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MM Monthly Thoughts: March 2016

MM Monthly Thoughts March 2016

If you read this blog regularly, you might have realise it’s not exactly in chronological order. I write about anything and everything I feel like, although I am trying to keep up to date on my expat life in Spain.

I love reading blogs where I get information about travel, but get to know the author as well. So I figured I should write about what I would want to know if I wasn’t me (does that even make sense…), which brings me to this new feature, MM Monthly Thoughts! It’s basically a recap on what’s been happening lately in my expat life, and of course, where I might be headed next!

So where am I at?

I’ve been living in Spain for almost 3 months now, which I can’t really get my head around! Starting the Auxiliar de Conversación program to teach English from the January semester means that I only get 5 months in Spain this time around. How is it over halfway already?! It seems like just yesterday I wrote about whether I had made a mistake in moving to Spain.

February I kept super busy by attending the Cadíz Carnival, travelling to beautiful mountain villages in Las Alpujarras and exploring seaside destinations like Nerja and the cute nearby town of Frigiliana, plus returning to my old favourite of Granada to take in the awesome street art once again. March has definitely been a quieter month!

My only big adventure in March was heading back to Edinburgh for a week during the Easter holidays, via Malaga on the way there and back. I went to a friends wedding and then proceeded to be ill for the remainder of my time there which thoroughly spoiled all my plans. And no it wasn’t from drinking too much! Luckily I’ve lived in Edinburgh for two years and plan to spend the summer there so I don’t have to feel toooo bad about it.

MM South QueensferryThe amazing view from the wedding in South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh March 2016Edinburgh from the Castle

Thoughts for the month

On learning another language

One of my major goals in moving to Spain was to learn another language, because it’s something I’ve been trying to do for YEARS. I figured it wasn’t going to happen without really pushing myself and moving to somewhere I would have to learn.

Some days I feel like my Spanish hasn’t improved at all since I arrived, like when I tried to get on the wrong bus on my way to Malaga and the driver spoke to me angrily in rapid Spanish, and I could only mumble “no entiendo”. Other days when I have a great Spanish class or I meet friends and speak mostly in Spanish I feel like I’m totally awesome at it! This isn’t so often…

I’ve discovered that even if you live in a country that speaks another language (and you should give it a go!) it doesn’t mean you’ll magically learn that language. I have to work hard at my Spanish in my spare time since my job is to speak English, meaning I don’t really get to have full immersion. Paso paso!

On teaching English in Spain

I’m now a private English tutor, and group class teacher, in addition to being a language assistant at a primary and secondary school in Almeria. It helps to pay the bills and I’m really enjoying it! I’ve always enjoyed helping people, and I feel so good when I run successful class and can see the improvement of my students.

It doesn’t feel so good when I have some days where I feel useless in the classroom, either because no one’s getting it, the material I’m meant to teach is too difficult, or I end of hovering at the front of the class while the other teacher does most of the work. I was so nervous to teach English at first, but now I enjoy leading a class. I think even if I move on to other work I’ll have to tutor or volunteer as an English teacher on the side, because I like it so much.

Malaga March 2016Exploring Malaga in March 2016

So what’s coming up?

April is shaping up to be a busy month. I’m determined to study more Spanish in my own time, and NOT just do my homework the night before I have a lesson. Clearly things haven’t changed much since I studied…

In two weeks my parents will be visiting which means getting to show more people around this really underrated corner of Spain! More on my parents coming soon…

EB is also coming for his second visit from Edinburgh, and I can’t wait! After visiting more places with my parents I’m sure I’ll want to show him them as well. Maybe more on the boy one day…

At the end of April I’m off to Barcelona for my first foray outside of Andalusia EVER! It’ll be nice to see a completely different side of Spain. I’m keen to see whether I can understand more Spanish without the thick Andalusian accent, although Barcelona isn’t exactly the best place since people also speak Catalan! No one can accuse me of doing things the easy way I suppose.

So that’ll take me into May, my last full month in Spain this time around. Crazy!

Almeria march 2016Summer is coming to Almería! Can’t wait to relax here as it gets warmer.

The goals for April

  • Learn more Spanish… or more accurately, practice more everyday!
  • Read more for enjoyment. Book suggestions welcome.
  • Start exercising! Last year I was prepping for a half marathon, this year, zilch.
  • Explore more around Almería. Do you guys want to know more about it?

As always, thanks for stopping by if you made it this far! I love writing this blog and interacting with people, so any and all feedback is great, seriously!

Sonja x

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