Making Decisions: Why I’m Leaving the Bay

I was going to go back to Madrid.

When I came back from Spain last July, I gave myself a year to get my shit together. In one year, I would either get a job that made enough to allow me to move out of my parents’ house, or go back to school, or something. By March, nothing had come up. I wasn’t making enough money as a substitute teacher to justify moving out, and breakthrough editing career had never come to fruition. I was sick of being in a standstill. I was sick of driving, sick of living with my parents, sick having to constantly worry about how much money I was making compared to all the “techies”.

In comparison to the life I was currently living, Madrid had seemed perfect. A modest income, health insurance, time to travel and develop my hobbies. So I made up my mind to go back–I filled out the form, mailed my letters, and waited for patiently for my placement.

June came around, and so did the end of much of what I enjoyed about the Bay. Aswat, my music group had its end-of-season concert in May and went on summer break. The school year finished, and with it my first year of substitute teaching. And, worst of all, two of my best friends moved away, and I felt like I had no one I was close to in the Bay Area. Spain was still an option, but I wanted something fresh. Something new. Something…adventurous.

I had always wanted to backpack across South America, but I just never knew the right time. Having freshly finished up the school year, I didn’t have much going on besides my remote copywriting job, which was contract-based and could end at anytime. I had no promises to fulfill in the fall. Sure,I had already applied to go back to Madrid, which seemed like a safer choice. I could go there in October, work on building my portfolio while still making a decent living, and also travel. It seemed perfect! So why would I give that up to go to South America without a single plan for when I came back?

Well, I didn’t get the job in Madrid.

Despite applying relatively early, I didn’t get a my first choice placement; instead, I was just offered a position in a small town in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. I live in a small town now, why would I willingly put myself in that position? I don’t want to make all new friends again or be the only Arab around again. Not to mention that the pay is around 300€ less. I’m taking it as a sign.

In the fall, I’m going to South America. So far, I’m thinking Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia.

I’m excited for this one, guys.

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