First, some things you should know about me:
I am a 22 year old English Literature with Creative Writing graduate (sort of, my graduation is actually in November) who is from the Liverpool (UK) area and studied in York. I read just about anything. Recently I read a book about octopuses and surprised my friends with the random facts I knew about them for about 2 months. Even if I find a book utterly boring I persevere through because I figure I’ve wasted 100-pages of my time reading so I may as well contintue and if Life of Pi taught me anything it was that a boring as hell book can turn it around in the last 70 pages.
When I started University in 2013, which was slightly later than had originally planned, I knew I wanted to move abroad at some point and really throw myself in the deep end because that was exactly the kind of thing that I never would have dreamed of doing as a timid teenager. I had my heart set on moving to Amsterdam for a year through my University’s study abroad program but through some unfortunate mishaps I missed the official deadline for that application and decided to put off my travelling until after I’d completed my degree. This decision is what has lead me to where I am right now as I type this; sat in a flatshare with a balcony that offers a pretty fine view of the awe-inspiring La Sagrada Familia.
Around this time last year I was considering doing a TEFL course as a means to fund my living and travelling around Europe and I realised that I could actually complete the course in Barcelona. After lots of research and thought, I signed on to the September – October course as TEFL International Barcelona in February. I had wanted to do the August – September course but my brother decided to go and get married at the beginning of September, screwing up all my plans (first born kids are the worst, eh). Back in February the reality that I would be moving to another country where I knew no one and spoke almost none of the language to become a teacher of English hadn’t quite hit home. I was constantly asked if I was terrified of moving on my own or if I was “really going to go for a whole year?” but in all honesty, I wasn’t even considering any of this. To me, it was a distant plan, just the next thing on my list of life plans and it wasn’t until mid September when I had booked my outgoing-only flight and sorted my health insurance that I thought;
Shit. I am actually doing this.
And here I am. Currently, I am two weeks into my TEFL certification and despite lots of stressful grammar lessons alongside actually planning my own lessons, which I then have to teach, I am loving every second. It may sound cliché but everyday is an experience and everyday I get to do something that I find personally fulfilling; learn something new. I learn words, I learn why my own language works, I learn about new places to visit in Barcelona and I learn about what other people’s lives are like in countries I’ve never been to.
Tonight as I walked down some Barcelona streets on my own for the first time. I felt as though my being was flowing out of me and touching the tiles on the metro floor, the beautiful brickwork of every building and brushing up into the trees that line the pavements and in that moment I felt myself become part of the city.