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Sarah's Wanderlust: An Introduction

Hi all! My name is Sarah Skrobala, and I'm thrilled to be blogging for CIEE about my adventures while teaching in, living in, and exploring Spain. A little bit about myself before getting into the heart of the post -- I'm a New Jersey native (north Jersey, to be exact), and I graduated from Fordham University at Rose Hill in 2015 (go Rams!) with Bachelor's Degrees in Political Science and Spanish Language & Literature. I studied abroad in Seville, Spain during the spring of 2014 and absolutely fell in love with the city and Spanish culture (and by that I mean the four hour siestas, which I took advantage of daily). After graduating college (something I'm still pretty heartbroken over), I packed my bags and moved down to Nashville, Tennessee to begin a career in education. I eventually realized that education was not the field for me (ironic that I'm teaching again this year, huh?) and decided to look for an opportunity which allowed me to return to Spain. So, here I am!

Like the perfectionist I am, I struggled for some time to come up with an angle/topic/theme for my first blog post because, well, I wanted it to be perfect and captivating (and have people other than my family and friends want to read what I write). And then this morning it hit me: what I want to accomplish when living abroad. This idea came from my good friend Sam (shout out!) recently asking if I had any "goals" for Spain. So, here they are (in no particular order):

  • Improve my Spanish: I feel like this is what a lot of people move to a new country to do, right? Despite studying abroad in Spain, majoring in Spanish, and teaching many Spanish-speaking students last year, I would deem my Spanish sub-par. In particular, I struggle the most with actually speaking Spanish (which I blame, in part, on having a Jersey accent, making it difficult to pronounce most words, but really, that's just an excuse). This is the primary reason I chose to move to Spain and probably the most important thing on this list.
  • Take a solo trip: Independence is quite important to me, and I've read that travelling alone (especially as a woman) is quite empowering. (My mom will probably worry the entire time.)
  • Learn how to cook classic Spanish dishes: I've only recently realized I can cook (or at least follow recipes) so why not increase my repertoire of dishes (which currently consists of, like, four or five).
  •  Actually immerse myself into Spanish life: I don't want to be that tourist living aboard like I did when I studied abroad. I want to actually be a part of Spanish life.
  • Read a book in Spanish: This will probably take me the entire 10 months I'm abroad (P.S. suggestions appreciated!).
  • Travel: I don't think anyone moves to Europe to not travel.

Alright, that was a lot for one post. I'm trying to not write the way I talk (a lot and with too much unnecessary detail) so hopefully each post will be an improvement. Once I get it started, I'll also include a link to my personal blog. Thanks for joining in as I begin my adventure abroad (in just three short weeks)!

Hasta luego,

Sarah

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