new beginnings in a new country

It’s been one month since I moved (again) to Madrid and I can’t believe how time has flown. I’ve made some friends, started a new job, gotten a new phone number, a new bank account and new apartment!

I don’t think that this time last year I could have guessed where I’d be – it’s truly been a whirlwind trying to achieve this next goal of mine to live abroad.

Settling in to a new country is something I underestimated (along with my Spanish skills). I’ve moved cities/states several times and assumed it would be similar. Some aspects, such as housing, reminds me of NYC. One thing that has been hard is learning patience – with getting settled, with people, with the pace of everything, and with myself. I am so used to the fast-paced lifestyle and being early to everything that I am still adjusting to being places on time.

My job consists of working with children of all ages, from 5 years to 12 years, and helping them with learning English in the language class and in science class. It’s incredible to see the difference between the younger and older kids. I can converse with the older ones in English whereas the younger ones repeat what I say (e.g. “how are you?” “How are you?” Or “how are you?” “My name is David”). I have just started private tutoring two of the kids so I’m excited to see how they progress with the extra attention.

My commute to work is great – I live less than 5 minutes from my metro station, Estación del Arte and it is a straight shot 25-30 minutes to the 3rd to last stop, Congosto, in Vallecas. My apartment is really nice, with one of those quintessential European balconies and it is just a 10 minute walk to Sol, which is the city centre.

Some of the highlights of my time here so far include going to an Atletico Madrid game, finding and NFL bar, and making pizza from scratch with our group of friends. I also went on a hike to Miraflores de la Sierra two weeks ago and am planning to go again! My next goal is to join a running club so I can start getting my weekly mileage in.

I’ve began planning a few weekend getaways and can’t wait for what I’ve already planned – Morocco, Ireland, Switzerland and Denmark! My goal is to not go back to a place I’ve been before but Ireland was a special exception. Thereś a lot to look forward to but I am most excited to get some of these “housekeeping” items out of the way – such as getting my 1 year visa, ensuring I am in a good place to renew my teaching job, nailing the banking set up, etc. Lots more updates to come!

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