Getting to Know You…

I’ve been tagged by Monique from Bringing Travel Home to participate in a blogging series that lets bloggers get to know each other better. You might remember Monique from her guest post here last year, and if you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you should!

 

What is your favorite saying, or motto?

“When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I first read The Alchemist when I was in high school, but this quote didn’t leave an impression on me until much later. When I was 15, all I wanted for my birthday was to travel to Spain. I ended up devouring Hemingway’s novels instead. Later on, when I was in university, I was accepted into the Communication program at King’s College in England. But after doing the math with my Dad and realizing that a year abroad would be a huge financial burden, it was a no-go. By the time I was about to graduate from college, I was so antsy and fiercely intent on having my abroad experience, that when the opportunity to teach in Spain popped up, you can bet I grabbed it with both hands and ran like the wind.

So, I finally did get to experience Spain. Maybe not precisely when I wanted to, but life is funny that way. I waited 7 years to finally get here, but looking back, I’d say it was definitely worth the wait. Now I wonder about England…

Spanish dreams. Early 2008.

 

What part of the world do you have little interest in traveling to? And which part of the world is next on your “list”?

Eeek, this is a tough one. I’d say I have no interest in traveling to…I don’t know, Oklahoma.

The part of the world that would be next on my list would have to be… well…it’s really a tie between backpacking through Southeast Asia and South America. How about both?

I’d also like to see the Northern Lights before I die.

Traveling dreams. Guatemala 2009.

 

What is your preferred form of exercise – walking, yoga, the gym, or other?

I hate running, but I enjoy walking and hiking. If I can, I’ll take a month off work this year to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I’m hoping to trek the 800km French route from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia. I’m daunted and kind of scared, but I also haven’t been this excited about something in a long time…

 

Have you ever written or would you like to write a short story, memoir, or novel?

When I was little, my teachers would ask the class: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, and I’d announce: “I’m going to be an author!”

As I got older, my doubts grew and my confidence has heavily wavered. I’ll often wonder what I could possibly write about. Though recently I’ve become interested in writing my family history and figuring out if this wanderlust and self-inflicted homesickness limbo I’m going through might just run in my blood. I come from a long line of ‘displaced‘ individuals (Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Guatemalan) and I’d like to know how, where, when, why they settled in the very faraway locations they did. It’d be a memoir for myself and family members – a way of learning and preserving their stories.

My grandmother in Guatemala.

 

Are you a gardener, or a garden admirer? You can be both!

I grew up watching my parents garden together on weekends. We had a huge backyard where they grew mangoes, apricots, peaches, plums, and I think we even had grapes once. There was even a giant fig tree – I would devour those figs like it was nobody’s business.

So yes, now I have fantasies about someday growing my own garden. I’ll grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables, and have a few chickens. When I tell D-Man this, he guffaws and says, “¡Sí, claro! Yo seré el jardinero, y tu observarás desde el porche con tu té.”  Which translates to: “I’ll be doing all the gardening, and you’ll be doing all the watching from the porch, with your cup of tea.” Such little faith, I tell you.

 

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

YOU, of course! When I first started blogging here in Spain, I never imagined the community would be what it is. It’s huge, informative, supportive, and inspirational. I’ve gotten to know other bloggers and have read so many inspiring and powerful life stories. Blogging has been an eye-opener and a great way to learn, channel my thoughts, practice my writing, meet wonderful people, and know that I’m not alone in experiencing what I do abroad... Thank you.

 

I’ve now tagged the following awesome bloggers, should they choose to participate:

Azurah
Becoming Madame
Chica Andaluza
Emily from Hey from Japan
Kristina from Homemade Wellbeing
Vivian from Lost in Translation
Lauren from Roaming the World
Lauren from Spanish Sabores
Cat from Sunshine and Siestas

Feel free to choose any number of the questions below, or create your own.

What is your favorite saying, or motto?
What is your dream job?
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
When you travel, do you prefer to go to the city or the countryside?
Do you enjoy cooking? If so, what are some meals you like to prepare when you entertain?
If there were four people from any time period you could invite to dinner, who would they be?
Have you ever written or would you like to write a short story, memoir, or novel?
Tell me about your part of the world. What do you like to do in your hometown?
What do you most enjoy about blogging, and what advice would you give new bloggers?

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29 thoughts on “Getting to Know You…

  1. Your plans to walk the camino de santiago sound great. and your favorite saying is one I believe in as well. It is so true in my experience. And I love the photo of your grandmother. With your diverse history, a family history/memoir would be an interesting and ambitious project for you. Thanks for participating, I know we have to pick and choose these tagging opportunities! it’s nice to learn more about you!

    • Thank you for the tag. :)
      I’m keeping in mind that I’ll need to take things one step at a time – first, save up as much as I possibly can this summer, then do the Camino day by day… and then we’ll see. :) It’s all daunting, but it’s not impossible.

  2. I hope you do walk the Camino, it is such a fantastic experience and a great way to see a completely different part of Spain. I did it 2 years ago and dream of doing it again if I get the chance. I look forward to reading more about it in your blog :)

    • I’d love to hear more about your experiences on the Camino! I’m making small preparations, but I still have a few months before I go… I’m trying to read up on it as much as I can since it’s a long journey.

