Take a look at my 2013 through pictures!
(We didn't get a picture of this but on January 1st, 2013, I ate 12 grapes at midnight CST -even though I had a bad stomach ache- and made a wish to go back to Spain in 2013. I think many of you know whether or not that wish came true. ;)
I started the year off flying back to Jacksonville with a free First Class upgrade thanks to all the qualifying flights I took in 2012.
(First class in United just meant round the clock drink service! haha)
I discovered new spots in my San Marco neighborhood to see sunsets or to just take a walk.
(Sunset behind the shops in and around the Square)
Not only did I reconnect with a friend, Christine, of Sucre Sucre, but I was influential in helping her attend One Spark 2013 (a huge crowdfunding event for artists, musicians, innovators and entrepreneurs in Jacksonville!)
In May, I took off on a month long adventure back to the country that captured my heart: (Sevilla) Spain!!!
|En el patio de los naranjos afuera de la Catedral en Sevilla|
|In Rincón de la Victoria (Malága)|
|En el piso de Andre en la Macarena (Sevilla)|
And to top it all off, I got to see my brother while he was visiting Madrid...
and then again in Sevilla! :D
I reunited with old friends and made new ones!
Nathan, Santi (my intercambio) and I in Puerta Jerez (Sevilla)
Nathan, André, Dámaris and I after dinner in her flat
Loida, Miguel, André and I just before saying hasta luego at the Sevilla airport!
And when I got back, I realized I had fallen in love with the Portuguese language (after two layovers in Lisbon, Portugal) and want to become trilingual before I hit 30!
but I am ::determined::
I worked on improving my health and probably ate the healthiest this year than any other year in my life thus far
|My favorite meal creation of the year (besides the tortilla de patatas): chicken and avocado tostadas with mozzarella cheese and a spicy sauce! Mmm...even Fred wants a bite! ;)|
Saw a dear friend of mine marry the love of her life in June!
|Amanda, Dustin and I in Daytona Beach, Florida|
Attended my first "Willats" family wedding as an adult in October- so happy for my cousin Emily and new cousin Tyler!
|Almost the whole family together at Emily and Tyler's reception in Iowa|
Went to the beach and enjoyed seeing many sunrises and sunsets there
Closed out 24 by making my first paella using a real paella pan my aunt got me for Christmas 2012
I spent part of my 25th birthday in my country's capital - Washington D.C.
And last but not least, I reunited with a very dear friend - mi hermanita en Cristo, Abigail!
|Abby and I reunited in our hometown of Dayton, OH after her one year term in the DR!|
As, 2013 comes to a close, I look back and give thanks for every good and bad moment that happened in my life this year. I learned who my true friends were again (which seems to happen each time you travel internationally) and received a lot of support and advice the people closest to me. I have learned so much about myself and other people, what I am capable of and who I want to be in the future.
While I have enjoyed learning and discovering the wonderful and challenging world of marketing, I have learned that it's not my main passion in life. My first love in life is God, but, until a man captures my heart, my second love will always be Spanish.
I spent a small part of this year being in a country that was not my own, speaking a language that was not my native one and honestly? I couldn't have been happier and have never felt more at home in Europe. Which is why I have decided to stop running from my desire to live and teach English in Spain. I have decided to go full steam ahead into applying and getting things in order so I will be able to do that. I want to say the end of hte 2014-2015 school year in Madrid (hopefully) that I am bilingual in English and Spanish. I will take a lot of work to get to that point but I am ready for the challenge! We will see what other opportunities come my way as the year 2014 unfolds!
So, my friends near and far, as I write this, I will soon be heading into my last winter in Jacksonville, Florida as a snowbird and in March 2014, I will be saying 'see you later' to a city that has been my home away from home for the last 6 years.
Life is too short to not follow your dreams and live each day to the fullest and that is what I plan to do! Stay tuned for updates and potential changes to this blog next year.
How was your 2013? What did you learn?
I pray that you will be surrounded by people you love as you ring in 2014 and strive to make this coming year your best year yet!
Feliz año nuevo a todos mis amigos y lectores en Espana o cualquier sitio vosotros estéis!