Hi guys, how are you? It’s been a while since my last blogpost, so if you are wondering where I am, I totally get it. In one moment, or actually in several, I was thinking the same thing, because I have visited so many places in Spain in the last two months. But I’m still here in Spain, and now in Seville since the 29th of September. Before that, I was visiting the north of Spain, in my little rental car, Ruth, for about 3 weeks, and then my mom and I met up in Madrid for 4-5 days, which was really great. She wanted to come and be with me for my birthday, which we realized was years since we were together on my actual birthday.
Now I’m in Seville where I will live for a while. It feels like my new home, and I was looking forward to go back to Sevilla after being up north. I write that it’s for a while (some months, maybe 3, maybe 6 maybe longer), because that’s what it feels like, that it’s just temporary. Its until I don’t feel like living here anymore, until my life creates another path and my heart tells me it’s time to go somewhere else.
I kept wanting to write a blogpost when I was travelling in the north, because I felt that it was a long time ago, but I didn’t feel inspired to write anything. So, I decided not to. But now that I’m in Sevilla, settling down, I feel that I want to share things with you, about how it is for me, to be in Spain, and to start living my “new life” here. It’s usually easier to find flow, be relaxed and to be joyful when you are travelling, discovering and experiencing new things. But most of our lives, we have a daily life, with routines and tasks and that’s where its most important to nurture yourself, in order to live in alignment with our true selves, if we want more flow in our lives. The everyday life is what I think is most important for me to focus on and that’s also what my blog is about. How I try to live more in alignment with my true self and what happens when I do that.
But if you do want to know more about my travels up north, you can see some pictures on my Instagram profile alexandra2809 and ask me, of course. But one thing I can tell you, is that there is some beautiful nature up north, especially mountains, like in this picture:
MOVING TO SEVILLA
Those of you who have read my first blog post, have read that moving to new places and apartments, many times within a short period of time, is my specialty. I am thinking about opening a moving company… or not! Well, being in Spain is obviously not an exception to me, because I already live in my third place in Sevilla, within just 5 days. I think that must be a record. The first place was just an Airbnb place, for a couple of days until I would find something more temporary. Luckily, I found a place the 2.nd day already, thanks to Facebook and all the amazing groups that there are. I was happy to leave the Airbnb place a day before because it was really disgusting with cockroaches dancing on the kitchen table in the evening. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win.
The new place I found was 30 minutes’ walk from the city center, where I go to school, which I will tell you more about later. The place was fine, and the owner seemed nice. I was renting a room and the owner was only sleeping there some days a week, which suited me great. But one day when I came home from school, there was a smell of wet earth in the apartment. I tracked it down and unfortunately found a big fungus spot behind my bed. I talked to the owner and he told me that there had been a water damage between the two floors, a couple of weeks earlier, and now it seemed as if the fungus was accumulating. I immediately felt that I had to leave to place. I am “allergic” to fungus, because I have eczema, so I knew I had to move again, ASAP. I went on Facebook again, in all the Sevilla groups I could find and the next morning, a lady had written to me about renting a room in her flat. It was a room that I visited before, when I was in Sevilla 3 weeks earlier, and even though I felt a good vibe at the place, at that time, I turned it down because I thought it would be easier to find a flat, where I could live on my own. But guess what… not!! I arranged to come a visit the lady again, and this time her twin sister was home too. We just had an instant chemistry all three of us and I moved in the same afternoon. I felt the feeling of flow, it just felt right in the heart, so I listened to that. The twin ladies are 53 and one is a flamenco singer and is sewing flamenco dresses and she was off to Japan the next day with her Japanese boyfriend, that is a flamenco guitar player, to sell dresses and sing flamenco. The other sister loves to dance flamenco, and both sisters just have a lovely, vibrant and positive energy. In the house there is also a girl from Taiwan, that rents a room for a few months because she is here in Sevilla to study flamenco dance. I have landed in the Flamenco house, and if that’s not a sign for me to learn flamenco, then I don’t know what it is 😉 I have lived here for 10 days now and I just love it. I feel at home and I can be independent and me, without anybody is telling me how to live. That’s very important to me. The sister that didn’t go to Japan, is just so funny, warm and open minded and we talk and joke a lot. In Spanish of course, because, seriously, almost no Spanish people here speaks English. But that’s also better for me, then I will learn Spanish a lot faster.
