Monday, October 18, 2010

Fifth Home.

Holland, Michigan – Born and raised in this small town on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Big Red and the sandy beaches, along with Tulip Time and everything Dutch. One of America’s happiest towns.

Ann Arbor, Michigan – The best college town in America has proven to play an important role in my early adulthood. From my Maize n’ Blue love to the city/campus fusion. And nothing beats its restaurants and bars.

Dallas, Texas – Enter the real world? All the teaching jobs are in Texas? Good idea and the advice was inspiring, but 20 plus schools did not have any interest in my services. Next?

Gracias, Honduras – The opportunity that came calling that I grasped and throttled. I had new life adventures in a different culture and grew personally and professionally through 6 incredible months of having my own first classroom and students.

Motril, Spain – Pending, but so far a place that has the potential to grow on me and a place that I am sure will have difficulty leaving come June.

I was fortunate. Growing up I lived in the same house for all but 6 months, and those 6 months were the first 6 months of my now 24 year life. I hear stories of how “my dad was in the military, we moved every two years” or “my dad lost his job and we moved half way across the country when I was 15” and I cringe of thinking about that process. I knew one home growing up, and it was a spectacular setting on 6 acres of green grass, woodlands, and a small creek that routinely demanded my attention.

I am now living in my second different country in 8 months. My current home is the town of Motril. With a population of just under 60,000 it isn’t exactly a bustling city like Sevilla, but it is a quaint town situated about 2 kilometers from the shores of the Mediterranean.

I have begun to notice that there are two groups of people in Motril, the students who attend the schools me and my roommates teach at, and then their parents and grandparents. There really isn’t a 20 something crowd. I blame this on the fact that Motril does not have a university and it is less than an hours drive away from Granada, which is where all the young people are living (one because there is a university there and two, it’s a pretty awesome city). In fact, many of the teachers at my school live in Granada and drive the 45 minutes down to Motril every day, five times a week. There are also two other American teachers (a couple), one who works at Michael Lynn’s school and the other who works at Emily’s school who also live in Granada and take the bus back and forth each day. That is over 2 hours of commuting each day for the American couple and an hour and a half for those teachers at my school.

That sheds a little light on what Motril is like, that even some of the teachers who work here don’t live here. However, even though it’s not a bustling place like Sevilla or Granada I have thoroughly enjoy it. Mostly because of this:

And this:

Growing up near Lake Michigan I love looking out at water, and looking out at the Mediterranean isn’t that bad of a deal. Also, I fell in love with mountains while living in Honduras. So, to turn 360 degrees from looking at the Mediterranean and see those mountains (which will be snow capped come winter) is a pretty awesome deal too.

Therefore, Motril has the natural perks of having the best of both worlds with mountains and water, but I am going to have to work a little harder to meet Spaniards.

I am really looking forward to the next 8 months, and although I will be traveling all over Spain and hopefully Europe, Motril will be my home.


  1. Dorothy said it best, as she clicked the heels of her ruby slippers,"There's no place like home."

  2. Hello, I have a job lined up teaching English in Motril. I was wondering if you could tell me about your experience. Did you overall like the town? Did you make friends there? Was it easy to meet people? I am assuming its not very cosmopolitan. Any illumination from your experience would be helpful. Thanks-