Sunday, May 29, 2011


Moments before we all jumped into the pool together.

The roomies and I had one last big get together with all of our Spanish friends yesterday. It was a solid afternoon of fun at our friends Alberto and Pablo's cortijo (cottage). With a pool, paddle court, ping pong and food and drink we had a great time just hanging out with everyone and taking in the beautiful southern Spain sunshine. We also had music going all afternoon and this song really stuck out as it was being played. It is obviously in Spanish, and the lyrics aren't too exciting in terms of talking about the culture of Andalucia (from reading them it sounds more like a love song...), but It is called Al-Andalus, which is what Andalucia was called under Moorish rule. I just really like it because it mentions many of the towns and places across Andalucia that I have learned to love during my past 10 months here and thought it would be appropriate to begin a reflection piece with it.

The below video is the song with different pictures from around Andalucia (not created by me, but that gives me a really good idea...). Check it out!


Here I am, less than 20 days away from my return to the United States, the far and distant place I know as my real home, thinking about my West Michigan bubble, and how eager I was to step outside of it. I left it when I moved to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan in the fall of 2005, and have jumped even further away from it since graduation with my stint in Dallas, incredible first teaching experience in Honduras, and living in Spain for 10 months. But right now, that bubble, and everything inside that bubble, sounds great.

People I know here in Spain keep asking me if I am ready to head home, and for the most part I give them the same answer: yes, but it is bitter sweet.


Spain is Spain. It is an awesome country with an incredible history and unique people. Being a history geek, I have really taken the opportunity to explore many of the sites said in the song above, and many others not mentioned. I wake up every morning, open my blinds, and look out at the Mediterranean Sea. I get to teach my language and be around great kids, which is my passion. I’ve met some awesome people here as well, and the party yesterday was a great way to finish a great year of living in another country, learning the culture and language. I also have my family here with my uncle, aunt and cousins. I have had an awesome time hanging out with them and will be spending another week and a half with them starting this coming weekend. Overall, It is going to be tough to go home and leave my life here.


Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky, I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home
-"Home" by Michael Buble

Since January 10, 2010 almost 18 months have passed. During that time I have spent a total of 7 weeks in the United States, and a week of that was spent traveling out to Seattle and San Francisco. I am now going home to my friends, my family, and…

I am always looking for excuses to post that picture of her. Go Blue!

…what a long awaited reunion. With no plans in the future to leave any of them, I am looking forward to an awesome summer of Lake Michigan, camping and a few trips to see friends and family across the grand ol’ U.S. of A.

Now for some fun--things I have learned while in Spain the last 10 months...

1. Breakfast is at 9, Lunch at 3 and dinner at 9 or later.
2. 2 AM is early for Spaniards on Friday and Saturday nights.
3. Roundabouts > traffic lights
4. A sixth sense for avoiding dog poop while walking on the sidewalks is required.
5. Spaniards do not move when you pass them walking on the sidewalks.
6. No matter how hot it is in April and May, jeans and sweaters are still appropriate attire to walk around town in.
7. Spain = Europe
8. New York = United States
9. Barcelona ≠ Spain
10. 30 and living at home is totally acceptable.

More to come about my time here in the next two weeks before I leave for home!

I promise…


  1. oh the old bitter and sweet conundrum :) i'm glad to see you are still enjoying things :) i'm excited to catch up with back in the States! Enjoy your last bit of time there! :)

  2. I just think you and Emily need to get some of your friends to come to the States to visit and see your life here!! They could come to our cortijo! Enjoy these last few days, Tad. I know it is hard to say goodbye. See you soon... come see us at the lake.