17 August, 2009

September 2010: Destination - Madrid

As usual, my plans for the next year have changed. Knowing me, they will change again within a few weeks or months. Having a spontaneous personality, mixed in with a travel obsession, doesn't exactly lend itself to concrete planning.

I had planned to move to Paris in a year. After some thought over the past few weeks and a pitcher of Sangria last night, I have "decided" to move to Madrid instead, at least for a few months. I'm not sure what I will do there, exactly. I may take graduate classes, as my university has a partnership with Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, I may teach English, or I may apply for a research grant.

Why Madrid instead of my life-long obsession Paris? There are many reasons. I WILL be moving to Paris, just not in September as planned. Maybe six months in Madrid, and, afterwards, Paris. For one thing, I have a hard time imagining life in Paris without Prince Charming (I really should stop calling him that....clearly, he wasn't). Yes, he will be there. Yes, we are friends. But it will not be the same. It's wimpy of me to abandon Paris (for now) simply because it is linked to heartache. I know that I will not be lonely, that there will be no shortage of charming men to entertain me. BUT, I want to feel welcome, to feel that I have a support group behind me. I made so many amazing friends in Madrid this summer and they have all been badgering me to move there (need I say I am easily convinced?).

Also, I absolutely LOVE the Spanish way of life. The dancing, botellon, crazy nights out, the friendliness, openness of the people. Not to say that Paris does not have these things, it is simply a different atmosphere.

Last but not least, I'd like to improve my Spanish, to achieve a native level of fluency. I have spoken French my entire life and it is not a language that I will ever forget. My Spanish, on the other hand, could use some refreshment. In the long run, being fluent in French AND Spanish will make me more marketable and expand my job opportunities.

Honestly, though, I want to try something different. I want to do something unexpected, to immerse myself in a language and culture that I am not completely familiar with.

Paris is my serious relationship, "marriage-material". It will always be there, waiting for me to commit. Madrid will be my fling, that intense, mysterious stranger you meet on a night out who manages to sweep you off your feet, if only for a little while.

And, Madrid is only a few hours away from Paris. I think Paris and I can manage an "open-relationship" for a while...

(Parque del Retiro...reminiscent of Jardin de Luxembourg, non?)


a taste of madeleine said...

Those pictures are gorgeous. I've never ventured to Spain, but within this year I hope to.

Keep being open to these 'plans'. I'm sure that more than few are right ones for you; I hope you will be happy wherever it is that you choose to go.

204 said...

my favorite part of this entire post was the pitcher of Sangria that evidently got your mind where your heart was. hahahaha.

Tina said...

That second picture of Madrid, looks almost exactly like a particular street in Buenos Aires. It made my heart jump. Oh my god I think I have to go to Madrid. ;-)

Anait said...

Tina, that second picture is Puerto del Sol, the hub of Madrid. To me, Madrid has a little bit of everything...vibrant colors like in Rome, gorgeous architecture and parks like Paris, and the quintessential spanish people and atmosphere.

K, the truth always comes out over a pitcher of sangria ;)

Madeleine, you HAVE to go!You will love it. Madrid, Barcelona and Granada are my favorites.

Serg Riva said...

nice pics

JouJou Loves You said...


Besides France, Spain is DEF. one of the places I would like to live for a short while. I love that you compare it to a 'fling'. Waahahaha....awesome. So true.

Of course France is the long time lover :)

Nothing wrong with changing your mind cherie!!! That is the benefit of being young, and having minimal responsibilities. We have to take advantage while we can!!!! WAAAA!!!!!

so excited for you...it will be here before you know it!!!

Anonymous said...

What an excellent choice. Spain is fantastic, and I agree. Alcohol always seems to bring out the truth.

Céline Roux said...

Hi Anait! It's Céline from Madrid.
Thanks for the comment on my blog, I'm glad to discover yours as well...better than facebook to follow you :)
And go to madrid!!! For sure you will have mor fun than in Paris!
We keep in touch and I hope we will meet again somewhere in the world ;)
Te mando besos desde San Sebastian. Cuidate.