Life Update: What in the world is Ivana up to?

orange tree

Dear Reader,

I’m sorry.

I have not been nearly as consistent as I had planned, but I promise that will change. I thought when I finished school I’d have all this time to write, but the truth is I felt rather uninspired. I wasn’t travelling – or doing much of anything, for that matter. There were posts I could have written but didn’t. Instead, I focused the bulk of my attention on preparing for my boyfriend, Joaquín’s, upcoming visit to Canada and our move to Spain a month later.

Now that I’ve finally settled in to life across the pond, I’m ready to write.

I mentioned way back in January that I had been accepted to a program called North American Language and Culture Assistants, or Auxiliares de Conversación, in Spain. It’s a government-funded program that allows native English speakers outside of the UK to help out in classrooms all over Spain. I had no idea where I might be placed until about May, but as luck (and a few well-directed emails) would have it, I was assigned to a pueblo about 40 km from my beloved Granada. Cue the free tapas.

Joaquín and I arrived in Granada earlier this month. He found us a cute little apartment in the heart of the city before he left for Canada, so we were able to move in shortly after arriving. I love our piso and I love the idea of living on my own, but I was not prepared to have to run to the store every single day to pick up something or other that’s missing. Even though the place is fully furnished, there are dozens of extra items that you need to make life comfortable. That said, things are coming together and the longer I spend here, the more it feels like home.

Admittedly, I wasn’t as excited to be in Granada this time as the first time. Absent was the sense of wonder of being somewhere new, and the charm of the city simply didn’t captivate me like it used to. I knew that with time I would warm up to the idea of being here again, but between the sting of the goodbyes and the uncertainty of the road ahead, I had too much on my mind to enjoy the experience.

Fast forward three weeks and I’m feeling much more confident about living in Granada not as a student like before, but as an expat with actual responsibilities. I’ve applied for my residency card, set up a bank account, been in contact with my program coordinators, and even made a few friends. I’ve been rediscovering the magic of Granada in its architecture, its culture, and its people. Next week I begin work and I could not be happier to have something to do each day. My hope is that establishing a routine will make life here feel more normal.

I have some posts on the go about how to do various mundane expat tasks like applying for a visa and residency card, and other more general ones about Granada that I’m very excited to share with you.

Thanks for sticking around through my inconsistency. I hope what’s to come will make you stick around for my big adventure, too!

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