it’s getting real

Can I share a little secret?

I am loving the fact that I haven’t had to step foot in an office all month.

Not working is goddamn blissful.

There! I said it!

Instead, I’ve traveled, started prep work for the TESOL certification course I’ll be taking in Barcelona, spent lovely long evenings with friends and enjoyed waking up without an alarm.

You know what’s also great about schedule-free days? I can go to the gym at whatever time suits me – and work out as long (or as little) as I want. Today I even took a yoga class. YOGA! When’s the last time I did that? (Can’t remember.)

Sigh. It feels wonderful.

I’m leaving for Barcelona in one week, and it’s all becoming oh-so-very real. Like the kind of real where I’ve broken out in giggles more than one time in the middle of the grocery store, or while sitting in my car in traffic. Not unlike this:


I’m just too silly excited to contain it.

And the kind of real where my eyes well up with tears whenever I have a Portland Moment.

Port·land Mo·ment: proper noun. A particular instant whereby I’m reminded just how quirky and significant and fucking awesome the city of Portland & its people are. Usually involves a restaurant patio, an IPA, a bicycle or a baby wearing cool shoes.

I’m going to miss Portland.

Even if I’m only gone three months.

Especially if I’m gone more than six months.

But, I’m ready to DO THIS. Bring on the Spanish wine, daily siestas, midnight strolls and Mediterranean beaches. Bring on the communication challenges, new friends and churros con chocolate.

Know anybody traveling in Spain this fall? I’d love an introduction! 


adiós los estados unidos

Recently I wrote about making big life changes, and now I’m ready to tell you mine!

In less than a month, you might find me at La Playa De Vila Olimpica:

La Playa de Vila Olimpica

picture via

Or getting lost in narrow, winding streets:

Fernando Stankuns

photo by Fernando Stankuns on flickr

This will be my commute:


photo by JasonParis on flickr

I will eat tortilla de patatas and drink cafe con leche:


Photo by minusbay on flickr

I’ll be surrounded by architecture by Gaudi:

Casa.Battló by frankartculinary

photo by frankartculinary on flickr

And this will be my skyline:


photo by CrashSunRay on flickr

That’s right, I’m moving to Barcelona. ¡Olé!

I enrolled in a program to get a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification, and I’ll try to find a short-term teaching position after the program wraps.

There’s no guarantee I’ll get a position (luckily, the TEFL certification is internationally recognized so I can use it anywhere, if I choose), so the shortest amount of time I’ll be gone is 3 months. If I do get a position, I’ll be able to get a work visa and stay longer (six? twelve? months, whatever I want).

Sweet, right?

And thrilling and scary and unbelievable, too.

Since I studied abroad in Seville nine years ago (woah, nine years), I’ve always said I wanted to return to Spain. I talk about wanting to live abroad, be a nomad, travel even more than I do. Become fluent in another language.

Yet … I’ve often held back. Stayed put for a job, a man, a lifestyle. And, no doubt, my lifestyle in Portland is pretty wonderful. But it’ll be here for me when I come back.

This summer, in a strangely mystical series of events, the universe revealed to me that it’s time to fucking woman-up. To quit my job, because it was no longer a fit for me. To pursue this plan, even if it’s not traditional. To take a leap, even if I don’t know what’s on the other side.

So here’s how it breaks down by the numbers:

  • In 1 day, I’m done with my job – and my apartment. (Oh, and most of my possessions. I sold a ton of stuff.)
  • In 7 days, I fly to Peru to hike Machu Picchu with my mom. (Why not throw in another epic adventure right before Spain?! My mom and I have actually been planning this trip for almost a year.)
  • In 27 days, I fly to Barcelona to start the next chapter.

And, then?

Who knows?

I’ll figure it out as I go.

And the uncertainty, surprisingly, feels really invigorating right now.

Know anyone in Barcelona? Or Spain? Do you have recommendations for places to go, things to see? Dígame, por favor.