I owe you all a drink)

"You're bringing your CAT? Why?"

Because I love him and when I adopted him, I knew it'd be a lifelong commitment. A promise is a promise! I don't know anyone whom I feel would be able to take good care of him, and he's definitely not going back to the shelter! He's been with me through thick and thin - especially the thick part; his hefty 19 lbs. are the reason I'm having to sacrifice one of my large luggages for Spain. (Grrrrrrr!!!)
He looks cute and small. But the reason you can't see his hind paws? FAT.
Although it's more trouble and cost, I'm confident I'll find us un piso, as Spain landlords are mostly okay with renting to cat owners.

"Why Spain? Why not Korea or Vietnam or...?"

I fell in love with the country in 2005, and I knew I'd return. I had no idea I'd return to try living there long-term, but that's the plan! Plus, I love speaking Spanish. I find it easier than French, and more useful globally than Portuguese and Italian. I think being fluent in Spanish will open a lot of doors for me.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I'm a Teacher!

I have all kinds of labels: Editor, Language Lover, Guitar Player, Tough Mudder .... now I can add Teacher to the list! As of April I finished my part-time CELTA course. It's a type of teaching certification, a type of TEFL actually, that tells the world that I'm qualified, according to Cambridge, to teach English as a second / foreign language.
Ladies who teach! And our awesome tutor, Brad.
Doing this course was difficult. I'd been out of school for so long I had forgotten about homework... essays.... reading... Even though it was only 3 nights a week to attend class, it became my LIFE. I could not believe how much work there was! But, it was all worth it. I definitely feel more confident to teach English. My original plan, when I'd come up with it in Italy in 2012, was to just show up at English schools in Spain and ask for a job. I am so glad I did not! This doesn't mean I'll stick to the CELTA way to the letter - the teaching methodologies are meant to be general guidelines. But the program was invaluable in teaching me how to plan lessons, how to deal with anticipated/unanticipated problems, and helped me see another side of myself. I'm really proud that I put aside my social life in order to obtain the best grade possible. I can't wait to start my new career!