Very first steps

I planned on starting this blog a very long time ago, before I travelled to Africa and definitely before I moved my life over to Spain. But things happened, life got too crazy and I simply didn’t have the time. But I’m in Spain now and finally I have a bit of time to myself. So please join me on my journey, my growing up, learning to cook, learning to live alone. This is going to be hard and being able to blog my life will help me along the way.

So here goes:

Travelling alone to Menorca was something that I was relatively confident about, I’d traveled alone before and been on several international projects. I was convinced that this wasn’t anything I hadn’t done before. How wrong I was. It took until I got onto the plane for the realisation to hit me, I’m moving my whole life to Spain. A country where I currently have no support network, friends and no mother to clean up after me. All I knew was that there was a man named Ángel who was going to be waiting to pick me up at the other side. But made it there, my very first step taken, I was in Menorca. I hid my Spanish speaking behind ‘I’m tired’ and ‘it’s been a long day.’ Knowing full well that in a few days I will no longer have these excuses and I’ll be thrown into a new culture, language and life completely.

My first night was simple, food (kindly provided for me) and sleep. With me being so tired this was not an issue and I woke up the next day able to have a lay in thanks to a national Spanish holiday, Sant Antonio (thank you España).

I quickly realised however that the flat I was sharing was not a very social environment and although the people themselves were lovely and fun to be around, it felt very much like an every man for themselves attitude. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, it meant I could curl up in my bed with my radiator to avoid the snow outside (yes, snow, in Spain). But going into day three now with very little change suggests simply that maybe I need to think about being the one to initiate the social side of this opportunity. Of course we’ve all only be together for a few days, the rest have been together a few weeks, so again maybe I simply need to give it time. These are the thoughts that help me sleep at night, trying to think of ways to improve this experience.

The project itself hasn’t really started yet, I begin working with the children on Monday. But being shown around Sant Lluis and Menorca has been an incredible way to begin my experience, it’s a fascinating, beautiful place and I can’t wait for summer when all of the excursions and tourist options open for the public, allowing me to explore more of the place I now call home.

In terms of my Spanish language, it has surprised me how much I can understand. One of the biggest issues with my understanding is the speed at which Spanish people talk, but as the days have gone on I’ve noticed myself pick up things I wouldn’t have a week ago. So already on day three I can tell you first hand that if you are trying to learn a language, the very best way to do that is to visit the country itself.
Hopefully soon I’ll be able to build up my confidence to speak and have proper conversations. My lessons start at 9am tomorrow morning, so I shall leave you now to get an early night.

Already I can tell that this experience is going to change my life. I’m going to learn how to look after, feed and motivate myself, I’m going to develop my language speaking ability and I’m going to realise how much we have to appreciate opportunities like these. If that isn’t what an EVS placement is all about then I don’t know what is.

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