I feel like it’s been far longer than a month since I wrote January’s Monthly Thoughts, and February is a short month! Normally I’m going on about how fast the time has gone, but moving country may have something to do with the fact that this month feels like it’s been forever. But more on that later…
What happened in the world of Migrating Miss in February 2017?
Destinations of the month
Almería, Spain – 17 days
As in January, I started off in Almería, teaching English with the Auxiliar de Conversacion program, and eating all the tapas. I was feeling fairly unsettled though because everything was up in the air. In October I went to Madrid and put an application in for a fiancé visa that would allow me to move to the UK. The problem was I had no clue when it was going to be processed, and it seemed to be taking a loooooong time. It’s one of the weird things where even though I knew at the time I’d look back at this time and it would be fine, no matter how much I told myself that I couldn’t seem to cope well with the unknown.
I absolutely love Almería, I think it has to be one of the most underrated areas of Spain. I’ve written about the top things to do there and 7 reasons to visit now, and I’ll continue to write about it because I seriously think it’s awesome. I was trying my absolute hardest to enjoy it, but it was a weird time.
As well as being in the city I went to these places nearby:
This prehistoric town just north of Almería was just more confirmation that it’s a place with a fascinating history. The extensive site contains city walls, the remains of dwellings, forts, and an extensive collection of tombs dating back to 4000BC and until around 1800BC, which frankly, is just mind blowing to me.
We stopped here for coffee and to do one of the most important things I’ve done in Spain. Buy 5.5 litres of my favourite olive oil. When I go out for breakfast in Almería I always go to the same place for my tomato on toast, and they have the most delicious olive oil. It’s from Sorbas so when we stopped there I knew I had to get some. Luckily the cafe were also serving it so I just bought it in bulk from them! SO much cheaper than I could ever buy in the UK and so good I could drink it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…
It’s not so easy to hold that much olive oil and take a selfie..,
My family were staying with me for some of February, so we headed up to one of the beach resort areas just for a night to take in some of the sites on the way. This part of Almería is actually more well known, as a lot of holiday package companies fly people into either Almería, Murcia or Alicante airports and take them to one of the many resorts in this area. The menus are in English everywhere and it’s a lot more touristy. Except in early February we were one of only two groups of people in the whole resort. It was eery standing on the balcony in the evening when the whole resort was dark. It felt like a horror movie waiting to happen! I did dip my toes in the freezing water however, just to say I did.
Definitely one of the best places in Cabo de Gata, which is a beautiful national park area near Almería. The beach is stone so not really for lounging, but the views are beautiful and they have an awesome little bar right on the water front.
Then I got my visa.
So suddenly everything in Almería was a “last time”. The last time I went to a Spanish lesson with my tutor. The last time I went to my favourite tapas bars. The last time I went to yoga and biked along the beach. The last time I ate breakfast at my favourite place (and used a ton of olive oil because why not). The last time I went to the Alcazaba. And the last time I got on a bus that would take me to the airport, leaving my life in Spain.
Edinburgh – 11 days
Just over 4 years ago I moved to Edinburgh for the first time, off the back of an insane few months backpacking through South East Asia with a feeling of complete freedom. I found it awkward at first to try and settle into life in Edinburgh, even though I loved it from the beginning. Now I find myself doing the same thing again. I’m well aware of the ups and downs of moving abroad, how some days it’s the best thing you could have ever done and sometimes it’s complete crap. But more on that some other day. The main thing is I’m back in this historical, beautiful, festival city and I get to call it home once again.
Highlights of the month
Getting my visa of course! It was bittersweet, knowing I’d be leaving Spain, but it was more sweet than bitter because Spain was never going to be my forever home. Plus, I was finally moving to Scotland to be in the same place as my fiancé! When I got that visa it was immediately like a huge weight had been lifted. I felt like an actual human being again.
Lowlights of the month
Leaving Spain. I’ve said more than once before that Spain was a big deal for me. It was the coming together of several dreams in reality. Plus, it was a lot of hard work. It was the first time I moved abroad to a country where English wasn’t the first language. It was my first time teaching English. And I was in a long distance relationship. But living in Spain was better than I could have hoped for, and although I’d known it wouldn’t be forever it didn’t stop me from feeling sad about leaving.
A last breakfast in the sun in Spain
Popular blog posts from February
So I’m Moving to Scotland
Definitely my most popular post of the month! Although it wasn’t a surprise if you follow things around here closely (hi Mum!) it was still an exciting announcement for me.
9 Lesser Known Hidden Gems in Edinburgh
My first post since being back in Scotland! I pulled together some of my favourite more secret spots in Edinburgh for this one. I can’t wait to get out and explore more. Especially now I’m a big girl blogger with a real camera and not just my iPhone and a GoPro!
18 More Unusual Travel Words That You Should Know
My post last year about 24 unusual travel words is by FAR the most popular post on this whole site. Which is both great because I love words and things like this and a little sad because I wish my most popular post was a bit more substantial! But anyhow, over the course of the last year I kept discovering more unique travel related words, so I decided it was time for a sequel. Of the good kind.
Other posts you might have missed
An Ode to a Year in Spain
Some thoughts and memories from living in Spain for a year. Many of these are little things I know I’ll start to forget over time, so I’m hoping that by capturing them here I’ll always be able to go back and say “oh yeeeeah that’s right!”.
How to Manage Your Money as an Expat
Don’t yawn, this is important stuff! This one’s for the expats wondering how to move those hard earned savings around the place (or that emergency money from Mum and Dad).
Exploring the Port Wine Cellars of Porto, Portugal
All you ever needed to know about Port and visiting Porto in Portugal to taste Port. In seriousness, I LOVED Porto, it was actually my favourite place in Portugal. I’m going to write a lot more about it, but here’s a starter post on one of the best things to do there!
Top Instagram photo
I guess it’s kind of fitting that my top Instagram photo is one from Porto then!
This is how they used to transport the wine from the Duoro Valley to Porto to then be matured into port… Except back then there were a lot more rapids so it was a dangerous job and a few barrels would be lost! Now you can go for rides on some of these on a much calmer river. Just another beautiful part of Porto! ?⛵️ // #porto #portugal #port #portwine
And that’s been February, 2017. Both a super eventful month, and not. Considering for the past week I’ve been doing things like signing up to the doctors and organising my clothes. But coming up you can expect more musings on Spain, as I still have a lot of content to cover, things about living in Scotland, expat tips and all the general travel posts.
Bring on the rest of the year!
How was your February? Have you made any big life changes yet this year?