Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to pack your whole life into one suitcase / 20 kg?

That’s one of the things occupying my mind these days.

How does a girl, (cause I believe it’s trickier for a girl than the average guy) choose and select clothes, shoes, bags, belts, toiletries (included make-up and perfume etc.) and other personal items when moving, AND minimize it to weigh only 20 kg??? 

I mean, I dare say that if not most girls, then a big part of us have more stuff than what can be brought along when having that weight restriction. 

How to choose? 

“But come ooon, it’s a warm country”, I hear you complain. “You don’t need all that much clothes then!”

Yes, yes, true. For instance, I don’t need to bring big sweaters and jackets. Good.

But let me just tell you, that if you’re moving away, even though for a warm country, you might still want to bring more than you do when you go on a weekend-trip or a one-week holiday. Then imagine actually living somewhere, with that same suitcase you brought for your last holiday. 
Not something I am looking forward to at least. 

I have gone through my clothes time after time, trying to choose, weighing shoes and accessories to see what weights the least (...) At one point I became frustrated and packed 6 plastic bags of clothes and gave it away to friends, just to have less stuff to choose from. (Hope I will stay away long, so I won’t regret this one later…) 

And then let’s face it, apart from clothes I need to bring my Spanish dictionary (1,2 kg.), at least one novel to read, my computer (2,7 kg.), comfy shoes/trainers (1 kg.), flip-flops (450g.), sandals (600g.), and one (!!!???) pair of nice shoes. Don’t even get me started on the toiletries. 
By the way, yes I’ve been just as crazy as it seems, weighing stuff! I want to make the most out of my apportioned 20 kg… 




It will be an interesting task! Any tips would be very welcome!

P.S.  5 days left!


Monday, August 29, 2011

How to learn a new language?


So… what will I do in Spain? Well, my first goals are to escape some Norwegian winter, and learn some Spanish. Hopefully learn a lot of Spanish. 

And I have never understood those who say that you learn a language fluently in a couple months just by being in the country they speak it.

Is it really so? I would love to be enlightened. 


See, I don‘t understand how, being in a new country, not knowing a single word of the language, makes you fluent just like that! I mean, you don’t understand a word, then how can you learn to speak yourself? I am not sure I’m explaining myself well here… 

Anyway, I believe that the best way to learn well and fast is actively seeking out learning, is in the means of a course.  So that’s going to be my way.

5 hours a day, 5 days a week.
 
If anyone can explain me any other way, please feel free to do so.
Anyhow, I am looking forward to learning Spanish!




Saturday, August 27, 2011

Málaga


I bought a guidebook of Costa del Sol to learn more about the region and also Malaga. My excitement and expectations are about to hit the roof!

For instance, there is a Moorish fortress.

And actually a whole Moorish old town.

A roman amfi theatre.

A huge, apparently beautiful cathedral.

The birth home of Picasso, now a museum.

Lots of sandy beaches.

Lots of shops, restaurants, bars etc.

I really can’t wait. I’m so excited and I can’t quite believe that I am off to experience all of this. 8 days left!




How beautiful is this city!?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where to go? Part II


So, this will be my new city in just very few days!









~ ~ ~

I was looking at the map, and had learnt that the north was breathtakingly beautiful, but could be both rainy and chilly. Definitely not something I was interested in, me moving away from Norway in search of sun and all.

The east coast, from France and a long way down are all part of the Catalan/Valencian speaking Spain.

So I was left with the south coast basically. Costa del Sol.
Not a bad "left-over" at all! Known for its up to 320 sunny days a year, where tapas is religion and flamenco has its roots. I was quickly convinced that this would be a good place to start my Spanish experience.





So I concentrated on the south coast, googled some more to figure out where to go, and I decided on the capital of the region: MÀLAGA with half a million inhabitants.



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where to go?


So…I’ve been talking about decision-making and other things, but haven’t gotten to where exactly I would go.

Spain is huge! Where would I go start my new life? Like I have said, I have never actually been to Spain, so it’s not like I have some favourite part, or city that I love and want to go back to.

I sat down with the map of Spain in front of me, at the same time as googling for information.

The only thing I knew for sure was that if I was moving to Spain, I would live by the sea. No inland city for me. I want(ed) beaches and sea-breeze in my hair!





