When I visited Spain two years ago, I was captivated by it. It felt natural, it felt comfortable, it felt like home to me. I had never experienced this feeling while traveling before, and no matter how much I’ve loved a destination, I haven’t felt it since. I feel like some part of me knew that I’d end up back in Spain, I mean, just look at that cryptic-ass caption I wrote on the photo above—“Until we meet again…”—with a target emoji and everything?! It’s like my soul knew then that Madrid was the bullseye.
But why would I give up my entire life in Southern California, which is basically Spain West, to move across an entire continent and an ocean to a place where I don’t know anyone, only speak the language when I’m drunk, and will have to start a new career? Living in a European capital is something we’re only supposed to dream about, not actually do…right?
I have always hated when people talk a bunch about their “big plans,” but never follow through. I’m guilty of that too, to be sure, but I don’t want to be that kind of person. I don’t want to talk about all the things I want to do in my life without ever actually doing them—I’ve grown to hate the idea of “someday.” When I was a kid, I thought…someday I’ll live in a foreign country. Someday I’ll live in Europe! Someday I’ll be fluent in another language…that’ll be so cool, someday! With my heart of hearts, I really have always wanted to do these things, and I had an earth-shattering epiphany recently and realized: shit, if I don’t do it….I won’t do it.
The thought of not doing it mortifies me. Even if it means giving up this amazing life I’ve built in my home state, quitting a cool job where I make good money, saying goodbye to the family and friends I rely on and love desperately, and effectively giving up In N Out for the foreseeable future, I have to do it. I am confident enough to take this chance on myself, and to dive into a whole new life in Spain’s capital. I’m going to build a new career there, I’m going to drink every glass of wine and eat every piece of cheese that comes my way, I’m gonna get on every plane and go to every place I feel like going. I’m going to say yes to every opportunity and find out where it leads, because if I don’t, I’ll wake up every day still talking about someday. It’s like I’m a goldfish, and I need to grow beyond this fishbowl. It’s a beautiful fishbowl, don’t get me wrong, 5 stars on Yelp for sure, but I’ve seen enough to know that there’s so much I haven’t seen. I’ve done enough to know that there’s so much more to do!
The people who make my life so rich and wonderful, not to mention difficult to leave—my family and friends—have been so supportive in my decision, it’s almost shocking. I honestly expected a little more resistance! Just checking, but—you guys don’t actually want to get rid of me, right? Like I said, just checking. Even though my mom got a little perturbed and hung up the phone on me when I first told her, and my dad won’t stop heckling me and cautioning against the abundance of “foreigners” abroad, they’ve become my biggest supporters, and I honestly wouldn’t have had the nerve to push forward with this cockamamie plan without knowing that they have my back.
So on the second day of 2019, I’m boarding my first one-way flight, poppin’ a pill, and will wake up in my new home. What happens after that is gonna be a little more complicated, but I’ll keep everyone posted.