Living Abroad

Living in Spain has been fantastic so far. Obviously, as with everything in life, it has it’s ups and downs. Some days I love it, some days less so, but overall, it has been a very positive experience.

I have thoroughly enjoyed pushing myself in many direct ways. My job is difficult, yet rewarding and the kids are great. Being immersed in a language I understood very little of when I moved here has been fantastic, and my Spanish has come on leaps and bounds, though I have put nowhere NEAR as much effort into learning it as I should have. Adventures have been had to new and exciting places nearly every weekend, and I have seen vast swathes of the Andalucían landscape and all the treasures it has to offer. The people I’ve met have been fantastic, and I have further proven to myself that I can be placed into any situation and make the best of it, I might not be a naturally brilliant teacher or disciplinarian, but I am eager and willing to learn. I have moved to a new country where I do not speak the language (albeit surrounded by English teachers) and I have not only survived, but thrived. It has been a wonderful experience.

The thing I have really struggled with, and think I will always struggle with is communication. I try hard to stay in contact with people but it is really very difficult. In this day and age of immediate access to the Internet at all hours of the days and night, in even the most middle-of-nowhere places, it still amazes me how difficult communication can actually be. Some days it’s easier than others but one does always have to pre-organise conversations due to clashes in timetables. What’s worse is all of these ‘seen at xyz’ updates that are deemed necessary by every form of interaction. Personally, I don’t really need to know whether you’re seen it or not. If I need to contact you that quickly, I’ll make it happen whether you have ‘seen’ my message or not. It’s also quite disturbing to see the ‘seen at …’ line at the bottom of your message. “Oh god they’ve seen my message but haven’t replied. Are they ok? Are they mad at me? Have their hands stopped functioning to type? Are they being held hostage?” (ever so slightly wild wonderings but these things have crossed my mind). The answer in 99% of cases is that it has been seen at a busy time and they simply don’t have time to reply yet. They haven’t actually been tied up unable to use their mobile device with more than their nose.

I think that communication is important for relationships of all types. I speak to my mother at least 5 times every day (even if most occasions are just me bugging her because I’m bored). I love letters, I love postcards, I love emails, and I love a good old fashioned text best of all (my personal favourite simply being “Pub?”). Phones, PCs, carrier pigeons, smoke signals, anything – let’s get chatting! Perhaps this is why I am so eager to get back to Cornwall again, to be there right in front of many of the people I care about to really and immediately solve this conundrum of communication.

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