When I moved to Spain

Do you remember that day I decided to move to Spain? Well, I do. That is because I was terrified. I was full of doubts and insecurities. Spain was not new for me – I had been there many times. What was new for me was that this time I finished university. I was not going to Spain as a tourist who happened to be interested in learning Spanish. No, this time I was a sociologist and an English teacher who was planning to stay there forever and who had that “I can do whatever I want” type of energy. Moving to Spain had been my dream for many years, but actually doing it made my hands shake and my knees weak.

I started dreaming a few years ago. My dream about leaving my cold country found its roots in a singing class. Yes, this sounds weird. I took part in a class in which we were singing Spanish songs and I just fell in love with the language (I must say “thank you” to the singing teacher Lisbeth, if she ever reads this, because she was very inspiring). I must tell you, before that class I literally didn’t know any word in Spanish.

That time I didn’t think much about it, but after that class I started to take Spanish classes and I went on holidays to Spain all alone to learn the language and get to know the culture. I grew up in a small village and going somewhere all alone was something new for me. So, leaving my country for the first time was a big step. My country, the Netherlands, is situated in Europe and to the east its neighbouring country is Germany. Parts of this county are to be found beneath sea level. Which is not a problem at all, because for generations the Dutch have been great at building dykes. I used to feel connected with the Netherlands and its people, but my time there had come to an end. I liked to see myself as a dove spreading its wings and going there where the wind might take her. Yes, I like romanticising everything.

Gosh, what am I doing? Leaving my safe environment. This could turn out to be a plain disaster. Will I find a nice place to live? Will I make any friends or will I just die alone?

These kinds of thoughts occasionally crossed my mind. I think any person doing something new might have them. And then the angel on my shoulder came in:

Did you know that Madonna only had 10 dollars in her pocket and she didn’t have a place to live before she became one of the most famous people in this world?! Compared to that, my plan doesn’t sound scary at all.

Okay I felt like a lunatic and I decided to book a one-way ticket to Spain! And it’s unbelievable that I have already been living here for three months; I have a nice house to live in; I have found work; and I don’t think I will be dying alone after all.

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