HABLAS ESPAÑOL? (Do you speak Spanish)
Speaking about Spanish… OMG, I find the next level in my Spanish classes so much more difficult than I expected it to be. I signed up for 20 hours classes a week, at a language school just by the cathedral in the center of Sevilla. When I look out of the window from my classroom, I look straight at the cathedral wall and I can see wild green parakeets (birds) fly around and sit on the cathedral. That’s really something, and something that I would only see in a cage in Denmark, is actually just flying around in the wild here.
Well, back to the Spanish classes, I am actually very present in the classes, even though I also look at birds. I have no other choice, because we are only 4 students (from Taiwan, France, Germany and me), and we take turn to ask questions. It is great that we are just few students, but our strengths and lacks in Spanish are all very different, which makes it a challenge to the teacher. I also think that I’m a bit of a challenge to him, because I ask a lot of questions, why this and why that, and…. but he is doing a great job and making a big effort to make us understand, and he will try until we do. But on the first day I was not so happy with the way things worked, because it all seemed so unprofessional, and I did not hide that. But he totally understood it, and now the classes are good. I’m taking a week at a time, and decide week by week, if I continue this way, with 20 hours Spanish a week, and at this school, because it depends on when I get a job and the working hours. I am also thinking about getting one-to-one lessons, I found a webpage with Spanish teachers, and its not much more expensive. And after 2 weeks of classes, I actually think that 20 hours a week is too much because there is not enough time to absorb the knowledge, and all the information is just a big blur in my head. And after classes I look for a job, and all the things you need to do when you move to a new country, so when I get home, I’m too tired, especially in my head, to study. But I’m in progress and I just have to deal with my impatience with myself, that I want to be able to speak Spanish fluently, starting yesterday. Luckily I get exposed to Spanish everywhere I go, and even when I meet foreigners, that are not tourists here, we speak Spanish to each other.
MOVING TO A NEW COUNTRY MEANS…..
It’s only just now, that being in Sevilla, after the last two months of visiting places, that I feel that I have moved to Spain. It’s now that I am starting my “new life”. The first thing I did, when coming back to Sevilla, was to change my phone number to a Spanish one. But that was actually a bit scary to me, because my Danish number was somehow my “lifeline” to Denmark, the life I had there and my friends and family. I had my Danish number for many many years and somehow, having a Spanish number, makes me feel like I have vanished completely from Denmark now. And that’s actually a bit funny, because I communicate more on social media and email, more than I text people. The other thing is, that when I put the Spanish sim card in my phone, all text in my phone, like everywhere, automatically changed into Spanish. Even my GPS lady stopped speaking Danish and now speaks Spanish (how did she learn to Spanish so fast!!!). I don’t feel that comfortable in Spanish yet, that I can read everything in Spanish, especially not technical stuff on my phone, so that was scary too. But I have decided to keep it in Spanish and see how it goes, after all, I really need to learn the language. It’s a funny thing with moving to a country where you just don’t understand everything people say. It’s a bit like being in a bubble sometimes. I’ve noticed that, for example if I ride the bus, and people around me talk in Spanish, and I don’t understand it, I just don’t listen, and then it can feel like I’m in a bubble, just by myself. I can’t wait to get out of the bubble and be a part of it all.
Moving to a new country means changing almost everything and starting all over. Where do I buy my groceries, where can I buy organic food, where can I buy coconut milk, where do I buy a light bulb for my night lamp, what bank to choose, what phone company to choose, where can I eat healthy green food when I go out. One of my biggest challenges, moving to Spain, is actually where and what to eat when I go out. Spanish food means a lot of meat, fried food, greasy and preserved food, seafood, bread, the same boring mixed salad in almost all Spanish restaurants, and a lot of other things that I just don’t eat because my body just doesn’t deal with it very well. This means that when I didn’t have a kitchen, I had to eat either meat or sometimes go hungry to bed, which is also not very good. I now have a kitchen and I love it, I can again eat my food. I have really missed having daily routines. The last two years, I studied a Master, and there I had to make my own routines when I didn’t have classes, which I also enjoyed, but now I look forward to getting a job and have new routines.
