Monday, 23 July 2012

And then reality hit...

Ok maybe that title is a little over dramatic.

But when my workmate asked me "Has the reality of what you're doing hit you yet?" I did feel a shiver of fear.

It is true that I'm starting to become more aware of the fact that I am ACTUALLY going to Spain- it's not a dream/fantasy/possible nightmare. My confirmation forms are away. I haven't heard back from my school yet but the British Council told me that's perfectly normal and I may not hear back until September.

I've been researching flights and it looks like it's going to be a pretty long journey to get there at any sensible hour. The one good thing about going up and down to uni every week is that I've become completely used to and comfortable with travelling so I'm not too bothered about spending hours on the road. Cheeky wee travel sickness tablet, an ipod and a book and you'll have bother getting me back on flat ground to be honest. (Seriously anyone who has trouble with travel sickness try Stugeron, it works amazingly well) Besides there's no way I'm not travelling round Spain just because it'll mean an early start and a long trip so I may as well get used to it!

When I say I've been researching flights that doesn't mean I've thought about buying them yet. That would be far too terrifying.

There's also insurance to buy, and of course every company has THE BEST POLICY EVER YOU JUST HAVE TO BUY, until you want to make a claim of course, in which case our line is busy.

Oh and I have decided that I'm definitely going to try and find accommodation in Almería and travel to work each day- there's a bus every 15 minutes and I don't think I could cope not living in a city anymore! Also anything which means I can walk to a central station and ask about train/bus times has to be a plus. After spending 2 hours + trying to figure out Spanish bus websites and finding out that was described by Trip Advisor as "Like Alice in Wonderland where nothing seems to be what it really is" I think I'll stick to working out my travel in person!

Oh dear this post has a very negative tone doesn't it? No, I'm still very excited and pleased to be going- I'll just be more happy once I get there in one piece!

Hasta la vista :)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

I love lists. 

There are four types of people:

1. The unorganised, unorganised person: This person makes no attempt whatsoever to give the impression that they know where their passport is ten minutes before their flight- nor do they know where it is. This  person lives in chaos and everyone knows it.
2. The unorganised, organised person: They may have a 'stuff' cupboard, which looks like a charity shop vomited in it but they know EXACTLY where that diary is, from 1999, which they only wrote in once.
3. The organised, unorganised person: They have individually labelled storage boxes inside their storage boxes but god knows where that bloody passport is.
4. The organised, organised person: Think Monica from 'Friends'. And be afraid, very afraid.

Apologies for the fact that you will now be unable to use the word organised for at least a week.

Anyways the point of this little anecdote is that I'm generally a mix of number 2 and 3, as in I know the dress I reallllllllly want to wear is in my wardrobe....somewhere.... at the back.... under a thing. I think.

However the way I add order to chaos is by endless list making. I LOVE lists. I make lists on a daily basis; long, short, necessary, unnecessary. ButI write them everywhere- the back of a cereal pack, the tv guide, most frequently my hand. The more relevant I will post here so other year abroaders can use and adapt. Well that's my excuse- the real reason is that I'll lose them down the back of the sofa.

So to start us off:

The list of lists. 

(yes I really am going to make a list of all the lists I need) 

  • Acceptance confirmation i.e. all forms to be sent/ companies to be contacted. 
  • Preparation: banking, doctors, what I need to buy.
  • Packing: fitting my life into a suitcase
  • Getting there- bus timetables, flights etc.  
  • Blogs/ diaries I need to keep: both official and unofficial 
  • What needs done once I get there. 
  • Where I want to visit once there
  • What I want to do there ( the fun one :) ) 
Sometimes I wonder if I'm a little insane but then I get distracted by something shiny.... 

Friday, 13 July 2012

And so it begins....

Why hello there!

After months of waiting, waiting and more waiting I FINALLY know where I'm heading for my year abroad!

I was allocated to my first choice region- Andalucía, which is in the south of Spain:

Yesterday I got confirmation of where I will be teaching! It's a town called Aguadulce, about 10km away from Almería, which is a very pretty but fairly unknown city. I will be the Auxiliar de Conversación for a bilingual primary school- C.E.I.P Arco Iris, where I'll be working about 12 hours a week. Initially I'd wanted to work in a secondary school but I'm actually quite relieved to be given younger children- hopefully they'll respect me a tiny bit more (please, please, please). Also their website plays happy music when you open it :)

Today I wrote to the Director del Centro, which was terrifying for two reasons:
1) I have forgotten all Spanish I ever knew.
2) The email address looked extremely weird and I had a mild panic attack when I thought I might have to phone the school and actually talk in spanish to find out where to write to.

Fortunately I realised that as weird as it looks it is the correct address so now I'm just waiting for the reply. In the meantime I have to fill out erasmus grant forms, wait to find out when my induction day will be and then confirm my position once I hear back from my school.

I'm a lot more excited now I know where I'm going and slightly less nervous. Being placed in a town near a city is pretty much the best of both worlds AND the school is straight down the road from the beach. 

Also checking out where I'm going on Google Images definitely helped!