Monday, March 26, 2012

International House Hunters (Where are we now?)

It has been a while since my last post, almost a year to be exact and a lot has changed since then. To fill you in:
When I left Spain at the end of the spring last year I was under the assumption that I would be back at the end of the summer. I had a job lined up teaching English and everything. Then came the problems with getting a work Visa from the Spanish government. Long story short, I was denied but had had the foresight to look for jobs here in Michigan. Literally (and this was one of those moments when I thought that there must be some higher power looking out for me) the same day that I found out I would not be able to LEGALLY return to Spain, I received a phone call for an interview at UofM for a teaching position. This was already midsummer so I was more than excited. Turns out that even though I was a horrible, sweaty mess (since my interview coincided with the HOTTEST week ever) that I charmed them enough to get a job for the year teaching Spanish.
Right around this same time, Jose decided to make an honest woman out of me. He proposed during a trip to Mackinaw Island. I did not know that he had anything planned but he had bought a ring which he brought from Spain. He figured this trip would be the perfect time, that he would pop the question while we were on a bike ride around the island. I of course unwittingly foiled this plan by not indulging him when he kept pleading with me to stop. I was on a roll and just thought he wanted to take another picture (this is an ongoing battle). In the end, he did not propose to me on the island since I wouldn't slow down. Instead, he waited until we were back in our somewhat sketchy hotel room on the mainland. Picture it, me exhausted, lounging on the bed, tearing through a bag of Barbeque Baked Lays. He says he has to go the bathroom and is in there for a long time (preparing I guess). He comes out of the bathroom and asks me to sit up. I don't want to but finally aquiesce, licking my fingers while he gets down on one knee. I was certainly shocked but said yes. Of course I wish the story was a bit more romantic and I 100% take the blame for it not being that way.
In any case, we set the date for the end of December. Why wait? Jose went back to Spain. I started working. Time started dragging. The wedding was planned. Jose flew back with family in-tow to experience an awesome Michigan winter for a week and we got hitched. It was a good time but having him here was too short. He left again. Boo.
Since being married we have been trying to figure out what we would do both in the near and far future. It has been (let's be honest) a pretty agonizing decision. Who wants to permanently move away from (almost) everything they know and love? Add to that the fact that my niece was born 2 weeks ago (please refer to earlier blog post to see why this is in itself a true blessing for my family) plus my younger sister is getting married this fall and anxiety starts to build. In the beginning we thought that we would be able to be living here in Michigan for at least a year. (In my head I was convinced that once I had Jose here for a year and convinced him of how great it was that we would make that decision more permanent). Turns out that life would throw us another curve ball. Again, long story short, we have decided to move/live in Spain.
While visiting over my springbreak, we decided to look at more housing options. I figured if I was going to move across the world then there would have to be some consessions made. It was like being on an episode of International Househunters but we were WAY less obnoxious than other people. We had realistic expectations, knew what we could spend, what type of housing, where  we wanted to be etc. My wishlist included a bathtub, an elevator and as few shared walls as possible. After not a lot of searching we found an apartment in a brand new building (still under construction) on the top floor with 1 shared wall (not in any bedroom) with an elevator and a bathtub. If only I can somehow get a dryer I will be a happy camper. I am excited to be able to decorate/paint etc. and the idea of creating a home together eases some of my anxiety about moving. Plus I am pretty sick and tired of the nomadic life I have been leading the last 8 years or so.
That being said, it has been a very hard decision to make. I think about how my family a few generations ago made a similar decision to immigrate to the U.S. looking for opportunity and how they must have felt. I mean, there was no e-mail or Skype, no airplanes or Facebook, so in a lot of ways I am lucky. However, in a perfect world we would win the lottery and be able to split time in both places. Hopefully I will be able to find a job that I enjoy as much as the one I have right now. Hopefully we will be able to travel back and forth as much as possible. Hopefully this is the right decision for us in the long run. I am excited to begin another chapter in my life and to finally be living with my husband but can't help but be saddened by what I am leaving behind.
I guess though on a positive note, I have an excuse to begin this blog from where I left off. It is the beginning of another adventure in my life. At the end of April, I am headed back to be Allie in the South of Spain once more. Definitely stay tuned.