Contentment vs. Settling

As of a few days ago, I can return to Europe.  A non-EU citizen such as myself can only be in the European Union’s Schengen Zone for 90 out of 180 days.  I was there for three months, meaning I must leave for at least three months.  Well, that three-month period has now passed.  At this moment, I’m in Ohio and have no immediate plans to go back to Europe.  I can say, though, that the passing of this date certainly did not go unnoticed.  It also brought some fresh observations and questions to mind.

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Embracing Uncertainty

The past few days have been difficult for me because I’ve really been at a loss for exactly what to do.  The process of finding a job in Madrid proved to be more difficult for me than I anticipated.  There are English teaching jobs in Madrid, but I had multiple interviews cancel because I didn’t have the proper paperwork.  I came to Spain knowing that I didn’t have all the documents I would need to work, but I was willing to work “under the table.”  This is a fairly common practice for Americans in Spain due to the difficulty of obtaining a work visa.  This may have been foolish on my part, but the process was still pretty frustrating for me.

And now, full disclosure. 

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A Time to Dance

It’s Saturday morning, 4 am.  The music is loud, and there are well over a hundred of people on the dance floor.  The lights are low, but you can still see because of the light from the projection screen behind the stage where the DJ is performing.  You’re so close to those around you that you’re not just dancing with one person.  It’s as if you’re dancing with everyone.  Welcome to a nightclub in Madrid. Continue reading

A New Start

As I write this, I’m sitting in a hostel in Madrid, Spain.  It sounds like there’s a party going on outside, which is a very real possibility.  It’s such a vibrant city at all hours.  Cars honking.  People talking, laughing, singing.  It’s also very accessible because of the great Metro system that can take you anywhere in the city within a reasonable amount of time.  It’s definitely a cosmopolitan city, but one with so much history and culture.  Some of the best museums in the world are located here, including the Reina Sofia, the Thyssen, and of course, the Prado.  In short, Madrid is like no place I’ve been. Continue reading