BB Monthly Recap: January and February 2017

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written a monthly recap. For posterity’s sake, I’ve decided to make this a January and February recap. It just doesn’t feel right to leave out the first month of the new year.

Things have been a little quiet on the blog as of late, but I’m vowing to change that in March. I’m challenging myself to post every Wednesday. Hold me to it!

Destinations Visited

  • St. Joseph, Michigan
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Cuenca, Spain
  • Cercedilla, Spain
In my Januray and February recap, I detail the highlights and challenges of life abroad!
Cuenca was my first trip of 2017!


Celebrating my birthday in Michigan. As noted in my December recap, I spent the holidays at my parents’ house in Michigan. I was still there for my birthday, which is January 3. I turned 25 years old! For the blog, I considered doing one of those “25 things I’ve learned in 25 years” posts, but to be honest, those are kind of silly. Like, way silly. I’m 25, not 75, so I’m not going to pretend like I know anything about anything. I digress. It was so nice to ring in a quarter century (ew, gross) surrounded with people I love.

My weekend getaway to Cuenca. Finally finally finally, I recapped a trip! In January, I went to Cuenca for the weekend. You can read about my time there here.

Teaching English online. I’m declaring 2017 the year of the side hustle. I’m trying to make a buck, folks! In preparation for next year (more on that later) and to supplement lots of travel this year (more on that later), I’ve picked up a second job. In addition to teaching as an auxiliar de conversación, I’m also teaching English online to Chinese kids. I applied to VIPKID in December and started giving classes earlier this month. So far, so good! I plan on writing more about my experience with the company sometime soon.

My parents coming to Madrid. Recently, I read The Last Girls by Lee Smith. Overall, it was meh. But, one line stuck with me. One of the characters is talking about her children and says, “If our children actually knew how much we love them, they’d simply be immobilized by the force of it.” Since moving to Madrid, I’ve often thought about my parents’ love for me. It can’t be easy to have your child living across an ocean. If they ever let on to how hard it is and asked me to move home, I wouldn’t fault them. I might even do it. However, they never have. Their support for my life abroad has been unconditional. Their visit in mid-February, during which much wine was drunk and many laughs were had, left me with an incredibly grateful heart.

In my Januray and February recap, I detail the highlights and challenges of life abroad!
It was chilly, but I still enjoyed walking around Cuenca all weekend!


Weather. I hate to be one of those people that’s like “omg the weather totally affects my mood,” but omg the weather totally affects my mood. The weather in Madrid was kind of shitty for a few weeks, and it was making me kind of shitty. I’ve become so accustomed to the sunshine here that I thought I was going to lose my mind after just a couple cloudy/rainy weeks. Thankfully, the sun is back. Actually, it seems like it might already be spring in Madrid.

Next year. Would you absolutely hate me if I said I love a challenge? Well, I do. In my book, “problems” like what to do and where to go next year are good ones to have. I’ve started making decisions and preparations regarding life after Spain, and while it’s challenging, it’s also extremely exciting. I couldn’t be more excited for the future!

In my Januray and February recap, I detail the highlights and challenges of life abroad!
One of several travel quotes I’ve been reflecting on as I make decisions for the future. Image Credit: Joseph Jayanth

What I Read, Watched and Heard

Read: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It was my book club’s January pick, and when I told my dad I had to read it, he bought me a copy for Christmas. I hadn’t heard anything about it, but apparently, it was one of the best books of 2016. After reading it, I can see why. It was like nothing I’d ever read before. Emotional. Powerful. If you like good books, read this one.

Watched: Vikings (every damn episode).  I hardcore binged on this show, and I’m not ashamed in the least. The first three seasons are on Netflix, and the fourth season finished airing in February. For all my fellow Game of Thrones fans getting the between season shakes, you should check out Vikings. 

Heard: “East Coast Hiding” by Dounia. I’ve had this song on repeat since January. Cool vibes. I’m obsessed. Listen for yourself here.

In my Januray and February recap, I detail the highlights and challenges of life abroad!
In January, my book club met to discuss Homegoing.

Coming Up in March 2017

March looks to be a busy month. This weekend, I have friends coming to visit, and they’ll be here until next Saturday. I can’t wait to show them around Madrid! On March 18, I’m flying to Tenerife for four days–also with friends. I’ve wanted to visit the Canary Islands for quite awhile. I’m excited for some tropical weather and to see Spain’s highest peak: Mt. Teide. If you’ve been to Tenerife, please pass along your recommendations!


What have you got coming up in March? Any travel plans?

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