In my last Expat Update, I mentioned we were dealing with a few water-related issues. Thank you to everyone who sent emails and comments, it was so sweet! I’m happy to say that everything has been resolved. Before leaving for Hamburg, our landlord had a plumber come by. In my broken and very simple Spanish, I was able to explain to him what had happened. Somehow he understood me, and straight away worked his plumber magic. Under 30 minutes later he was out the door and our problem was solved!
I will admit, the first few times I used the washing machine after his visit I kept a very watchful eye on the former flood plain, but it’s been almost two weeks (and many loads of laundry) and everything is still dry, so I think we’re good. Hooray!
Travel to Hamburg
Not long after our water woes were sorted we were on a plane to Hamburg, Germany. It was a fantastic long weekend (which I’ve recapped here) and I absolutely fell in love with the city. So much so that I actually had a case of the post-holiday blues when we got home. Thankfully, after a day or two of sunshine and warm weather I was back to my old self and loving Madrid more than ever.
I decided to take last week off from language classes for a couple reasons: 1) our trip to Hamburg would cut the week down to three days of classes and I didn’t feel like paying full price for 60% of the lessons, and 2) I just needed a break. My week of one-on-one classes was great, but exhausting; we covered so many topics that by the end of the week my head was swirling. Having a few days off made me appreciate the classes (I was really excited to go back on Monday, well Tuesday – I ended up being sidelined with a cold on Monday) and gave me a chance to practice many of the things we’d gone over.
Now as I’m approaching my last Spanish class of 2015, I’m feeling more confident than ever and am looking forward to continuing my studies in 2016.
As the year comes to a close, so does my holiday. Come January, I will have to start looking for work. Finding work in Madrid is difficult for anyone, but given my lack of Spanish it’s going to be that much more difficult. Early on it became very clear that I’ll have a hard time finding something not only in my chosen field, but in all fields. Instead of letting this get me down, I’ve decided to take this as the perfect opportunity to explore the option and opportunities for freelance work.
Going out on my own is always something that I’ve thought about, but it never seemed like anything more than a farfetched dream. But, given the situation here in Spain, I figure there’s no better time to give it a shot.
A good portion on my time these past couple of weeks has been devoted to working on my portfolio and setting myself up so that come January I’ll be ready to start bidding on social media management and design layout. I’m nervous, but mostly excited for what this next career chapter will bring!
Shameless plug: if you or a friend are looking for a social media management resource, or someone to help out with graphic design and layout, please let me know!
Reflections on Expat Life
This is my last Expat Update for 2015. I can’t believe we’ve been in Madrid for two months already; it really has flown by. Although not without a few bumps in the road, overall my introduction to the expat life has been amazing, and I wouldn’t trade any of the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences for anything in the world.
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