Adventure / Blog / Europe / Travel / Upcoming plans

Fantasizing about the Future: Euro 2012

Cuba 2010

Every morning I wake up with a new worry in mind; this morning, I realized that I needed to figure out my living situation for Madrid in a few weeks, as I needed to feel secure. Many questions ran through my mind: should I live with a host family, or rent? Should I buy my flight yet, or wait for my visa to be officially handed over to me? Would my visa be ready in August? Should I really wait to buy my flight, when I know prices will go up? Oh wait, didn’t I just think of that? Also – where should I visit?

To say it’s been easy would be a lie; it’s a transition that no one can do without a lot of effort and research. From looking into my visa requirements, which were much more extensive than I initially imagined, to figuring out how much money I’d need to get settled, it’s been a bumpy ride. All things in life that are worth it require more-than-average amounts of energy, though, I keep reminding myself.

Indeed, it hasn’t been easy working a full-time job while trying to assemble my paperwork, while also looking into flights and budgeting my funds. It hasn’t been easy thinking of what programs I need to apply to this winter for my masters degree – a life issue entirely of itself, filled with its own amount of stress. It hasn’t been easy fending off some doubtful concerns from my family. It hasn’t been easy minimizing my time with friends due to my down-to-the-penny budget and lack of time, either. And this is merely a glimpse of what is to come; I will have to apply for an NIE card while I’m there (which I hear is a huge pain and takes several trips to a police station), find a place to live, pay for a million different things as I barely get paid for my first month there, and later on write my applications for my masters program, which it looks like I’ll be applying to from an entirely different continent.

With that said, in a few months, it’ll all be worth it – I have no doubts about that. For those of us that have “played it safe” for the majority of our lives, a little adventure is eventually needed. While compared to a lot of people that I know, my life has been rather adventurous (I do travel quite a bit now), for the little-kid version of me who imagined sailing around the world, it hasn’t really been enough for me.

At the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, February 2012

Over and over, I keep hearing, “don’t you travel enough?”, and “you should stay!”. The worries from those close to me I can understand, but hasn’t anyone ever heard of getting out of your comfort zone? I’ve been one to believe that you can never really grow as a person without doing something daring; in fact, over the last 2 years, I’ve done a lot of things I never would have really imagined doing at 17 years old. I did a lot of things that changed me, almost too quickly, and I find myself having to catch up to my own progress. It gets hard to process at times, but if you don’t learn to know yourself when you’re young, before you’ve made any serious commitments to a particular job or person-of-interest, you may find it expontentially harder to do so down-the-line. While I’m not a fan of reflecting on myself too much, I believe everyone needs some balance in their life between reflecting inwards and outwards, and after a few years of assessing my goals, I realized that there were a lot of things I wanted to improve upon and explore.

That’s where this trip to Madrid, for 9 months, comes in. While the trip is also beneficial to me in other ways, it’s an opportunity to be truly bold all on my own for a longer period of time. There comes a point in everyone’s life when something feels completely right, even with its obstacles, and this is that time for me.

Wanderlust, overlooking Los Angeles, May 2012

So, as I sift through all the bureaucratic matters and financial issues that go along with this move, I sometimes remember to remind myself of the things I will experience that make all of those obstacles worth it. The future isn’t guaranteed to us, which is another reason why we should pursue the things we’ve always wanted to do when the time comes. Hence, I’ve started to give myself the privilege of daydreaming of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, the aquatic alleyways of Venice, the beautiful sights of Paris, the charm of Porto, the hidden treasures of Dubrovnik, and the feel-at-home-ness of Morocco. I may struggle at times this year – from missing my family to budgeting every little thing as I get my feet on the ground – but as a young woman with wanderlust, a desire to improve upon the mind and soul, and a need to see the world, I believe this could be one of the – if not the – most definitive years of my life. I’m ready to go.

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3 thoughts on “Fantasizing about the Future: Euro 2012

  1. Okay wow. I can say these are exactly the kinds of thoughts and issues I’ve been struggling with also. I’m so glad you are going after what you want to do rather than what would be more “acceptable” to your family and peers. It seems like there are very few people here who understand my mindset when I say I’m quiting my good job to live like a pauper in Madrid.

    Best of luck to ya.

    • We’ll be budgeting for the first two months but after that, I think we’ll be ok! Plus, with private classes, it’ll help (for travel).

      It’s funny because I always saw the whole “travel like crazy” thing as very normal and very common, as a lot of my extended friends/network do it, though some not for so long unless they’re doing school abroad. It’s really not all that bad when you actually have a job – some people go out into the world to backpack and have no real income until they figure something out over there. I’d say that’s a little more bold and warranting of worry than what we’re doing!

      Thanks, and best of luck to you too.

  2. Exactly! I think we are indeed lucky and will hopefully have a chance to travel from our “base” in Madrid. I’m sure we will both learn a lot about ourselves and what we value in life.

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