The story of how I quit my job and went to play in Madrid

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

A Report from Madrid

Margaux writes from Madrid:

I’d rather have a million friends than a million dollars and some people would disagree, but what’s fun about being rich and lonely? Some people view loneliness as wanting being alone; a great example, my wife, she loves loves being alone, but me on the other hand, completely the opposite. I am not a fan of being alone and I dislike the idea that I have to indefinitely. Living alone in a foreign country and not speaking the language is clearly no fun for me because if you all know me well, I love socializing!!

I get it, sometimes you just have to face your fears for the sake of long-term opportunities, but more importantly for your family or in my case, my spouse. As many people have said, ‘It’s good for me and will make me stronger!’ Again, I get it, but I don’t necessarily like it!

I fortunately have a great place to live with a gigantic swimming pool that sort of forces me to go swimming (with this 100 degree weather) and mingle with my neighbors. This I like because there are people around me, YAY!! So although I am absolutely ‘sucking it up’ as my wife likes to say to me (just wonderful), I at least have others to be around even if I don’t say one word! To be honest, I prefer to listen naturally since I cannot yet speak Spanish! Plus, it’s very good to practice listening as my dad always said!

I do have to mention that the best part about this loneliness is my work; the people are fantastic, friendly and most speak English, YAY YAY YAY!!! Triple YAY for my socializing personality. Now, I need to be friends with these people, not just co-workers! This way I’ll have English speaking friends to hang out with making me completely forget that I’m even alone! Me Gusta!

My wife can come home to Madrid now!! I’ve been ready for her!


Oceans Apart

Good News: Margaux went swimming today in the pool at our apartment complex in Madrid after she got home from work.

Bad News: I didn’t.

Currently, I am in Salem, Witch Headquarters dog sitting for Elizabeth’s two basset hounds, aka billy goats who eat everything, Flash and Daisy.  It’s been a nice relaxing time, for the first time in 12 weeks, I am by myself.  I’ve read some books (that I accidentally bought at the Used Book Superstore, Flash was finished reading them), walked around a lot, visited Boston, looked at a lot of witch stuff and considered becoming Wiccan, eaten a little ice cream, fed the dogs and picked up a lot of poop. Note: Always make sure the poop bag has no holes. Lesson learned.

This is Flash giving me a stack of books. He’s so nice.

I’m looking forward to visiting my friends and family in DC, Philadelphia, NYC and Hartford in the next few weeks. I have had a blast playing with the kids, getting to know the in-law side of my family, eating blueberries with my grandma, riding the bus with my mom, dancing and karoke-ing, sleeping on various couches and eating lobstah way to many times.  All of these have been wonderful, irreplaceable moments that have made this the best summer ever. I will never forget this crazy period of time in our lives.

I can’t believe that this summer is almost over and that this visa process is not. To be honest, I am starting to get a little road weary and I just want to go home to Margaux so we can get on with our lives in Madrid. It was hard to say goodbye to Margaux at the airport last week because we don’t know when the next time we will see each other. A week? A month? More? Living out of a suitcase is only an adventure for so long.  Hey, the grass is always greener, right?

So here’s the deal.

Option A:  I am waiting here around the east coast for another week or two to see if my visa miraculously arrives, at which point I would drop everything and hop on the next flight back to my other half in Madrid.

Option B:  If Labor Day comes and goes and still no visa, I’ll be heading back to LA to wait some more, and do some odd jobs/see if I can get more clients/earn money.

Option C:  If the end of September  comes and all I get for my birthday is the finger from the Spanish Consulate, I will go get my passport from said consulate and go back to visit Madrid for another 3 months. While I am in Madrid, hopefully, someone will wave a magic wand and grant my visa. Of course, they don’t issue long-term visas IN the country of Spain, so I would have to come all the way back to LA to get the stupid stamp in my passport. In person. And then turn around and go back to Madrid.

If any of you happen to be Wiccan, or know some magic spells, could you please make a potion or something? What’s the spell that makes visas process faster? Since I’m in Salem, and there are disproportionate numbers of psychics and witches per capita, I might just consult a Psychic to see if she knows what is going on with this crazy process. To support local businesses, you know?

Neve Campbell is the best witch.


East Coast Couchsurfing

For the past 8 weeks, Margaux and I have been living out of our suitcases, and have slept in 9 different beds. We’ve visited what seems like a hundred friends and family, and met a few handfuls of new babies, swam in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and gotten at least 18 25 mosquito bites (Jean: 18 24, Margaux: 1).  This has been both an awesome and excruciating summer.  Going into this, we didn’t realize how stressful it can be to wait!

Here we are, on the East Coast for our third month of waiting out this crazy visa process.  This morning, Margaux purchased her one-way ticket back to Madrid, leaving me behind to wait (PATIENTLY) for my turn to join her.  The next two weeks are pretty packed full of fun parties, bbqs, and visits with family in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. My mom arrived last night to meet Margaux’s family for the first time and to visit family in Maine.

It seems that every moment is planned until Margaux’s flight on the 15th of August, which will mark the first time we have been apart since this whole journey began back in January.  It will be good for us to stretch our travel legs independently for a little while. Margaux has a stopover in Dublin for her first stab at solo travel in a foreign country. And since I am here, I have a little traveling to do of my own. 

But that’s where you come in.  Since I have no idea when or if my visa will be approved, I am floating free. So I am accepting ideas about what to do! I am planning on staying on the East Coast, my budget is limited, and at any moment, I need to be able to drop everything and go back to Spain. Maybe a little solo trip around New England and the Atlantic Region. I’m thinking, Boston, New York, DC, maybe Philadelphia. What is your favorite place on the East Coast?

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