I’m very surprised about how fast I feel being at home in Sevilla. I have this incredible way of adapting to new places very fast. I really like this city, its beautiful buildings, its vibe and just walking around in it. I walk to everything here. In Denmark I would never walk anywhere, I felt it was a waste of time to walk and I would go on my bike everywhere, even if it was to the kiosk just a 3 minutes’ walk from my home. But here I can’t imagine myself biking. Sevilla is not very bike friendly, and there are many cobbles in the streets which are not very comfortable to ride a bike on. Walking is the new me.
Time for me, is different here. I don’t feel like I have to hurry in the same way that I did in Denmark, or that I waste time. But I really need to figure out how to adapt to the Spanish time. The Spanish people start the day a bit later than in Denmark, schools starts around 9, and then there are siestas where all shops close between 13.30/14.00 until 17.00/18.00 and are open until 20.00/21.00. And then the Spanish people go to bed between 23.00 and 00.00, but they still get up early. What happened to that eight hours of sleep is important? I still don’t really know what to do in siesta time, because I’m not used to rest during the day. What does the Spanish people do? If you visit a small village, the city is like a ghost town during siesta. I would rather stay up and do stuff during the day and go to bed around 22, but it’s just difficult to do that here, if you want a social life. Many restaurants also close during the day and open at 20.00 again, and if you come at 20.00, you will almost be the only one eating, because the Spanish people will come a bit later. But I feel that the Spanish time is a good thing for me, because it forces me to slow down.
A great thing about moving to Spain is the many hours of sun during the year. I can count the number of rainy days since I have arrived on one hand, and its not whole days, it’s just some hours of the day. It’s the 15th of October today and its 20 degrees and raining, yesterday it was 25 and sunny and the day before that, 31. Until now, I have been wearing shorts, skirts, short sleeves and sandals every day. I don’t complain about the weather at all, and the many days with a blue sky, but I’ve heard that the winter can be cold (but shorter than in Denmark), especially because most houses are not isolated. I will let you know about that later.
GETTING A JOB
Getting a job is my next step. Working within social work, that’s my area, is a bit in the future, because I don’t speak enough Spanish yet, to work professionally. I would like to work with refugees, but that means that I also need to brush up my French from high school, because there are many refugees from French speaking African countries in Spain, so that is a bit in the future. Now I’m looking for jobs in cafés, bars and restaurants, and other places where my language skills can be useful. But I also think about what I would like to learn to do, I have so many options, I just need to choose. But I do have a feeling that it will be useful for me, to learn how it works in the service industry in Spain, because I think I will need it later. For what, I’m not sure about yet, but it’s just a feeling that I have, and I’ve learned to trust all those feelings and ideas that I get, and just to follow them, without always having all the answers on forehand. And because of that, I have moved to Spain without knowing why. It all might sound fluffy, flowy and easy, but actually I’m not very good at not having the answers on forehand. It can stress me a big deal, so every day I practice letting go of the control and live like as if I was a backpacker on adventure. It’s not easy, but Rome wasn’t built in one day, and I trust that things happen for a reason, and there is a damn good reason to why I’m in Spain, besides just to be, or is there?
LOSING NORMS, AND FINDING NEW ONES, MAYBE, IF YOU WANT TO.
Moving to Spain, makes me feel like that I have lost many of the social norms in society, that I was living by in Denmark. I’m in a transition, and I don’t know many of the Spanish norms yet, and that makes me feel very free. I’m just me, and I’m free to be me. I realize now that I have lived a lot in my thoughts about what others might think about me and what would be the right thing to do. I’m letting go of that here, because it’s a new beginning to me, in a new country, and I become more in alignment with myself, with who I truly am and what I want to do. My Spanish teacher thinks that I might get into situations where I can insult people here in Spain, because I’m so straight forward, sometimes loud and open mouthed. But I’m willing to take that risk (so far I had only good experiences), because being straightforward is one of my sides that I’m not willing to let go off, it’s who I am and it’s the side of me, that gives me all the great experiences and gifts of life, and makes me meet all the great people that I do. The downside of losing norms is that I got my first speeding ticket, cruising around in Ruth, the rental car. “Ohh, so the speeding limits counts for me too? But I’m new here, I didn’t know…” hahaha, okay, karma really works, something is telling me to “slow down lady”. So that’s what I will try to do, to slow down, relax and enjoy the adventure of moving to a new country, a new city, learning a new language, new culture, new people and all the new things…. How lucky can one be.