Then I was curious about the languages. I knew that there were a few more official languages apart from Spanish, but didn’t know much about it. Did some more googling..

It’s not a secret that I’ve always been fascinated by Barcelona. Gaudí’s work, Salvador Dalí etc. But I had also been warned that it was not the smartest move to go to Barcelona to learn Spanish. They have their own language there, Catalan, which apparently is quite different, and could confuse you as a language student. I’ve never been there, so what do I know? Still, I thought it wise to listen to advice from people knowing the region.

So although Barcelona was sort of on the top of my list, I decided to ignore that for now and look for somewhere else where they in fact speak the language I am going there to learn!





*To be continued* :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I want the real thing! Authentic, true Spain.

Time is ticking and it’s now just 17 days left until I arrive Spanish grounds. The 4th September it is. There are so many aspects of this triggering my excitement! It’s gonna be an all new experience for me, great!

I have never even been to Spain! Well, Spain mainland I should say. I have been to Mallorca once, years ago on holiday but I’m not sure it counts cause it was one of those tailor-made trips with everything pre-booked, and consisted basically in beach, sun, tasteless souvenir shops filled with things you don’t need, bad restaurants, and colourful drinks with big paper umbrellas and parrots and the sort, in them. Not to mention that the only people you saw and the only languages you heard was Norwegian, German and English. In other words, not really authentic Spain I believe. I’m sure Mallorca is both lovely and authentic if you just go outside the tourist circus, but I didn’t do that.

Since I have never been to Spain mainland, I am not one to talk about what's authentic Spain, so I asked Google. Apart from football and maps, here’s a few things Mr. Google suggests fit the key words.

Santiago de Compostela



Toledo



Beautiful building in Madrid



Paella. (Of course!)



Beautiful! Escorial Monastery in Madrid




Well, this one was given wasn't it. The bull fights...




So, that was a little selection of what is authentic Spain according to Google. I didn't see anything like that in Mallorca, that's for sure.

I am ready, bring on beautiful cities in sunny old Spain!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Choosing where to go


By the end of that week I already felt a big change in my life. I had been looking into different exciting options of things to do about my life and I felt so good about myself. I felt happy and on top of the (my) world just for “daring” to think outside the box. It might sound silly, but it was truly a wonderful feeling.

I had decided on moving to Spain. I’ve always been insanely attracted to Spain and Spanish. It’s got to be the sunny warm weather, cause I have always really disliked the long, hard, cold Norwegian winters and the thought of escaping, if only one of them, has always been very enticing.

And the language! It’s so damn sexy! Would be so cool to speak it. I tried with a silly afternoon-course, once a week. No point, you get absolutely nowhere. To learn a language I think the only real way is to live in the country where they speak it.

Coming from Norway with the afore-mentioned hard winters, Spain has always represented a sort of paradise with all those sunny days, wineries, the feisty flamenco, the tasty tapas and paellas… All so very exotic for the average Norwegian girl.

It’s about time to find out how it really is!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Making the decision

Making the decision to change wasn't difficult at all actually, when I just opened my eyes a little.

It’s easy to get trapped in everyday monotonous life where the days go by quick and effortless, and where routine is a big key word for life itself.

My life missed excitement, fun and unusualness. Basically I was getting up in the morning, going to work at a job that was no longer bringing me stimulation nor challenges, going home from work, eating dinner, maybe going to the gym, watching TV before going to bed to sleep my correct number of hours before repeating the whole process again.

One day I woke up thinking, “Really? Seriously? Is this what life’s all about? Don’t think so! How did this happen? I used to be so much more fun that I am now.” And as if I was arguing with myself, I pulled the duvet aside with a little more brusqueness than necessary as to make a point, and got out of bed deciding to not accept this one more week...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moving to Spain!

In a small, short month I am making a big change in my life! I’m finally taking the leap. I am taking responsibility for my own happiness, and moving my little self to an other big country.

You never know what life will bring, but if you just sit around waiting for fabulous things to happen with no effort, you’re most likely to be stuck there waiting for a while. I am not known for having great amounts of patience, so I’ve finally decided to go out there and look for it myself.

I have dreamt of doing something like this for a long time, and now the time is here. I am more than excited!

I’m moving to Spain!