A Move away from the Norm: Learning to Teach English in Spain


So it’s official. Well, official in the sense that I have made up my mind to go to Spain. Unofficial in the sense that nobody else, including my boss and employees, know this yet.

I’m going and started this blog but haven’t necessarily cleared the final approval through my boss. I’ll get around to it and we should be fine. I have 6 months to get ready for Spain. 4 intensive weeks learning how to teach English as a foreign language.

In a Spanish-speaking country.

I don’t speak Spanish.

A lifetime of living in a state bordering Mexico, 4 years of Spanish in High School (1 year of which was AP, also quite coincidentally the worst year of my life), 4 years of the restaurant industry (in which over half the staff spoke Spanish as a primary language) and all I can drudge up is “Si,” “No hablo Espanol,” and the rare “Mi llamo es Brianna.” My parents are likely banging their heads against the wall reading this thinking about the Corvette they could have purchased in lieu of my private school education. My bad, guys.

I’m seeing a vision of my future in Spain and I’m the only one who only speaks one language.

So, for most of my life, I’ve had a tendency to just breeze by the things I don’t like and focus what I enjoy. Call it human nature, but I can’t say it’s been a problem. Except that most often, if I don’t learn it the first time it comes back again. It reappears again and again until my stubborn bull-headed brain is forced to learn it. As you can imagine, that process is not always a fun time for me. I will say that I never forget those lessons. So in light of this fact it’s not entirely strange (yet a little unsettling) that I have a sneaking suspicion that the sentence mapping and prepositional memorization I never really quite mastered my first year in Catholic school is going to make a comeback.

Not particularly stoked for that portion of the trip.

But what I AM stoked about is a month in Espana! A new city! A new group a people with a unique culture and language different from my own. I’ve always wanted to be a true “citizen of the world” and this is a step towards becoming one. So, you ask, curious blog-reader of mine, how did this all come about?

I blame college. Something triggered my passion for international travel. I have several theories as to why it’s so intruiging to me (sociology, cultural exploration and immersion, expanding my horizons, being a visitor in another country learning the differences between my suburb and their town, sheer curiosity, etc.), but I haven’t stuck with one yet. Once I do, you’ll be the first to know.

Right now, I’m in full get-ready mode. I have six months to go, and I’m acting like I leave tomorrow! Let’s get this show in the road already! I’m saving, scrimping, scrapping as much money as I can so I don’t starve when I’m there nor when I come back 🙂 I’m reading and planning and daydreaming … this is my pie-in-the-sky dream. I see this trip as an adventure – a way to move in the direction of the life I’ve always wanted. Sure, I may be single until I’m thirty, but who cares?! Life is only worth living if you’re really living it! I found a quote I really loved the other day. Maybe it will resonate with a few of you as well. More updates to follow – enjoy!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau

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