Hey friends! Welcome to another Megventure! The countdown has officially begun for Madrid. Less than 12 hours until I plant my feet firmly on Spanish ground and begin my next world adventure. It is still incredibly surreal that I’ll be living in a foreign country for the next FIVE MONTHS – I’m sure when the jet lag catches up to me is when everything will hit me. Living abroad is nothing new to me, but exploring, adventuring, and forging a path on my own is incredibly fresh and novel to me – it makes me tremble in my boots (but just a little bit). The fact that I won’t be able to communicate fluently and that stores won’t be open 24/7 will provide just enough culture shock to settle me down.
I’m currently sitting in the Dallas-Fort Worth American Terminal nibbling on a banana, charging my iPhone (not that it’ll be of much use in Spain), jamming out to some music Phebe picked out for me, and typing my life away. This morning was an early one beginning at 0430 when American Airlines called to confirm my flight. Less than an hour later I was awoken by Bandit and Bear for the last time this break and made my way downstairs with my bags. I think everybody would be surprised to hear that I fit ALL of my clothes into a single suitcase and the rest of my shoes and toiletries into my NYU duffle. YES. You heard right, ONE SUITCASE. Let’s not recall the numerous times I have overpacked, but I think I deserve a crown or something for that. Unfortunately my reign as Packing Princess did not last long because as soon as I checked my bags I was told a) my suitcase was 4 pounds over and b) I did not have two free bags. Thankfully enough my bright eyed smile came to the rescue and the woman felt bad and upgraded my seat on my flight to Madrid (though I did have to pay for my bags).
After getting through security with a quick pat-down of my hair “because it’s beautifully poofy” (yes, the TSA agent really did say that), I made my way to my gate and promptly was asked by a soccer Mom if I really did play soccer (as if the soccer jacket and lovely thunder thighs didn’t give it away). We talked soccer for a long time, which always puts me in a good mood, then I boarded the plane where I sat next to a huge Everton fan. It was a quick two hour jaunt over to Dallas, where I quickly made my way to the Admirals Club. As soon as I sat down, a replay of a Liga game was on at the bar and two Barça fans were smoothly speaking Spanish – discussing Messi’s recent Balon D’Oro win (Go Barça!).
There’s really something about the beautiful game that makes it so unique – it transcends age, gender, race, everything. I can be anywhere in the world, and fútbol never ceases to find me. I am truly a lucky individual to not only be a student of the game as a player, but a fan, and hopefully a teacher of the game. To my amazement and incredibly disappointment I have heard from numerous sources that women’s soccer is not a commonality in Spain. I’m going to take this as my opportunity to make an impact and hopefully spread soccer to the female population because it has had such a definite and huge impact on my life.
I’m getting ready to eat some almuerzo (lunch) so I’ll finish here.
If anybody is in Spain or Europe for that matter, please do not hesitate to contact me – I’d love to meet up.
Palabra del Día (word of the day): Aventura – Adventure