March 4

Four Months

Four months ago, I arrived in Spain jet-lagged and overwhelmed. While the exhaustion from the jet lag has passed, being overwhelmed will continue to be a part of the expat life I have created for myself here in Valencia. It is amazing what a month can bring when I am open to the challenge of an adventure!

As I write this post, I can hear the fireworks in the city center. We’ll have them every day at 2:00 PM until 19 March as part of the Fallas celebration. That is one of the treats of living in a new place: I am learning the rhythm of a different culture. What that really means is that I am often clueless or lost when cultural references are used, but I am learning, slowly but surely.

This past month has been an interesting one. I have gone to my first Spanish barbecue, as well as attended an incredible birthday party that was filled with new friends. I have had conversations in Spanish, gone to an amazing weekend event in Teruel, met people from other places in the world, eaten some amazing food, and bumped into people that I know in restaurants and on the street. I did not realize I knew that many people!

In a few days, I will be celebrating my 47th birthday, and I am having a Mexican fiesta with some of my new friends to celebrate. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to be here, and I believe I made the right choice for me.

And, gentle reader, if you think that such a choice is easy to make, I would have to correct you. It has been hard as hell at times, and I have had my fair share of loneliness to accept. I miss family and friends terribly, and wish I had more regular communications with some folks. There are strange little creature comforts that I miss, such as knowing what to call most of the products in the grocery store, or having the vocabulary to buy a pair of shoes or pants that fit well. I have no problem learning and asking, but sometimes, being different is bit of a pain.

Usually, I can overlook the negative experiences and get back to a positive frame of mind very quickly, which is a definite key to success when living anywhere new, or in another country. After all, a positive experience is what I am looking for in my life, and that is what I will find!


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  1. I resonate to your feelings – have been there man times! Take comfort in the solitude of those lonely moments. It helps! And remind yourself that you are having a great adventure and life is amazing!

    Happy Birthday!



    1. Kathy, as one of my inspirations for heading out on this journey, I appreciate your thoughts. I am enjoying the solitude, and have so much more to enjoy here. In the meantime, I hope all is well with you, and that you are having some adventures, too!

  2. Happy four months and Happy Birthday a bit early! Thanks for sharing your adventure. Think of you often and understand how much you must miss your family and ‘state’ friends. But, so excited that you’ve been able to find new friends there. Continue to enjoy your new experiences. Hugs from Georgia, T

    1. Hi, Theresa! Thanks for the comment and the support from over there… I sure miss you guys!

  3. Wow … four months! I’m sorry for the occasional loneliness, but don’t forget you have promised me a full update as well!!! What an adventure. The next time you feel lonely, please remember I’m excitedly awaiting a full report from you. LOL Updating me should keep your mind occupied. BTW, we just had the memorial for my Dad — tell me how I can send you the video. Much love.

  4. Happy early birthday my friend!! The lonely times can be difficult, but within that there is a chance for growth & reflection. I’m a phone call, text or email away….miss you!!!

    1. Thanks, Di. I appreciate that! Like I said, those moments are fleeting, but they do still exist from time to time. Besos!

    1. I miss you, too, Melina. Thanks for the comment, and the encouragement. I hope you and your family are doing well!

  5. Happy Birthday Christopher! I hope it is a grand day for you. I have been reading your posts and feel like I have been there with you on your excursions. What a tremendous experience!! And hey, on the lonliness…I can feel that right here in my own home, in my own community, as well. Wishing you the best in your new home, city and opportunity.

    1. Hi, Daniel, and I know we are long overdue for a phone call soon! Thanks so much for the feedback on my posts, and the encouragement for overcoming loneliness. I know it is part of the journey, and I am thankful that there is so much here to distract me!

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