The Thing Is …

I’m not the world’s most prolific blogger. Why?

  • I don’t really care about SEO. I know, it’d help me. But as of now, my blog isn’t business, nor do I plan on making into one, so I see no real point. Try to convince me otherwise in the comments section!
  • I don’t buy into the whole “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” blogging circle. If you like what I write, share it (if you so desire). If you don’t, let me know by commenting or emailing me. If I like yours, I’ll do the same. I don’t want to get into any debates, but the idea of sharing someone’s work just so they’ll share mine is not something I want to get into.
  • I’m not interested in publishing your guest posts, the kind which you email me about with links to previous posts on other sites. These people email me, and then when I don’t reply, they email me again. Take a hint much?!
  • I fail at responding to all my emails. I am really grateful to those people who email me, but I’ve not been the best blogger lately. I have had several people email me, and as it’s not my full-time job, I put it aside for a later date, which sometimes doesn’t seem to come about so often. I’m sorry about that. I want to be better in the future.

I’ve had a short break during which I went private, brought on my insecurity about the future of this blog. Funnily enough, life in Spain is just life. (I know: I’ve said this before, a million times.) I don’t always have that much to say. The only thing I can say is that I will talk about this life without sugarcoating it, because I’m not Mrs. Bright and Sunny. There are so many things that are good about my life in Spain. For instance:

  • My students. They are all wonderful, even the troublesome ones. There is T, who can’t talk without yelling; M, a tall soccer player with great English and an amazing laugh; P, whose English at 11 years old astounds me; C, who’s studying both German and English; and E, who isn’t that good at English but always has a shy smile for me.
  • Being close to Mario. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel for him and the fact that I get to live with him now. Being in a long-distance relationship is tough, but I think being in a long-distance, bicultural one is even more so. Before any permanent state of togetherness is achieved (be it by marriage or pareja de hecho), there is doubt … doubt that it’ll ever work out, doubt that the bureaucracy will work in your favor, doubt that you can ever wait so long. But we overcame that period; we’re together now; we’re in this for the long haul.
  • The opportunity to live in another country. I think we can all agree that this isn’t something that everyone gets to experience, and I am so grateful for it.
  • Meeting other expats like me. I didn’t meet that many people in Zamora like me, but here in Spain I’m part of great groups that allow me to meet new people in so many places: game nights, drinks, pumpkin carving, etc. I’ve already met some great people, but there are always more to meet!

But then there’s the tough parts too: missing family, being sick far away from home with a system you don’t understand, the constant lluvia that has been the theme of this past week (which sucks even more when you have to walk two miles to work in it!), the lack of convenient transportation at times, and I could go on. But, although it’s my tendency, I’m focusing on the good.

There is always bad with the good. There just is. Yet  I believe I can be the kind of person (and blogger!) who sees both and chooses to focus on the latter.

If you were honest about life as an expat and/or traveler, what would you tell your readers?

12 thoughts on “The Thing Is …

  1. Hi lady!

    I appreciated this blog post because I too feel the same about so many of these things (thus my going MIA blog-wise as of late). We should grab coffee one of these days and catch up properly! I’d love to see you again.

    x, Erin

  2. it’s funny because i’ve never had many american friends here in madrid (literally 3 at one time was the most) but i’m so happy to have gotten involved with the americanas group – it has been so much meeting all these awesome girls! you missed a fun night last night but hopefully i’ll catch you at the next one!

  3. Yes I agree on many levels. I’ve struggled with “taking my blog to the next level” but I’m not really sure that’s for me. I don’t know the future of my blog and I don’t want it to change how and when I write.
    And yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the blogosphere ways- I appreciate your honesty and being true to yourself, and your fellow readers!

    This 2nd year of life abroad has taught me that expat life isn’t all glamourous and roses. I recently wrote bout this on my blog.
    Stay positive Kaley!

  4. I had a person email me today asking me about my life/experience being a language assistant here in Spain and it took me awhile to finally formulate a decent response. I love my life in Spain and I love teaching at my school (most days), but there are always downsides to anything. I constantly miss my family. It didn’t hit me as hard until I had to come back to Spain after being home for Christmas. I had some moments where I doubted if I would be able to handle the second half of the year. Of course, now that I’m back in the swing of things here in Spain, I feel much better. Overall, though, if I were to be completely honest, I would say something like roamingtheworld mentioned…life isn’t always roses here. And yes, I am grateful to have this opporunity, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be allowed to complain sometimes (especially on my own darn blog). I hate when I write a somewhat “downer” post and I get comments/emails saying, “Oh but how can you not be happy being in Spain!” Yes, most of the time I am happy, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have days where I want to throttle some of my students or cry because I miss my family and friends.

    Anyway, I love your blog posts. I like that you don’t feel the need to constantly blog something because whenever I do see a post from you on my reader, I know it’ll be good :-) And I agree with what you mentioned here that life in Spain is just life. I think a lot of people tend to forget that part sometimes.

  5. I too am terrible at responding to emails! It seems like life just gets in the way (as you said it’s not my full time job to blog so it kind of takes a back seat sometimes… kind of like the entire semester! Hopefully I’ll be better at time management round two).
    Anyway, I always love checking in on you and Mario, even if living abroad is pretty average most of the time.

  6. While I am jealous of prolific travel bloggers, I don’t have the time or energy to keep up with a full time blog. Like you, I (finally!) have a full time job. I write about things I like and that I would want to read about–sometimes people like to read and comment. That’s great! Other times, nobody will comment and while it’s a little disappointing, I won’t let that deter me from writing what I want to write about. Like you said, life in Spain is like life anywhere. You go to work, you eat, you sleep… yes, it might seem a bit more exotic because it’s another country and another language, but when you come down to it, the basics are the same.

  7. I can only say that life is made of both good and bad things so if you blog, even if you try to be positive about life, you also need sometimes to talk about what things you don’t like.

  8. Even if you are blogging for business, your “guidelines” should be followed! I know how hard it is to respond to emails and comment on people’s blogs as I am going through a mighty transition and yours wasn’t too long ago! And p.s. You comment had me laughing…I detest riding in the cable cars ;)

  9. I really related to this post… There have been quite a few times when I’ve gone from public to private on my blog just because I was so up-in-the-air about it. I also struggled with some of the things you mentioned… like the whole blogging as a business or having regular posts or something. I think that there have been a lot of “business-model” types who have taken over blogging and definitely have made it a viable income/career for some, but for the hobbyists, it can feel at times like it’s not enough… not good enough, focused enough, witty enough, often enough. But the great thing is: it’s a blog! It’s yours! However you want to treat it is how you want to treat it. It’s just fine. :) And I like that you’re honest, too. It’s what makes your blog interesting and refreshing and why I come back! (Especially considering that I tend to really dislike Spain due to my experiences there… so that says a lot!)

  10. I don’t know what SEO is, but I do enjoy your blog. I agree that living anywhere, Spain or otherwise, is ultimately just normal life, so in that sense I do understand what you mean when you say that you don’t have that much to say. On the other hand, we humans love life. :-)

    I like how honest and down-to-earth you are, and I think you are a terrific observer of cultural nuances and human nature. That’s why I keep coming back!

    1. I kind of love that you don’t know! Most of the people I hang out with don’t either, and I am glad of it!

      I appreciate your kind words :)

  11. One of the things that my brief time as an expat taught me was the elastic capacity of the human heart for discontent, even while on exciting adventures in places that felt beautiful and exotic (mostly in anticipation and in nostalgia.) Living in the moment is always hard.

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