I am no longer an English resident! I thought  I'd dedicate my first post on My Trending Stories to a new step in my live: moving to Madrid. At some ungodly hour two weeks ago, I managed to haul myself out of bed and made my way to Heathrow airport with almost no hiccups ready to board my flight to sunny Spain. This is no end-of-summer holiday, oh no, there’s not return flight booked; I’m staying in Madrid for ten months.

A bit about me: I've spent the last two years studying history and Spanish at the University of Exeter and this year I’ve been sent off to the peninsula to take learning the language up a notch. I’m working at La Residencia de Estudiantes as a cultural events intern, helping out with the seminars and exhibitions they put on, translating and best of all writing. Dalí and Lorca are just two of many famous faces to have graced the halls of my new office so I’ve got pretty high hopes of what’s to come.

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Had to say goodbye to my beloved bed back home!

For the last few weeks all I’ve wanted to do was shove my life into a suitcase and start my new life abroad. The more I thought about what life was going to be like out here, what I would do and who I would meet, the more my excitement grew as my ability to wait patiently shrunk. Packing seemed to be the only thing I could do that was a step in Spain’s direction, but when you move abroad for such a long time, most of the things you’ll bring you still need where you are, and therefore I had to leave packing to the last minute. To add to that, I’ve had to watch my friends embark of their adventures before more, all of them already out here long before I joined. Seeing them starting well into their journeys only made me more and more eager to cross the starting line.

 

Getting all overexcited, I thought long and hard about all the things I want to do while I’m out here, letting my imagination get carried away with no intention of reeling it in. I have ten months as a nobody in a big city; there are no expectations of me, I can completely start afresh and I want to make the most of that. There’s a confidence in anonymity that will serve to my advantage. I can totally be my own person and explore myself as well as the city.

 

Over the last few days before I left, however, my childlike enthusiasm was overshadowed by nerves and a bit of sadness. I had to leave the majority of my friends behind to get on with their lives together and without me. I know that’s quite an overly discouraging thought, and I wouldn’t want them to be sitting around pining after me; of course they’re going to, and should, go on as normal. But thinking that they’re going to be making new memories and sharing new experiences without me doesn’t exactly fill me with rainbows and puppies. Furthermore, I’m going to miss curling up on the sofa in my old house at uni and shouting at the people on TV, and waking up after a big night and laughing at the antics we got up to in our drunken states. I feel like I’ve been snatched from this super strong unit (even though it’s my decision to go) and it just feels a bit less than fab.

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My lovely housemates and I saying goodbye to our second year home.

I just have to keep reminding myself to stay positive and I’m going to be making even more memories of my own. I’m living in a new country in a buzzing city with a new language and thousands of new people with whom I’m going to share some unreal moments. Nobody ever comes home from their years abroad without a smile on their face and I can promise you I’m not going to be the first. I’m going to be faced with a multitude of challenges but I will attack them head on with a grin the size of city I will soon fall in love with.

So here I am, taking on my year of sun cream and siestas and sangria. I can only imagine what and who I’ll come across as I settle into my new life routine. Stay tuned to see how it all plays out.

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Ready for the sun from a young age!

Adiós xo