I’ve been totally MIA for like a year now, and I’m so sorry to all of you who have been wondering just what the heck happened to me… where I’ve been, what I’ve done… I’ve been trying to keep up to date on comments, but it’s been so crazy! Honestly, I ended up leaving Spain with a really bad taste in my mouth. This had nothing to do with the country, and everything to due with the company I kept. I could go on and on about it, but I’ll refrain… for now. Who knows, if enough of you ask me, maybe I’ll write about it!
So where the heck have I been for the past year?! Well I had some great travel experiences that I am totally going to post about (no, there’s no ETA on these posts, haha)… I visited a good friend in Scotland, had my family come visit me and we toured around southern Spain, took my first solo trip to the Canary Islands, and met a friend in Greece before ultimately returning to the United States. That’s right, I’m back in Montana! Since moving back, I’ve gotten a couple of new jobs, but I’m still teaching with VIPKid! I know a good portion of my readers stumble upon my blog because of VIPKid, and I am working on new posts for that too!
I got back to Montana at the end of June, last year. It was a journey, to say the least. I ended up leaving my apartment in Spain at about 3am (and was incredibly glad to be going). I then had to dump a whole lot out at the airport because my bag was way overweight. I wanted to just pay an overweight bag fee, but apparently it was too overweight so I couldn’t do that. So frustrating! I ended up having to throw things away and buy a duffle bag and pay for two bags instead of one, ugh. Then I had stupid long layovers. There were a few delays, too, so I got stuck on a few runways, but ultimately, I made it back to the U.S. in one piece, about 25 hours after leaving.
Initially when I got back, I was moved in with my parents. They had most of my stuff (that I didn’t sell or giveaway when I moved to Spain), so it made sense. I was pretty restless, though, only teaching an hour or two in the morning to make money. It was a nice little break, but I wanted to get out on my own. Of course, all apartments require you to have a job or a cosigner before moving into them, so I set out to find a job! I thought about going back to my old job, because it was easy and fun, but my position had been filled when I left so there wasn’t really room to go back. I applied around and eventually landed a job as the Director of Sales at a hotel! It paid well, but guys, I am NOT a salesperson. I took the job because of the great hours and decent pay, but I really didn’t enjoy it. I had no problems negotiating when people called me, but I was not a “go-getter” or anything like that. I was supposed to call companies and try and get my way in by being sneaky and asking them for competitor’s contracts and all that… Frankly, it’s just not me. Plus it was a weird time for the hotel because the general manager who hired me ended up moving back to Idaho and there were a lot of awkward transitions. So, I got in contact with one of the gals I worked with at my previous hotel job and she ended up replacing me! It was definitely a better fit for the hotel. The job was easy and I probably could have made it work, but I didn’t enjoy it. My passion lies more in art and graphic design. That’s why I ended up taking a new job (for a lot less money – ugh) working back in marketing and graphic design!
There have been a lot of transitions, so as you can imagine, I’ve been incredibly busy. Between moving in with my parents and out on my own and starting a new job and then quitting and starting another new job, I haven’t had a ton of free time. Plus, the biggest thing to take up my free time?
This guy! He’s my new dog! I adopted a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy from Certain Creek Corgis
up in Sweetgrass, Montana
. He is adorable and (mostly) well-behaved. He’s about 9 months old now and the best new thing in my life. He’s definitely going to be my new little travel companion. He does super well in the car, basically just falls asleep right after hopping in. He loves exploring new places and gets super excited when we’re outside checking things out. He’s so sweet! We’ve recently signed up for Doggy Day Care
, so I can drop him off at least once per week and let him get a little exercise in.
I can’t wait to take him all across the U.S. with me! And for those vacations that don’t allow for pet travel, I’m lucky that my parents live fairly close by and can watch him pretty easily for me 😉 His name is Oliver but he goes by Oli. If you want to follow him and all of his adorableness on Instagram, you can find him at @oli.the.corgi! Yes, I’m obsessed with my dog to the point where he has his own Instagram. Really, I got it because I wanted to watch him grow but also to avoid clogging my personal or travel Instagram with a bunch of dog photos! Haha.
