Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hasta Luego, Gran Canaria

It's hard to believe how quickly this month has gone by.  I have always been sentimental and nostaligic, so clearly a month of paradise with my boyfriend and heaps of new incredible friends and experiences is bound to make me alittle emotional.  In one month I've grown massively attached to all of it, from the people to the days spent lounging by the sea... I feel so lucky it's ridiculous but yet all these new people I've grown close to see this as absolutely normal living.  It makes me wonder, could I call a place like this home one day?  Not necessarily the Canary Islands, but some place tropical, relaxed, and overly friendly with close to perfect weather everyday incredible sights around every turn. 

I have to get back here sooner than later and somehow make this a more regular destination.  Now it is no longer some far off island, it is very much a part of me.  I never thought such a short time could stir me so much.  I feel like I'm leaving a place I've lived for ages.  I set up shop, with an apartment and roommates, a routine, familiar places to eat or have a coffee... and now it's back to feeling like a vacation.  It makes me so sad but so happy at the same time and is a big reminder why living this way can be hard but is so worth it.  Goodbyes never get easier, but that's why I have to see it as a see you later, rather than farewell.  Asi que, hasta luego Gran Canaria y gracias para todo.  Volvere aqui un otra vez, seguro. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Un Poco Español

Hoy quiero escribir en español para describir mi experiencia demasiado lejos y practicar mi nuevo idioma.  Nunca practico escribiendo así que mi blog es la oportunidad perfecta para intentarlo. Y que es mejor hablar sobre mi experiencia aquí en Gran Canaria y como de simpática y espacial es la gente.  Ellos son el razón de que haya mejorado y estoy orgulloso de saber algunas palabras canarias para añadir a mi vocabulario. ;)

Me encanta esta isla fleje y mi vida aquí.  Es increíble como la gente es amable en cada encuentro.  Esta mañana cuando estuve caminando hacia un café para tomar mi desayuno, cinco personas me dijeron ¨buenas días!¨ con grande sonrisas y entusiasmo.  En Madrid y en muchas otra ciudades, la gente es mas fria, nunca teniendo contacto con los ojos y solo hablando cuando es necesario.  Aquí es muy diferente, posible porque es una isla pequeña, muy lejos de el todo mundo, pero con tiempo perfecta y la playa muy cerca.  Mis amigos aquí son fantástico también.  Soy la ¨guiri¨ del grupo, pero en solo un poco tiempo, me siento como parte del grupo.  Mi español es malo todavía pero cada persona es muy paciente conmigo, explicando historias para mi muy despacio y muy interesante en lo que yo tengo que decir.  Me gustaría poder quedarme aquí mas permanente, pero tengo solo una mas semana.  Necesito disfrutar cada momento, y cuando sea tiempo de salir de aquí, estaré emocionada sobre lo que me depara el futuro. Ojala puedo volver a esta sitio tan especial.  Gracias para todo, mis niños!  

Monday, August 8, 2011

La Playa

There´s really nothing like the sound of the gently rolling waves at high tide in the late night, when the tourists have all moved on and you are left alone with the placid sea and the moon glowing in the distance.  Yesterday, after feeling more antcy then usual, I decided to escape the walls of my apartment and go for a quiet dinner and late night stroll solo.  I rarely get the opportunity anymore to take in experiences alone and set time aside for quiet reflection.  I had forgetten how much I love it and need it from time to time.  After a tall glass of red wine, a peaceful stroll along the shoreline, with my feet dancing in the warm clear Atlantic, was a perfect compliment.  I took a seat in the soft sand and simply watched the water rolling over the rocks and glisening in the distance, thinking, how can anyone that lives in a place like this not feel a certain undefinable connection to the sea and the nature around them.  I guess it´s easy to forget such beauty is a stone´s through away when the heavy weight of life´s responsibilities and distractions are baring down.  But for me, this is likely the most freedom and down time I will ever get to have, so making a conscious effort to soak in as much as I can is not too difficult.

I´ve never considered myself a ¨beach person¨ persay, but after spending just a short two weeks living a short walk away, I can now see exactly why people that have always lived by the ocean have something uniquely more relaxed about them.  Something about the ocean´s presence is like a reminder of what is important and real.  Some how just taking a few beats to silently stare out into the distant sea at least temporarily dissolves my racing thoughts and various daily concerns.  It´s like instant thearapy for the soul.  After only a short time of calling this paradise home, I feel like I absolutely must live somewhere with the ocean nearby when it´s time to settle into a place.  This island is incredible.  It´s no wonder why the people here seem to have an extra warmth to them and a ¨don´t worry, be happy¨attidude.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another City, Another World

After over a month of neglecting my blog, it´s finally time for an update.  Right now I find my self sitting in an apartment, just minutes from the beach in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.  Before arriving to this point, I´ve been completely preoccupied by endless guests, making plans, and sorting out this crazy life of mine.  There has been no time to write and no possible way to catch up because between my trip from hell to Amsterdam and gobs of family and freinds here for adventures, there was just no way to document each story.  All I can say is July was an experience and I am totally blessed to have the people I have in my life, stateside and abroad.  Having my brother here and my close friends from home mingling with my new friends Madrid and sharing my new life at last was a healthy reminder of how important relationships are and that no matter where I go or what I do, they will always be there.

So now, here I am in the Canaries.  I´m still having a hard time absorbing the fact that I am here, but it feels like a dream-- most of the time.  Upon arrival I felt completely overwhelmed and uncomfortable.  Never have I felt so dependant and helpless as when I first got here.  My only person here was my Canary boyfriend, and with this relationship still fresh and new, the last thing I want is needing his assistance for every detail in my day.  Those thoughts quickly desolved as I got an opportunity to really see this beautiful place.  Absolute paradise.  I settled into my new apartment quickly, and even though my Spanish is still shaky, I´ve been able to establish sound relationships with these people, along with a massive group of new friends Borja has graciously ushered me into.

It´s been a week and I already feel right at home here.  I´ve explored the island, enjoying the warm sun down in the south for an incredible camping experience and day trip with a few fabulous Spanish girls.  My Spanish has improved more in the last week than in months of living in Madrid.  While I adore my companions in the big city sharing the same expat existence, it really hurts my productivity in acheiving one of my paramount goals of being here.  I can only imagine how much progress I´ll make by the time I leave at the end of August. I´m trying not to think to much about that right now, because I know in just a few short weeks, I´ll be setting off from this island paradise and faced with new decisions about a few hefty topics.  Maybe this experience in the Canary Islands will continue on when I return to Spain, but for now I have to see it as an incredible experience that will hold many nostalgic memories.  Another adventure to add to the catelog, reminding me of how many special nooks and cranies exist in this world.