First days abroad


“That’s so cool!” “You’re going to have a great time.” “It’s so inspiring to watch you follow your dream.” “I wish I could do what you’re doing.” “I don’t have the guts to take this kind of journey.”

These are some of the things people said to me when I told them of my plans to quit my job and travel.

This is my fourth day in Spain, and it pains me to say that so far, my experience feels far from inspiring, dream-following, or courageous.

I’m questioning this “dream” to travel that I thought I had.

I’m wondering why I felt that I needed a three month sabbatical.

I was saying that I wanted to experience Spanish culture, but instead I’m getting annoyed.

I don’t enjoy the apartment I’m renting, and it makes me feel kind of uncomfortable.

I just want to go home and cuddle up with my husband.

Everything seemed to be flowing smoothly when my flights were perfect, and I was able to easily setup a Spanish cell phone number on my first day.

… Then I walked into my lodging for the next three months.

IΒ won’t go into details here, but my apartment isn’t cute and charming and modern, as I imagined it from the pictures I saw when I booked it. I felt so disappointed and disillusioned when I first saw it in real life.

So, now I feel like I’m part of a big cosmic joke: my inner voice was saying to me “go to Spain, stay in this apartment.” But I set foot in this place and I feel uncomfortable. My routine these few days has been to prepare food to take with me and spend as much time away as I can.

I knew there would likely be spiritual growth for me when I embarked on this journey. I suppose the yucky apartment was to push me to go out to see Barcelona more, and to simply “be” with me and my thoughts, my feelings, and my battle to squash my inner demons.

Or, maybe this {swear word} apartment really is a cosmic joke. I’m still kind of mad at the powers-that-be about this place.

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13 thoughts on “First days abroad

  • Dr. Tracy Maharaj

    Maybe what seems like a “cosmic joke” is actually part of an “(Inner) Cosmic Journey”….
    I am sending out a prayer for the Sun to shine… It always does (eventually)…

    Be well and happy Jean!
    Tracy

  • Kat

    Jean, you’ve gone there to learn something about yourself. So — you don’t like your appt. Now’s your chance to determine whether the 4 walls that make up your living space are key determinants to your happiness (in which case go find new digs in Spain) or whether the essential ingredients to your evolution lie ouside those walls.

    I look forward to hearing what you determine πŸ™‚

    • Jean D Post author

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. “What make me happy?” Does my living space do that? The meals I eat? The people I’m with? Let’s strip away all the extra stuff in life — which is what I believe I’m here to do — and see what’s beneath it all.

  • Chantal

    I have to agree with our little sister on this one… and for some reason the thought comes to me that this is a part of your journey. Hmm kinda like you have to put in a little bit of work for you to find the true answers you are looking for. You were use to life in a sense being easy…you don’t learn from easy. I know that you will rise above the challenges and come out the other side feeling more complete and stronger than you ever imagined! πŸ™‚

      • Jean D Post author

        Nope, your feedback wasn’t harsh. I realize that we sometimes go through life not really paying attention, getting stuck in a routine, taking things for granted (i.e., it’s “easy.”) I guess I’d go through some tough times, but I didn’t think it would right away.

        • Chantal

          Well you did pick up and move to entirely new continent, it is alot of new things to take in at once, but you are strong and it will become something you will forever be greatful you did! πŸ™‚

  • Cory Cameron

    Apparently it takes 45 days for something to be come a habit, so I’m not surprised that something new feels foreign, particularly in Spain. Give your adventuring exploring skills time to grow. You got those ‘sit for eight plus hours and answer emails’ skills down pat from practice. Now you have to learn some new skills and I am sure you will in time.

    • Jean D Post author

      My sit-down-and-write-email skills? Nah…
      Everybody knows that to send an email in Outlook, you Alt-Tab until you get to Outlook, then Ctrl-Shift-I, and Ctrl-N to open a blank new email, type the first few letters of the person’s last name, if you have more than one recipient, hit Enter and type the next person’s name, hit Tab, and you’re in the CC field, repeat the process with the recipients’ names, hit Tab again and you’re in the BCC field (if you have it on) or in the Subject field, type the subject, hit tab and type the body of the email. Of course, then everybody knows that you hit Ctrl-Enter to send your email.

      Thirteen years of muscle memory… maybe I got out of the corporate world just in the nick of time.

  • BG

    Decorate and make it fabulous for the next person that rent’s it! Good way to meet people being out and about shopping! You could get a puppy for company!

    Have fun my friend!
    BG

  • Mandy T

    Oh Jean, I’m sorry your first days in Spain were not the fabulousness you’d hoped but I know it will get better! You have to endure the bad times to appreciate the good and I look forward to hearing about it all as I’m living vicariously through you while I remain a corporate drone! Miss you! Xoxo La Mandi πŸ˜‰