  3. Wow what a great post! Am intrigued by people who decide to walk the Camino – their reasons for doing it, why they do it with whoever or alone…fascinating. I traced my family history to see if it would shed any light on who I am (and this is just one side of the English family) and understand now why I want to be a country Chica – I am a peasant at heart! Thanks too for tagging me :)

    • Walking the Camino will definitely be an experience… I’m hoping to just be able to process my thoughts, get back to the basics, and hopefully come out of it a better and more clear-minded person. Not to mention that the views and walks are beautiful.
      As for family history, you know what they say about the apple not falling far from the tree. ;)

        • *sigh* It’d be a dream to have a nice piece of land to live off of and run around in, especially somewhere green like Northern Spain.
          One of my great-grandfathers came from China and started a coffee plantation in the mountains of Guatemala with the money he brought with him… so maybe this gardening and huerta-ing fantasy isn’t entirely out of my gene pool. ;)

  4. Holy ridiculous mileage, batman!!! 497 MILES?! Your legs are going to fall off. Take band-aids with you! Neosporin! Vitamin E and most importantly, sunblock and snacks!

    Although, 16.5 miles a day doesn’t sound too bad… it’s like a bad dream terror or a mild case of poison oak in your nether regions. ;)

    jkjkjk… actually I admire you. That sounds like it’s going to be an amazing trek… I’m sure you’re going to get so many beautiful photos, and you’ll have writing material for 6 months! When are you planning on going?

    • Jamie!!
      Yup… more than 500mi if I decide to go all the way to Finisterre – we’ll see. Vitamin E? I’ll keep that in mind. Definitely getting a good sunblock and a big hat – it’s going to be HOT.

      D-Man and I were doing the math… it takes us about 3 hours to walk 12km at a very leisurely pace. So… it would be about 6 hours of walking a day, give or take. Which isn’t bad if you get up early! I would much rather do that than have poison oak in my nether regions, you sauce.

      I’m really excited about it… I was thinking of going this summer, but there are extremely high temperatures during that time. So now I’m considering waiting ’til Fall (though I’d really love to just pack up and go now). I have a student who did it in July of 2003, during one of the Spain’s biggest heat waves, and he survived…

      • Uh… try not to get heat stroke and die, k? Just go in the Fall, you impulsive and spontaneous butterfly, you! At least then we can all be confident that you won’t dry up and pass out on the side of the road.

      • Very cool. I plan to be there in September to walk the Camino. Will be so amazing, I am sure! Hoping the fall will see cooler days and less crowds, although I am sure the first week will still be quite hot!

    • You could definitely try! A lot of people start in Sarria, and from there it’s about a 5 day trek over to Santiago. You’d be hiking in one of the most beautiful parts of the Camino, too – very green and the inclines aren’t too bad.

  5. I have faith in you having a little garden. Ha. I miss gardening but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to garden in my life!

    I’m excited for your plans to walk the Camino de Santiago! wow. I’m not so fond of hiking but what an incredible thing to be do!

    And yes, I need to write the paulo Coelho quote down. In fact, There are many quotes in the Alchemist, I need to remember. Such simple yet powerful book!

    • That’s right! You were a garden teacher. How cool is that? I’ll be emailing you for tips once I get that terrain. :)

      I’m actually excited about the walking! And I’m intrigued about getting back to the basics… eat, walk, sleep… and of course meeting new people along the way.

      The Alchemist is really simple, yet wonderful read. I think Coelho also wrote a book about the Camino.

    • Thank you, Malou! I think The Alchemist has a great message for all of us. I think it especially leaves an imprint on those of us who have wandered far and wide.

  6. Oh thanks for the tag!! :D I love learning more about my blogger friends. I will do it soon… just got back from a few days in London.

  7. great post, I enjoyed reading it a lot :) Thanks for mentioning my blog, I will have to put aside some time to rite up mine ‘getting to know you’ post :) I am off to Cambridge this weekend, but will sit down and write a few words next week :) have a great weekend! :)

    • Sorry I’ve just gotten back to your comment now, after weeks! I’ve taken a break from blogging for a bit – it’s been super busy here. I also just got your email about the package getting mailed! :) I can’t wait to try out your natural face masks and creams! :)

  8. I am so excited you are doing the Camino. I leave for Pais June 1st. I will start from St Jean June 4th and walk to Burgos. As long as I don’t lose a foot, I plan to finish the following summer. I am also walking alone! I have never been so consumed about doing something in my life, but as the departure date gets closer, I’m definitely getting more and more nervous. We’ll have to keep in touch.

    • Yes, we’ll have to keep in touch! I’ve changed plans, and will be leaving a bit earlier than expected… probably late summer now. I’ve also been consumed by the idea of trekking the Jacobean route, it’s an inexplicable feeling really. It feels like the idea just popped into my head one day and I haven’t been able to shake off the feeling that I really need to do it in the next few months. I can’t wait to hear your tales from the Camino. ;)

  9. You might actually be surprised how CHEAP Asia is. Hotels, food, transportation, etc are all super cheap; it’s just getting there that is the expensive part. SE Asia in particular is full of backpackers that have learned Europe is no longer the ideal backpackers hangout. Take it from me- I lived on only a few hundred dollars a month in India for almost a year! I hope you’re able to make it to that part of the world soon. I have full confidence that you will. ;)

    • I’ve indeed heard that the flight is the most expensive part! I recently had friends visiting who had backpacked through SE Asia as poor college students and LOVED it. I can’t afford the flights at the moment, but I AM racking up some travel miles. ;) I also have full confidence that I will make it out there! I’ve always wanted to experience other parts of the world beyond Europe and Latin America.

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