Sunday, 29 August 2010

Like shaking a bottle of champagne

The closer the leaving day comes - which is Wednesday - the more the world in general pushes you to go. Maybe preparing for 7 months has something to do with that. It feels very much like this whole thing has a life of its own - a fast moving heavy freight train which has been stoked with 7 months worth of coal.

At first it took effort, planning, and work to get moving... and now it's flying at almost top speed, about to bust through the wooden gates into a new country... and when I stop shoveling coal into the Engine for just a moment and look around me I realise that even if I wanted to stop it, I couldn't. It has a life of it's own now.

I had to say bye to someone today who I'm going to miss very much, and more than ever that makes me just want to get the hell out of here now. As if somehow making real physical geographical movement will make it all easier.

I've still got each of my parents to see off too, and then a final meet-up with some of my friends. It's very much like I've got hold of a bottle of champagne in my hands and every time I have to say bye to someone I'm loosening the metal top just a little more.

Until finally - POP! The cork flies out the window, it sprays everywhere.. and you're gone.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Last day of work.

It's been 9 months since I decided to move to Spain, 7 months since I started learning Spanish, and 5 hours since I finished my last day at the I.T job I've had for over two years.

Let me stress this is not a holiday, not a trip volunteering abroad, not studying in a foreign country for a year. This is a full, indefinite move to another country.

Yes, this is "the" car.


Looking back at the amount of work I've put in this year to make this happen is actually quite insane. I've spent around 300 hours learning Spanish - and that is active audio-linguistic learning, not including watching Spanish films, meeting up with Spanish people for "intercambio" of languages (as they call it), reading Spanish websites, listening to Spanish pod-casts, and changing all my facebook, mobile, PC, etc language settings to Spanish.

I've saved almost 50% of my after-tax wage packet. And it's not because I'm paid a lot. I'm currently wearing a £9.99 shirt from H&M, a £4 pair of clearance suit trousers from a nondescript retailer, and a pair of reconditioned shoes which I bought two years ago. I've been eating, for the last 6 months, mainly large £1 bags of apples, £1 bags of raw spinach, 40-50p tins of pinto bins... you get the idea. Healthy, but cheap.

I've studied a 20 hour TEFL course. Never having taught before in my life, apart from a bit of coaching here and there, I'm going to waltz into Valencia and somehow get myself a decent teaching gig. I'm not joking or even being incredulous, I truly believe it's going to be that easy. If I had a language school and I walked through the door, I'd employ myself right away. That's how I know. I've got the drive, the energy, and I'm a native English speaker, and the first two of those things are rare.

Benefits so far

That's one of the things this whole dream/adventure/whatever has really done for me. Driven me forward. I felt a little as if I didn't really know what I was doing with my life before, but I knew I wanted a challenge, something to get my teeth in to.

This has already provided that and more and the trip hasn't even began yet.

Still to do - service the car, photos will be put up of the little Spain-mobile that's going to get us to Valencia, and test-pack the car to see if our stuff all fits.

By the way, we're planning on a little detour through Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, France again, and Andorra... I guess we thought we'd treat ourselves after busting ass for half a year to make this thing happen.

If YOU want to do it...

At this stage, and I must stress the disclaimer that I haven't YET got any proof this is going to turn out to be as awesome as I think it's going to be, if you are someone who has any hidden desires to do this - do not waste another second. Tap into them... really think about it. Start to push yourself a little.

If you think about it a little it'll start to grow, and the moment to act is when it grips you. When you feel that desire deep down start to tug so heavily that you know you have to do something about it.

Once you've got that, then start planning, acting, and doing. Before you have that, don't do anything, because there is no point in even starting this stuff on a whim. You need 100% drive, and that comes from a laser focused idea of what you really want from life.

More to come soon...