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I'm back!

I returned to the states at the beginning of July. Then, my world got a bit wonky. I received some tilting information concerning my family. It has taken me a while to get my head back on straight. Therefore, no blogging. My plan was to blog about my trip more upon returning. There was absolutely no time to be on my computer while I was in Spain. I had an amazing time! But we were constantly on the move.

A day in the life: Wake up around 7-7:30 to shower and get ready. Hopefully, we would get breakfast and coffee before having to leave for school. Caitlyn was definitely the keeper of time, as I would sit at the kitchen table and do my makeup/nibble on food until she would tell me we had to leave. Her keeping me on track, time-wise, was a definite theme throughout the entire month. I owe her a ton of appreciation. We would always end up power walking to school on the mornings, about 15 minutes when going fast. We'd join our classmates in the school's atrium and socialize until the bell rang, and we would all disperse to our classrooms. Around 11:30 we would stop for a coffee break, and reassemble in the atrium for a pick-me-up. Class would then continue until 1:30. Everyone would once again head to the atrium, and now our CSU professor would meet us for daily news and reminders of events and meeting times. We would have free time to head home for lunch and siesta or explore and eat out. Later in the evening we would all meet back up for a tour around the city or an excursion nearby. The outings would vary in time, but we would be released again in time to walk home for dinner and free time. Each day was different. Even though the timeline was similar, there was always something new to see or new people to meet.

Things I miss: The rio, each day we walked over the Guadalquivir Rio at least twice if not 6 or 8 times to and from our host house. The views were beautiful! And the river made me feel closer to home. I grew up on Goat Rock Lake. I always enjoyed going to the riverwalk in downtown Columbus. Plus, the house I own now is on a small lake in Atlanta. Water is comforting, and I feel so lucky that I got to appreciate the river view everyday in Spain. I would always stop, even if just for a second, and look out into the water.

I also miss the people, terribly. I went into this adventure with a bunch of acquaintances. By the time we left, I was having withdrawals of social interaction with this crazy crew. I have met up once with Caitlyn and JJ for a Drinking Buddies meeting. We always ended up together exploring and unofficially gave ourselves that title. Jonathan was a valued member of the team, too, but he has moved on to Athens. Alyssa is another soul I hope to see soon. #buswivesforever

Whereas the food left something to be desired in Spain, the drinks were delicious. I find myself wishing that we upheld the same drinking culture here in America as they do in Spain. People drank for enjoyment every day. You would have to pay for water most places, so instead people would get a beer or a glass of wine. I spent most days with a glass of Tinto de Verano, aka Wine of the Summer. It was a chilled red wine mixed with sparking water and flavor of lime or orange, and it was delicious! With a low cost, low alcohol content, and refreshing flavor it was a welcomed afternoon treat in the heat of the day.

I miss the walking. We walked everywhere every day. There was no choice. In the beginning it was a change in lifestyle for sure. We had to account for transportation time much more so than here in the US. The city was meant for pedestrians, and I felt safe walking, even alone. We joked about going on walls once we returned home and talking on the phone for memory sake, but this is impractical for my life now. Where would I walk? The mall, Costco, The Battery, they are all close but there is no reason for me to go. There is no beautiful scenery, architecture, street performers, and history to enjoy along the way.

I miss Spanish. This is one that I wasn't expecting. I was horrible at Spanish before this trip. By no means am I an expert now. I even had to demote myself to a lower level class the second week of classes. I didn't know the basics well enough to keep up. But I practiced everyday in Spain, in and out of class. One of my favorite things was trying to speak Spanish to the bartenders and have them sweetly correct me (they weren't all sweet). But once I was corrected a few times, I learned. Applying the knowledge in the real life situation helped tremendously. Now, I only get to practice in Mexican restaurants, and the one time we went to a Spanish helado shop. I get a sense of pride from using my Spanish. I want to continue practicing and learning new words.

Out take: Everyday is an adventure. When you are traveling, this statement rings more true, but it can be applied to each day of your life. Take a new route home from work. Try a new restaurant. Talk to a stranger on the elevator. Check out what free events your city is hosting and GO! I am learning to adjust to life back home. I know that sounds crazy. I was only gone for 32 days, but each of those days was life changing. Each experience I had in Spain helped shape me further into the person I am right now.

Real life:

I am trying to get back into a routine and set new positive habits. I was traveling back and forth to Columbus from Atlanta for the first month, visiting family and friends. I had some realizations about biting off more than I could chew. I quit my "day job." I have set goals for Imaginary Abstractions. I have also set goals for my future dreams. I am practicing yoga regularly, even with a hip injury. This helps me listen to my body, reflect on my thoughts, give myself grace, and center my thoughts. I want to one day be a yoga instructor and help others gain the same benefits that I am. This will take time, thought I wish it wouldn't, but it is ultimately about my body's journey and living a healthy life along the way. In the meantime, I am spending time in my art studio, creating new pretties, and gearing up for my next artist market, on September 14th at Iron Monger Brewery. In am on the up and up mentally, and trying to spend each day intentionally. I struggle with anxiety and a severely negative mindset, but I am recognizing where I can make small changes towards a happier being. My life is no where near where I thought it would be at 28, but I am extremely thankful for the life that I am leading.

Thank you for reading my posts, caring about my life, and being a part of my adventures.

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