This feeling has become all to familiar to me. The feeling of not belonging. The feeling of leaving a place that was once strange and unfamiliar, but over time became home. The anxiety of heading to another new place to make new friends, have new adventures, build new bonds, explore a new culture. It all seems so exciting in theory, but when you’re in limbo, that’s when thoughts of home come flooding in. The little voice in my head that keeps telling me how much I miss my family and friends. That here I’m just a wandering soul with no real place to call home. It’s hard to fight these thoughts, but I know what I’m doing is what’s best for me, even though it gets tough at times. The hardest part though is that everywhere I go, I’m just meeting more people for me to miss when I leave.
I feel like it was just yesterday that I came to Valladolid. Nervous because I was moving in with a family I knew almost nothing about. And now I feel like I’m leaving the little home that I’ve built, the people who have become like family to me for the past couple months. The streets I’ve walked down every day, the supermarket where the girls and I would buy fresh bread. Our daily trips to the neighborhood swimming pool. The little blue BMW that I learned to drive stick shift in. My pink room filled with Disney Princesses and Hello Kitty stickers. (Okay, maybe I won’t miss the Hello Kitty decorations). But I definitely will miss this place and this family! Spain has really made an impact on me and I have a special place in my heart for this country. I will always love and cherish Thailand also, but my experience here in Spain has been so different. Actually living with a Spanish family and being a part of the every day Spanish lifestyle really made me feel part of the country, instead of just an outsider looking in. It was definitely an experience I’ll never forget, and now I’m off to do it all over again!
I was lucky enough to find a new family to au pair for. They are also a Spanish family, but they’re moving to Ireland for a year so their kids can improve their English. Perfect for me, because Ireland isn’t part of the Schengen visa countries and I have to leave Spain very soon, but now at least I get to take a little piece of the country with me. And I can continue to cherish the words “vale, venga and vamos” spoken at least 50 times a day. But I’m still feeling out of place right now, anxious about having to adjust to a whole new family. I think maybe I’m also a little sub-consciously depressed about all the food I’ll be missing! 😂 Spanish chorizo, tortillas de patatas, tintos de veranos, alubias, jamón, and using olive oil for just about EVERYTHING. On the bright side, maybe Ireland will have more vegetables. Or anything other than meat and carbs, which is pretty much all the Spanish diet consists of. 😅