I honestly cannot believe how much time has passed since I last updated you guys on my year abroad, or just how quickly my time in Spain in general has gone. I thought I would start this post off with a little reflection on my previous update, which I wrote after being here for 1 month. Then we’ll get on to how things are going currently.
I mentioned last time that I was just getting over a really nasty cold/flu type illness. Unfortunately, that period of relatively good health didn’t last too long and I found myself sick yet again about a month later. Yay. Thankfully, I am (touch wood) much better now and have been for a little while, although I’m not risking anything and have resorted to taking multiple daily vitamins, as my immune system seems to be absolutely rubbish and in need of a little help.
I also told you that I was planning on going for a run, which I did, and that I was a little worried about the heat and the mountainous terrain. I was right to be, it was hell and I haven’t been very consistent with any outdoor activities since. I am, however, very much getting back into yoga and indoor HIIT workouts so overall health and fitness-wise, I’m feeling pretty good.
I’m not usually one to make New Years resolutions, but one thing that I would like to change from last year into 2018 is my consistency with working out. Last year my fitness levels were all over the place, because I went through phases of exercising regularly and then not doing anything at all, so I would like to have some kind of (relaxed) routine in place this year to make sure I’m feeling my best.
My housemate and I are still loving to cook with all the fresh ingredients that are pretty readily available to us here. Sweet potatoes are definitely a firm favourite of ours and this week our new recipe to try was sweet potato fritters. I highly recommend them!
I can’t lie, though, I definitely miss the more traditional British meals that I enjoyed at home over Christmas and I am still outraged that nowhere out here sells gravy.
The tutoring classes that in my last post I had just started to teach are going well, as is my role as a teaching assistant which is what I’m really here for. I finally feel as though I have gotten into the swing of things, and being referred to as ‘teacher’ is nowhere near as scary as it once was. Whereas before leading a class induced just a little bit of dread inside me, it’s now something that I really look forward to. I’mnot sure I want to pursue teaching as a career just yet, though, as I think one of the reasons I love what I’m doing so much is because it’s not my responsibility to discipline the kids, I can leave that tough stuff to the real teachers!
Since my last post I have spent a little bit more time getting to know the town that we are living in, which is something I mentioned wanting to do. My housemate and I are now firmly settled on our favourite restaurants, supermarket and bar and have figured out the majority of the walking routes into the mountains that surround us (my favourite of which cuts straight through the middle of a pig farm).
I have also done a bit more travelling, including returning to Barcelona and Seville. I honestly can’t decide which of these two cities I love more. At the moment it’s looking like my next big trip will be to Madrid, a place I have never been to and so am super excited for. So, stay tuned for another Spanish travel post in the near future!
Honestly, I could ramble on for hours (or even days) about my life here. I feel settled and content, which I honestly didn’t think that I would when I first left the UK. I was continuously worried that homesickness would prevent me from really getting to grips with life out here and I could not be happier with how mistaken I was about that.
The only real negatives that I have found about my time here, which I want to include because I always like to be honest over here on this blog, are the freezing winter temperatures and the lack of festive cheer that I felt before going home for Christmas.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘you’re in Spain, how can you possibly be complaining about the weather?’ Well, let me tell you that Spanish winters are COLD, especially here in the mountains, Spanish houses do not have central heating and everywhere is tiled. I. AM. FREEZING.
Luckily, earlier this week our landlady took pity on us and brought over a space heater for my bedroom, so I am slightly toastier. However, I still cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the return of the warm weather.
I’ve been back in Spain for a week now, after spending two weeks at home for Christmas. My time at home was, of course, wonderful. I got to see my family and friends for the first time in three months and we had what I would be pretty confident calling the best Christmas yet. It was a bittersweet experience, as I knew it would be, because as much as I enjoyed myself the little voice in my head would always be reminding me that I had to leave soon and fly back here.
But back here isn’t too bad at all, as I am sure you’ve gathered. I hope you’ve enjoyed yet another rambly post from me, congratulations if you made it this far!