Hola. I’m Graham, I’m 25-years old and I’m originally from Denver, Colorado. Once compared to being a “soap opera,” this blog is a testament, a document, an artifact, a diary, of the telling-tales of the Western World’s most seductive and enchanting mistress: Spain.
My love affair with Spain began rather abruptly and unexpectedly. To quote a favorite author of mine, John Green, “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
I started studying Spanish language as a sophomore in high school (16-years old) because it was a graduation requirement to take a foreign language. I actually wanted to study German, but I reluctantly decided to take Spanish after my parents convincingly argued that Spanish was much more useful in the United States. To indirectly quote them, “who the hell are you going to speak German with here?”
So I took Spanish. And I liked it. But I still wasn’t hooked.
After graduating from high school I wanted to continue studying Spanish but I never expected to gain complete fluency or anything like that. I just enjoyed it and since I had the basics down, I figured I’d keep going with it. But as time went on, I grew more and more in love with the language.
During my freshman year of college, I started looking into studying abroad, but I still wasn’t immensely passionate about Spanish or going to Spain. I was looking at other places I’d always dreamed of visiting. I considered going to London, but my parents convinced me once again to go to Spain because I’d be able to practice my Spanish and still be able to see Europe like I had always wanted. So I began to really look into Spain and with the guidance of an old Spanish teacher of mine, I chose Madrid as my finally destination.
I studied abroad in fall of 2008 and immediately fell in love with Spain, but more so Madrid. I still believe that they were the best three months of my life. But all good things come to an end. Three months later, as a sad little boy, I grudgingly returned to the States to finish school. After coming home, I immediately declared a second major (the first being history) in my new found love, Spanish. Previously, I had always wanted to be a history teacher, but now my world was painted in new colors and I was starting to think otherwise. I was going to do whatever it took to get back to the place that was always poking its head out in the back of my mind, taunting me to go back.
Immediately after graduating from college, I got a job teaching English in Madrid through a program called Auxiliares de Conversación. The program places Americans in Spain’s public schools as language assistants to help teach English. My first year teaching I taught at a bilingual elementary school. After completing my first year, I was given a new opportunity to teach social studies at a bilingual high school (and some hours of physical education.) Now all my dreams were true: I was a history teacher in Spain. It was a wonderful experience, but it wasn’t the job I thought it was going to be. I was becoming restless and wanted to pursue more of Spanish life. So after two great years of teaching English and social studies, traveling Spain and Europe, and becoming fluent in Spanish, I decided to go back to school to make this international lifestyle a career (and to not have to teach English.)
I am currently living in Barcelona, my favorite city’s rival, working towards a master’s degree in international relations.
After all these years dreaming of Spain and finally living here, I’m sure my parents regret telling me to study Spanish that one afternoon in high school instead of German. And they probably regretted it even more when they thought Spain would be a better place to study abroad instead of London. Because now I just can’t get enough and it looks as if I’m here to stay. At least for now.
This blog is a document of my life abroad: it consists of my travels, experiences, thoughts, struggles, and highs and lows.
When I’m not teaching or studying, I enjoy skateboarding, playing guitar, listening to music (mostly street punk and deathcore), learning languages, taking photographs, reading books, and going out with my friends.
Contact me: grahamcruise87@gmail,com