I am in Valencia! I hadn’t even realised how fast time had flown since my last blog over a month ago (sorry about that). The truth is that it is so easy to get caught up in enjoying spending time exploring and meeting new people that I’ve just decided to go with it, rather than write about it. Compared to living in Moraira, Valencia is just a whole new world as there are always things to do and people to meet and talk to… It has made me realise how much I love being surrounded by people!
Firstly I’ll discuss the main reason that I am actually here… Work! I am still working for the same company as I was in Moraira, but I am in the central office so rather than being alone in an office all day I am surrounded by a great team of people. By far the best thing about working here is the lack of responsibility that I have in comparison to in Moraira because there I was basically in charge as my supervisor hardly ever visited. Here, however, I am definitely treated more like an intern as there are clearly people in much higher positions than I am, and I’m never left completely in charge which after a whole summer of it; it is a very welcomed change!
Before I even started university I had decided that I wanted to spend my year abroad in Valencia after spending a day here on a Spanish exchange. I have definitely not been disappointed as Valencia is such a beautiful city with its incredible architecture from the old town and the cathedral, to the very modern and exciting Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias. The atmosphere is really welcoming and I already feel like I could live here forever (sorry, Mum) as unlike many cities, this one feels so safe – even at night.
After spending the whole summer skyping several times a week to talk to people from home and university, it is so nice to spend the next four months with one of my best friends from university, Susannah. Neither of us knew that we’d both applied to the same job in the same city, but it has worked out so well as we get on like a house on fire and it turns out that we have a lot in common from liking the same food and music, to occasionally accidently dressing the same (oops!). Before we came, a lot of people assumed that it wouldn’t be good for our language skills to be living and working with a friend from home, but we actually spend a lot of time talking (and singing) in Spanish, unless we are both exhausted from work!
I have done so much in the past month that it would be impractical to mention all of it but I’ll do my best… In my first week I definitely got stuck into typical Spanish life by eating both tapas and paella in my first two days in Valencia! Within my first few hours here I think I spoke to more people than I had all summer which made a nice change. The multi-culturalism here amazing! I have friends from all sorts of countries such as Ukraine, Lebanon, Belgium and Guatemala and so we tend to talk in a mixture of English and Spanish, which is fine by me… Spanglish is a legitimate language, right?! Since being here I have obviously visited the beach several times, I have explored the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias and I’ve been to Erasmus-organised nights such as a language exchange where we got into a really deep conversation about the Valencian language/dialect – a topic on which many people have controversial opinions.
It is fair to say that my year abroad is definitely living up to and exceeding expectations – never in a million years did I imagine that I would feel so comfortable living abroad away from my family! Yes, occasionally I do feel major FOMO when I’m getting good or bad news from home or seeing all my friends from university going back there. For example, this weekend is the final round of my dad’s motocross championship which he is currently leading and I would absolutely love to be there to cheer him on and see him win overall, but I know that there are plenty of people there to do that for me and I wouldn’t change the opportunity to be out here for anything!
So until the next time that I stop long enough to write down what I’ve been doing, I hope everyone is doing okay!