Today marks exactly one year since I stepped foot into another country, and began my overseas adventure.
At this time last year I was in Morocco, probably resting after a 27 hour flight with no sleep (really.. none) and since then I have had some seriously amazing experiences. I have ridden a camel out into the Sahara Desert and camped there for a night, explored abandoned hotel buildings and looked off to the liberating village of Lagos in Portugal. I spent a week with a French family, riding horses through vineyards in the countryside while finding historic ruins and eating cherries off of trees. I worked in a couple of hostels, hiked up some mountains in the French Alps, and hitchhiked on the island of Sardinia. I went cliff jumping for my birthday in the Greek Islands, drowned my phone and lost 13,000 photos and videos, worked on a farm with my best friend and had a masterchef cook off with an Italian (and unfortunately failed miserably).
Now I am living in Madrid, teaching English and trying to learn Spanish. I spent a couple of months volunteering at The Way Hostel, making friendships and moments I will keep in my memory and cherish forever (and if for some reason I forget all of that, Ill just go and volunteer again to relive my time there). I have made a lot of friends here in Madrid, and a boyfriend who I love very much. Madrid is a dynamic, vibrant city filled with music and colour and life. It is a place full of creativity and inspiration. Seeds are growing, and ideas are developing about what I want for my future. I have many exciting things planned in the short and long term, and if all of that goes to plan… I wont be coming back to Australia for a very very very long time.
I have been so fortunate in life to have had the constant love and support of my entire family. Particularly my parents, without their encouragement and help, all of this would have been much more difficult. Its weird to think that if I hadn’t been so obsessed with spaghetti from such an early age, all of this might not have happened. Me loving spaghetti and my family all having some little connection with Italy turned my pasta obsession to an obsession with anything Italian. My best friend and I bonded over our love for Italy and began to dream of visiting it together. Once that dream was fully realised, my plans expanded rapidly.
Travelling hasn’t always been easy. The visa and legal stuff is EXTREMELY painful. Italian and Spanish bureaucracy is the worst. I have been dead broke a couple of times, and when my Granddad passed away I was close to coming home. But I’m not exactly a traveller anymore. I am making a life for myself here and I’ve learnt I am excellent at adapting to my surroundings and whatever issues arise. I know I am young, but I’m confident with myself and feel stronger and more alive than ever. I know this is an extremely cliché post. But I just thought I would leave you all with a little update, and hopefully inspire you to make some crazy decisions in the meantime. So I’ll finish up now, share some photos with you, and go out to celebrate one year abroad!!