Will you forgive me?
I guess the person I should really be asking that to is myself.
You know the scenario, you make grand plans, commit to one-too-many things, don’t follow through, then you feel terrible. I am the queen of this. I of course, didn’t write the book on this, but I absolutely could have.
Just under two months ago, I made the decision to quit my full time job in London, and depart for the warmer region of Andalusia, Spain. Specifically, Lonely Planet’s 2018 city to visit, Seville.
I also decided to start my own business at the same time…
I also decided I would self publish my book of poetry and the same time…
I also committed to working at a hostel at the same time…
Okay, you get where this is going, right?
El stupido. Or just rather ambitious. So sue me.
My close friend diagnosed me the other day – “Wade, I think you have Superwoman Syndrome.”
Here’s the symptoms of Superwoman Syndrome for the curious (and fellow-sufferers)
You feel you are responsible for doing “it all,” you often feel overwhelmed
You strive for perfectionism, anything less is a failure
You put other people’s wants over your needs, you have difficulty saying no
You base your self worth on your productivity or output, you feel guilty if you aren’t being productive
You are perpetually not happy
Sheesh. The truth is served strong, like liquor.
This is the first time I’ve put my fingers to the keyboard for the sake of blogging since I have made the move. I have written several poems which you can see here (if that’s your type of thing :P), but up until now, I hadn’t been able to settle my thoughts long enough to construct them.
My thoughts on my move etc, are not yet solidified, but I’m most certainly wiser than when I turned up on October 11, 2017, with my backpack in tow, and the weary smile of someone who’s just landed in a new town, despite it being near 12 at night.
Fast forward to now, and I’ve found a part time job in an office (for the sake of interacting with humans, integrating, and some steady cash); I live in hostel in exchange for two mornings of work and a night shift per week); and I am growing my online marketing company with all the spare time I have left. Okay, so I’m still working on that Superwoman thing… I’d like the share a bit of my journey for the sake of others who have made a similar move, my loved ones, and the generally curious. I hope you find it useful, as ever.
My thoughts on Seville so far
Okay, it’s beautiful, not very inventive – I know, but it has that sort of wow effect, you stare up at the grandiose buildings saying “wow, wow, woww,” because it doesn’t stop. The walls, the buildings, the river etc. A fried of mine from a nearby city called Cadiz once told me that Seville is like the Oxford of Spain, so those who have visited it in the UK may be able to create a picture in their head. It’s one of the most bike-friendly cities in Spain, to add icing to the argument.
It’s a small city, especially the centre, in terms of people. Very quickly you start to understand how groups and people are connected. The centre, although more expensive than outside areas, is one of the largest city centres of Europe, and is still not very expensive, so a lot of expats do choose the stay here. I’m looking for a flat here for example. And although I’d never even think of living in central London, here it is more of a possibility. And although it’s very inexpensive here – it is not as cheap as Malaga or Grenada, which I kind of had assumed. It is the capital city of Andalusia and unfortunately your money wont stretch as far.
It does provide more opportunities to speak Spanish than other cities in the South, which is what I wanted. There are of course, expat communities wherever you go, but I’ve found the Spanish friends I’ve made so far so like to switch into Spanish during conversations and shopkeepers, chemists and banks pretty much only speak Spanish. So it’s been a very good opportunity thus far to stretch my Spanish. My goal was to be fluent before I leave, so C1, if I’m being really optimistic C2 level.
My thoughts on moving
I think one has to be a bit realistic with the adjusting period. When I fist got here, it didn’t feel particularly different to when I normally travel. But slowly, you realise it has passed the number of weeks for a standard trip, and you need to get your life together, except that’s hard enough in your own country. Cue the panic.
Looking back retrospectively, I think the savings I brought with me were essential, and I am of course lucky that I do make most of my money online, so this did help keep my sanity when I naturally encountered setbacks in my move. My advice would be to try and make that holiday to living switch a quickly as possible, and start to purchase and acquire things needed for you to feel like you are settled and in a good living situation. Groceries, staple seasonings, all your needed toiletries, little home comforts. They might sound menial, but they help combat the feeling of lostness that most people who move away feel at some, or several points.
Don’t rush yourself, but try to make a plan, so maybe week 3 your main aim will be to get your bank sorted out, and week 4 you should set up 2 flat viewings, it’s not putting too much pressure on yourself but it means you keep getting things done and you don’t end up coasting and feeling like… I’ve done nothing… help!
My thoughts on working in a hostel
It’s currently the bane of my life and the best thing I’ve done. We all know I love hostels. And that hasn’t changed. Since arriving, I have been constantly amazed by the people who have walked through the hostel doors. I’ve made good friends here, met families who I want to stay with when I go travelling again, older women who haven’t had a home base for years, young brothers travelling together, newly weds travelling together, people who have just come from the Camino de Santiago… people from all walks of life, and they each have a story to tell.
What I didn’t anticipate, is that now, I have somewhat overdosed on it. Although I love meeting and getting to know people, I am mostly an introvert, in that I gather my energy from being alone, so at times, the constant stream of people has felt overwhelming. Now I find myself trying to find quiet corners and having to psych myself up for socialising. That being said, I’m not sure how I’d survive if I wasn’t at my current hostel. You might be able to tell by my mention of the clientele but although we have our fun, it’s not a ‘party hostel’ it has more of an intimate feel, and at times you can really feel at home, when you’re curled up on your laptop on the sofa in your socks (yes, Seville has a winter).
Now, I’m currently looking for a flat to official start my ‘life’ here in Sevilla, I have no doubt that my goodbye to the hostel will be a difficult one. But if you are thinking of doing it to accommodate your move I highly recommend it, I just encourage to to find one that doesn’t have a bar crawl every night 😉
What can you expect from me and this blog moving forward?
Once I’m settled in my flat I will commit to showing you guys Seville, in the true Wading Wade way: so useful information, local tips and we’ll truly delve into the spirit of this city. I can imagine that if you haven’t been, you probably have you sights set on it due to the recent Lonely Planet accolade, and I will be more than happy to impart my knowledge. But until then, you can follow mmy social channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or my personal Instagram – as these are the places I will update when I can.
In the meantime, #KeepWading and feel free to tell me if you can relate to any of the above, below!
All the best,