Other than that, I haven’t been up to a heck of a lot. I’ve been playing catch up visiting my family and trying to visit my friends (whom I dearly missed while overseas!). It’s been a crazy six months since I returned. As of right now, I don’t have any definitive travel plans in my upcoming future. Unfortunately, my time off here is, once again, very limited. I have to work here for a year before I get five vacation days (ugh – Montana is not known for doing well in the time off department). I do get (an unpaid) two weeks off during Christmas time, so I’m going to try and schedule something fun out next year! If I plan well enough in the future, I should be able to score some decent discounts!
Also, super random, but I’ve been seriously considering how to move to Canada. I mean, being from Montana, I get asked if I’m Canadian pretty frequently when traveling! I’m already used to the cold (plus my dog loves it) and major cities like Calgary are closer to my hometown than most of the big cities in the United States! I know it’s a long and arduous process… Basically because I’m young and educated, I can potentially be fast tracked using Canada’s Express Entry system, which is a point based system that ultimately hands out Invitations to Apply (to certain candidates who score high enough). But the pros of Canada seem so great… Who doesn’t love free health care? That was one of the best things in Spain. I’ll have to make a post about it in the future. Seriously, socialized medicine is wonderful, you guys. It definitely beats paying $130 per month from my personal pay for something I may, but probably won’t, use. Why can’t the U.S. get on board with socialized medicine?! *Steps off soap box* Who knows, maybe I can make a fun, long weekend trip to see if I like it! It’s only a few hours away! Do I have any Canadian readers out there? How about any from Calgary?! Let me know! (This may be a pipe dream, but it’s at least fun to think about)
I’ve also been reading, ferociously, ever since I went to Spain. My Kindle is my lifesaver! I was able to download so many free English books online, thanks to my public library card! I read about 30 books while in Spain, which was over the course of nine months. I even joined a book club here in Montana! I’m going to try to write at least one book review a month, whether it be a new book, a book club book, or just something I picked up and want to talk about! If you’re interested, check out my Book Club
tab up top! I assume that my readers are into, you know, reading. I would absolutely love
to write a book someday. Fiction, preferably. It’s at the top of my bucket list. I have a few ideas floating around in my head, but nothing that I really love (yet). I’ve been browsing Pinterest for some writing inspiration, and it seems to be helpful. It’s more about just finding the time in the day… I teach VIPKid in the morning, go to work, take care of my dog/exercise, cook dinner, and get sleep in before having to get up early and start over. I’m such a grandma; I usually head to bed around 9-10pm since I get up at 4:30-5am every morning! But writing is important to me, so I’m starting with picking back up on my blog, and hopefully turning my skills, experiences, and imagination into a really cool story you’ll read someday! Seriously, if you guys have any recommendations for fiction writing workshops or free online classes, let me know. I can’t wait to hear from all my writers out there!
As exciting as the Canary Islands sounded, I was really afraid I was going to have another bad experience in Spain. Even though I was accepted to the island of Lanzarote
, the eastern most island in the archipelago, I decided to decline my position and stay in the United States. The travel was fun and my coworkers were great, but I felt like I wanted to get more of a start on my life. It was totally a personal decision, and I don’t regret coming home. I do sometimes daydream about sipping a beverage on the coast, and of course I wonder what it would have been like, but if I hadn’t come back home, I wouldn’t have my new puppy and I would keep missing out on family things. So I’m back, but still with wanderlust in my heart. I’m not sure that I’ve completely “settled” but for now, I’m happy to be gaining valuable work experience and moving forward with my life and my career. And Spain is always going to be an option for me in the future, should I change my mind.
Hopefully that was a quick catch up for all of my wonderful readers wondering what I’ve been up to this past year!