I believe life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. Shortly after graduating from college in May 2015, I booked a one-way ticket to Spain. I spent the 2015-16 school year working at a high school in rural Andalusia, where I worked as an auxiliar de conversación.
Although I originally only planned to stay in Spain for one school year, I fell in love with the Andalusian lifestyle (and with a handsome cordobés stranger one fateful night in a craft beer bar). I decided to renew my contract to stick around for another year and see what else Spain has in store for me.
My pre-Spain story mostly takes place in Ohio: I was born and raised in Columbus, then spent three years studying public relations at a college in the rural southeastern corner of the state (Athens if you’re wondering: OU, oh yeah!). I graduated magna cum laude a year early with a bachelor of science in PR and spent the summer of 2015 interning with a startup accelerator in Cleveland before moving to Spain in September.
Like many twentysomethings, my love for travel began with a study abroad trip. I spent part of 2013 studying cross-cultural communication and international mass media in Leipzig, Germany, a city in the former GDR about an hour south of Berlin. I have nothing but good things to say about the former East Germany and still miss it like crazy: this region has come so far in the past 25-30 years, and its people are nothing short of inspirational with their resilience. If you want to see what that was all about (and make fun of my 18-year-old writing), my primitive-looking study abroad blog is here.
After two years in the auxiliar program, I got word that I was unable to continue teaching in Córdoba due to a new rule limiting assistants to two years in Andalusia. Cue a hectic month or so of trying to get all my ducks in a row before everything fell into place. I got my residency (so Spain can’t kick me out, at least not for the next five years!). I now work from home teaching English online and doing freelance writing projects.
Some random things about me:
- I learned to read when I was four and haven’t stopped since.
- Studying languages is my favorite hobby, and I think the US could highly benefit from some kind of mandatory language education. I’m fluent in Spanish, can hold my own in a conversation in Portuguese, am learning German, and taught myself to read Russian!
- I can dance my way through a two-hour Zumbathon no problem but can hardly run through the duration of a three-minute song.
- Despite being from the US, I’ve never been to New York (cue gasps from stunned Spaniards whose mental image of the entire United States looks a lot like NYC).
- A few of the (many) places on my travel bucket list are Scandinavia, Belgium, Poland, Australia, Brazil and Japan.
When I’m not conversing in Spanglish with Andalusian teenagers, I enjoy cooking, listening to music, trying new fitness classes at the gym, and meeting friends from all over the world. Thanks for stopping by VC!