Extremadura bound just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Andalucía bound…. but it’s true! I’m leaving my beloved comunidad autonoma for greener pastures. Okay, the pastures might not be that green but there are a lot of acorn fed pigs so that might mean something.
What do you mean, Chelsea? “Andalucía Bound” will no longer be living in Andalucía? *scoff*
That’s right, I’m moving to Mérida, Extremadura!!! After two great years spent in Arcos de la Frontera, the Ministry of Education (or whoever the powers may be) decided not to renew my request to stay in Arcos for a third year and they sent me to Extremadura.
My initial reaction: Well, this was unexpected. Even so, I hadn’t actually been planning on doing a third year as an auxiliar. My initial plan was to work in an academy here in Arcos, though I had renewed as an auxiliar as a backup plan. So, at the end of May when I got an assignment and it was NOT at my colegio in Arcos, I kind of panicked because I thought that I had completely lost my backup plan, and my plan A was kind of on the rocks as well. I didn’t say anything about Extremadura to my boyfriend because I didn’t know how he’d react, and then a few days later I got a “preliminary” assignment in two schools; one in a town of 15,000 people and one in a town of 500.
I replied to the e-mail to clarify what was meant by preliminary… would my assignment likely change, or would this probably be my final assignment? I was not expecting that the person with whom I was corresponding would ask if I had a preference, but when she did, I told her I preferred a larger city as my boyfriend would potentially move with me and that a bigger town would afford more work opportunities for him. Within a week I got assigned to two colegios in Mérida. All of this happened just a couple of weeks before I was heading home for a month which was really stressful because I was also dealing with residence card issues and going back and forth to Cádiz to get my autorización de regreso so that I could enter back into Spain. So on top of all that I had this new decision to make, with the added pressure of knowing that my boyfriend would come with me wherever I decided to go. Our potential future happiness could depend on this one decision!
After a series of unfortunate events and a really rough last week in Arcos before our trip to the US, we made the decision to move to Mérida. Neither of us had much going for us here in Arcos, and I, for one, needed a change. As you may know I have an affinity for adventure… with this unexpected new location on the table I ultimately had to snatch it up. I mean, what’s more adventurous than moving in with your Spanish boyfriend for the first time in a city that neither of you have ever been to and don’t know a single soul in? Okay, I guess a lot of things are more adventurous than that but I’ll take what I can get.
After returning to Spain I started scouring the internet for apartments and fantasizing. I have been having an extremely boring/emotionally overwhelming summer (I’m living with my boyfriend’s mom and Paco has been working everyday) so to get my brain in a more productive place I revamped this blog and started daydreaming about life in Mérida. A few weeks ago we actually took a trip up there to look at apartments and check out the town, and we found a great place! So now the countdown begins: 21 days!
I’m really excited for so many reasons. I get to explore a new town, meet new people and create a little home with my boyfriend and my cat (shhh don’t tell my landlord). I’m hoping to find a second job to make extra money because I would love to take at least one trip this year. Unfortunately travel is on the back burner as I’m saving up to go home for my cousin’s wedding in July, but I’m itching to explore a new country and I’d love to be able to travel with Paco. Maybe we’ll win the lottery!
Of course I have some mixed feelings about the move, leaving behind the friends I have here in Arcos and the familiarity of what has been my home for the past two years, but the little voice inside my head is telling me that this is what is right for me right now. Luckily, one of my best friends will be by my side the whole time, and I couldn’t be more ready to take this leap with him.Though now I’m bound to Extremadura, I’ll always be Andalucía bound; bound by my boyfriend and his family, bound by the amazing memories I have created here, and bound by the love I have for the place where I first began life on my own.
I leave you with this quote that’s been circulating Pinterest and Instagram (sorry, I don’t know the original source!) that certainly rings true these days.