‘Ello, ‘Ello, ‘Ello
How are we all? We’re at the end of January already, would you believe it? It’s always a tough month. The cold, the dark mornings, the backlog of things to sort after Christmas – it can often feel a bit ‘bleugh’. Well, for those of us in England anyway. I hate to rub it in, really I do, but this time next week i’ll have left the cold toes and cold nose behind. Yeah that’s right, this time next week I’ll have made the move to sunny Sevilla! The city of flamenco and great tapas is calling my name.
I’m very much looking forward to exploring somewhere completely new. There is, and always will be, a Pau shaped stamp on my heart. I made life-long friends, worshipped in a French church, tasted as many Bearnaise specialities as I could, drank plenty of Jurançon Sec, visited the mountains and some beautiful cities, watched the famed Section Paloise rugby team play…the list goes on. But it’s safe to say, I squeezed every last drop out of my experience in Pau and I am ready to move on.
Linguistically, my Uni professors will be pleased to know that my fluency in French improved dramatically. I’m not perfect – I make mistakes all the time – but my confidence has increased incredibly. I can now sit and chat for hours in French whereas before I left, even a ten minute conversation was daunting. Which is reassuring when I consider my level of Spanish right now…
And boy, do I need reassurance for this next semester. Yes, it’s exciting. Yes, it’ll be sunny. Yes, i’m going to bloomin’ SPAIN! Amazing! But, there are lot of things on my to-do list that remain tick-less. Things like finding somewhere to live. Lots of people on their year abroad wait until they are in the country to search for accommodation and it doesn’t faze them, but this is quite unsettling when you are, well, me. I’ll get there, and I’ve been doing lots of research to help me get there, but giving up control is definitely a life lesson. I know God’s got this though. It’s just a matter of putting out my hand so He can take it and lead me to where He wants me.
If i’m being honest, and I want to be honest because I’m sure there are other people who are feeling the same, I am struggling to muster up the motivation to keep going. The sheer quantity of ‘new’ that I have experienced on my year abroad so far is exciting but also quite draining. As somebody who is a big fan of their creature comforts, it’s quite a big thing to live away from them for nearly a year. But I just have to keep reminding myself of why I love to travel so much. New paths to be trodden, new dishes to be tasted, new music to be heard, new sights to be seen, new words to speak. It’s what brings me life, and when I’m in the grip of it, I am a very happy little human being.
So, I have no idea what this semester has in store for me, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s helping to exercise the muscle of spontaneity that I have been training over the past couple of years. The next step now is to get packed and on that plane! That’s not so scary, is it?
Here’s to new adventures and stepping outside your comfort zone. But also, here’s to hibernating under a blanket with a cuppa. Whatever floats your boat, get your boat a’floating.
Speak soon, on the other side…