Big News, Big Changes


If you’re in any of my close circles, this probably isn’t news to you. However, if we haven’t caught up in a while, or are strangers—first of all, thank you for reading! Say hi and let’s connect! Second of all, you probably don’t know that I’m finally taking the leap and moving to Spain in September.


This is something that I have wanted to do since I stepped off the plane after my semester abroad in college. I spend every day missing the sights, smells, flavors, and vibes of Spain. True story: I recently cried while watching the Lizzie McGuire Movie because I missed living among the European scenery so much. I applied to teach abroad programs for the past two years since graduation. However, neither year seemed like the best time. I was just getting my feet under me after college, I didn’t have the money saved up to travel, or I didn’t get placed in the region I wanted.

This year, I applied to a new program and was placed in Madrid. Everything seemed to align. I have some money saved, my boyfriend is moving to Maine around the same time, and I feel like I’m in a stable enough place to introduce some change and uncertainty into my life.


However, since I’ve been wanting to do it for so long, I forgot how much of a leap this move would be for me. As my departure date moves closer, I find myself becoming more and more anxious and uncertain. Every day a new worry pops into my mind. Will I be able to make friends? How do I find an apartment? Will I be homesick? Is this the right choice?SONY DSC

If you’ve looked at my Instagram lately, you’ll notice that all of my content and captions are overwhelmingly positive, even sappy. While this positivity isn’t disingenuous, it is still only part of the story. I have been using relentless optimism as a coping mechanism to avoid drowning in the terrifying ambiguity of these next few weeks.

This unwillingness to grasp the depth of my feelings about the move has bled into in my real life as well. Almost every conversation I have with someone about moving goes like this: “You’re moving to Spain? Wow, that’s so exciting!” “Yeah, I’m excited.” End of conversation. I’ve been keeping my anxiety about the move close to my chest because I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the amazing opportunity to travel, or like I’m not looking forward to all of the adventure it will bring. That said, change always comes with uncomfortable feelings, they do not mean that the change is not positive.


Sometimes my emotions get the best of me, but I’m trying enjoy my last few weeks in the U.S. to the fullest extent. Spending time with my boyfriend and family, taking a trip, and enjoying some time off of work are all I need to focus on right now. I know that moving to Spain will come with its challenges, but worrying about them will only make the transition harder. I am lucky enough to have people and things in my life that make it hard to leave, and I’m even luckier to have their support during this new chapter.


This whole experience has reminded me the it’s never too late to make a change in your life. Often, you and your worries about the future are the only thing holding you back from doing things that will make you happy. Even if it’s just in a small way like trying a new food, or going to an event where you don’t know a single person, jumping into the unknown is what makes life exciting. So at the end of the day, yeah, I’m excited.

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Shea is the photographer, artist, and blogger behind She lives in Madrid, Spain teaching English and traveling through Europe. When she isn’t awkwardly taking photos of herself in public places with her tripod, Shea enjoys drawing, eating ice cream, talking about her dog, and watching 30 Rock all the way through for the 18th time.

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