It’s grown colder since the last time I posted in this blog. Both in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York and here in my new location: Madrid, Spain! I’ve been teaching English here for a few months already, just as I did last year in Quito, Ecuador.
I really enjoy life in Spain. It’s a far easier lifestyle than when I studied abroad in Nepal and still so when compared to my experiences in Quito. A small part of what I like about traveling is the challenges one can constantly face. Being an expat though, I think, is something different. It is a full-time subscription to the trials and tribulations of your host country and I’ve realized now just how much I appreciate a smoother day-to-day life.
When I think about it, the biggest complaints about my life now are that I’m always looking out for dog poop in the streets, which is gross and annoying, and that the metro system closes at around 2am. That said, Madrid nightlife begins much later than what I’m used to and wraps up around the re-opening of the metro system, which is around 6am. So, in that case, my metro complaint is really just a function of my poor cultural adjustment to partying!
Due to my new locale, I’m also opened up to great European travel opportunities. This winter break, I’ll be visiting a few new destinations and re-visiting two cities from my backpacking travels last year. Then, as the school vacations have allowed me, I’ll be visiting new countries in each of the first few months of the new year. I’m excited, but I’ll keep them a surprise for now!
As for Madrid, I love how easy it is for me to feel safe here and in Spain overall. It reminds me of being home in NYC. It’s a city with a whole lot of life, but where I only need to take average precautions in securing myself and my belongings. I’m not preoccupied with the topic of safety. It feels like freedom.