Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

in Barcelona

We're a little bit exhausted and frazzled, but doing just fine. We are staying in our hostel/apartment, which is actually the very same room they show on their website, so we got the best deal. Currently, we're in the process of getting settled here - our phones are activated, we're getting closer in our search for an apartment, and then we begin the job search.

We left Cancun a few hours ahead of the hurricane, so that was a relief. Nine and a half hours on a German transatlantic airliner was a different story. I find it extremely disconcerting to be spoken to and have NO CLUE what is being said. After this there were 6 hours in the Dusseldorf and then 2 more hours on another German aircraft into Barcelona. The German immigration officials in Dusseldorf made a big deal and tried to give us a scare upon seeing Carlos' Mexican passport - we were aware that lately the EU has been making it harder for Mexicans to enter, so we experienced this firsthand. However, we were patient and got through in the end. Barcelona was a zoo when we entered the airport, but what a relief to finally understand the languages being spoken!

That's it for now. We have all kinds of pictures, but we'll upload them later. Thanks to whoever has been praying for us, we definitely still need it!!! Adèu!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cancun: The Honeymoon II

A.K.A. "The Real Honeymoon" (Carlos). We had a great time here, everything worked out perfectly, we hope someday we can go back. Our resort was awesome and it's so great to finally be together again. We're in the airport in Cancun right now waiting on our flight to Germany, and Carlos is pointing out that air travel is so much easier when done with a companion. This is very true. No more lugging stuff into the bathroom and constantly struggling with all the papers, etc. I'm so glad we're together. :) Next update will be from Europe, hopefully. Love you all!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What Became of the Dress

Perplexed about what to do with my dress after the wedding (storing it in a closet just seemed so useless and not fun at all), I stumbled upon Trash the Dress, a newish trend growing worldwide. Basically, a talented photographer documents the bride frolicking around in her dress doing things you wouldn't ordinarily do in a wedding gown. It's a chance to have worry-free fun with the gown and create some memories at the same time.

By a stroke of wonderful fortune, my talented high school friend Amy Aiello started mentioning plans to do a Trash the Dress shoot. When I found out, I asked her if she would do one with me, and she was glad to spend an entire afternoon/evening with me, my mom, and my dress, having photographic adventures around the downtown Chicago area. The results were awesome, and here are the first shots she's released. See her website, for more of her work:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Update: We have a place to stay now.

OK, for those who were concerned about the idea of Carlos & me landing in Barcelona and wandering around looking for a place to stay, we are now officially booked into a hostel/apartment type deal where we get our own bedroom in a 4-bedroom apartment shared with other travelers. Some pictures from the place (obviously, these are their best rooms & shots, but still...)

Friday, August 10, 2007

FAQs about the Upcoming Move to Barcelona

For all of you wondering about this whole thing we're doing, here are some of the things we're asked most often:

1. When are you leaving?
I'm out of here on August 17th (next Friday!!!). That's when I go to Cancun to meet up with Carlos and then from there to Barcelona on August 20-21st (overnight flight).

2. Are you ready?
Not even close. Seriously. Panic hasn't set in yet, but it could. I'm trying to deal with one thing at a time, but there are SO MANY DETAILS! I'm grateful to have friends and family around to help me keep my head together and get everything done. Thanks, guys!

3. So do you have an apartment there?
No. We could have secured one through the internet, but I'm old fashioned, and I need to see the place in real life and I can't stomach the concept of sending someone 950 € through the internet. In other words, we'll probably do the hostel or cheap hotel thing until we lock down a place, once we're actually IN Barcelona.

4. What will you be doing there?
Me - teaching English. Mostly to adults. Possibly to children. Either way, in the private market, where there is a lot more freedom and huge demand. Carlos - doing translation work, possibly working towards medical translation

5. Do you have jobs lined up?
No. But before you start wondering if we're completely detached from reality, keep in mind that September and October are the months when private language schools start searching hard for decent candidates to teach English. And with the certificate that I earned last year, I will be in the small percentage of people who are actually QUALIFIED to teach English. So there's pretty good hope there. And for Carlos, while things might start out slow, translation is essentially a freelancing job that, with the right connections, career development, and hard work, can turn into something pretty lucrative. We have high expectations, but they are attainable.

6. How long will you be there?
We honestly have no idea. We plan that no matter what, we will stay for a year. After that, it's a matter of what our finances and immigration situations will allow. We'd love to stay forever. We must face the reality that this might not actually pan out, though. Whatever the case, we'll be grateful that we had the chance to do this.

7. Why Barcelona?
We always dreamed and semi-joked about someday living in Europe. Then one day we realized, we were actually serious about it. We started brainstorming places to live, and Italy was on top of our list. However, upon reviewing our collective Italian skills, we decided we'd be better suited in a place that speaks primarily Spanish or English. So we diverted ourselves just around the Mediterranean Sea, and landed in Barcelona, a fiercely independent city full of culture, history, incredible architecture, fantastic food, a huge variety of people, and our favorite soccer team ever, FC Barcelona. We wanted a place where you can work and yet enjoy your free time, and we found it in Barcelona, especially when I lived there last year.

7. Can we come visit?
YES, PLEASE DO! ....once we have a place to live... just give us a heads up, like a month before.