I’m Back in Spain!

MADRID Metropolis Building

Madrid, did you miss me? Knowing rightfully well that there had been another beautiful metropolis in my life, she didn’t show any signs of jealousy or disappointment. For the past summer months my first love, the windy city, had once again stolen my heart. Yes, after 3 months living back home, catching up with friends and family, and enjoying to the fullest the season people of Chicago cherish most, I was again walking down the grand boulevards of Madrid.

Hoping that I had eaten enough Chipotle, drank enough super-sized Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffees, and consumed as many American favorites as I could get my hands on, I’m already missing the little familiar things. However, none of these were reason enough to not return for another whirlwind year of an adventure in Spain. I mean there are mountains of cured jamón to devour, barrels of Spanish wine to be sipped, and sunny blue skies to relax under.

On the Chicago river cruising through the canyon of skyscrapers.

On the Chicago river cruising through the canyon of skyscrapers.

My flight landed in Spain’s capital on September 9th and it wasn’t long before I emerged from the metro and the first rays of Spanish sun touched my skin. I had my reservations about returning to Madrid for a second year. I wondered if this was the ‘right thing’ for me to do and I yearned for that feeling you get when you know you’ve made a good decision. It’s that same feeling I would get every time I left my parents’ home in the Chicago ‘burbs to return to my apartment in the city. A feeling of contentment, comfort, and happiness.

I decide to continue reading. SOURCE http://sussle.org/t/Travel

I decided to continue reading. [Image Source]

 During my first week back, I had to visit one of my favorite neighborhood cafes, La Taberna de Moncloa. I am not a huge fan of croquetas (croquettes). It’s just a weird texture thing for me. Essentially a croqueta is a breaded and deep fried roll of puréed potatoes and ham (or other meat/fish) – doesn’t sound very appetizing.

However, the croquetas at this place are homemade and apparently quite famous. Although I normally steer clear of this popular Spanish tapa, I can’t get enough of these. I could honestly make a meal out of them and have several times. With that being said there are lots of good eats in Spain, so that Chipotle burrito bowl is just going to have to wait.

The BEST croquetas in Madrid!

The BEST croquetas in town!

I feel that I was able to hit the ground running since I returned. I know the city well and its metro system way better than I’d like to admit. I didn’t have to find a new flat since I was fortunate enough to return to the same room of my previous flat. I even had a few friends (both Spanish and other expats) who are still living in Madrid. This is fantastic as I’m able to spend more time here working on Urban Serenity and focus on being a stellar EFL teacher, too!

On September 15th I celebrated my second birthday in Spain and my 23rd birthday living on this planet. Although most of my friends and family were back in the states, I celebrated for the few weeks before I left and then a few weeks back here in Madrid. You have an entire year of life to celebrate, why should you limit yourself to one day. Thank you to everyone who shared in my birthday celebrations, even if it was just a post on my Facebook wall. You know who you are!

Puerta del Sol in Madrid

Madrid’s Center – Puerta del Sol

So now I’ve been back for almost a month and finally settling down into the swing of things. I honestly couldn’t be happier. I’ve mentioned this before, but Madrid’s dry sunny weather and its sense of optimism is one of my favorite parts of waking up everyday in this city. Once again, I’ve escaped the brutal Chicago winter and even today, the first weekend of October, my 80 degree and mostly sunny day is contrasted with a chance of snow back home..brrrrr.

Who knows what this year will bring and where my future will lead me. What I do know is that I’m very excited to continue my travel blogging journey and I’m looking forward to some upcoming adventures within and outside of Spain. Also, some updates to this website including a new guest series are all underway. Enjoy!



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10 Responses to I’m Back in Spain!

  1. Lindsay @ Frugal Frolicker October 4, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    I went to a tapas bar in NYC last week and reluctantly tried croquettes and LOVED THEM SO MUCH!

    Glad you’ve had a fantastic return to Spain! Looking forward to living vicariously through your Spanish adventures and plentiful wine tasting (ahem!) 🙂

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:21 am #

      I’m so glad you had a good tapas experience! I mean any meal with Spanish wine flowing is a good experience in my book 😉 Enjoy!

  2. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer October 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Looking forward to reading your adventures back in España! 😀

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:23 am #

      Thanks Chanel! So far my biggest adventure has been navigating Spanish bureaucracy hahahaha.

  3. Amber October 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Congrats on moving back, and taking the risk to live where you love!

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:25 am #

      Thanks Amber! It definitely felt like I was taking a big risk, but I’m so happy to be in Madrid. Starting year 2 has bee such a positively different experience.

  4. Jenny | A Thing For Wor(l)ds October 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Glad to hear you’re happy being back! We are spoiled being from two great U.S. cities, but also spoiled by the opportunity to return to Spain for a second year. And um, I need to head to Madrid RIGHT NOW for those croquetas….

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:28 am #

      We really are spoiled….and yes! You need to visit Madrid and I can’t wait to go back to Barcelona and check it out with a local 😉

  5. Lily Lau October 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    You can’t imagine how much I appreciate that you love Madrid too! I even got a Spanish keyboard to have the ñ closer to me 🙂

    • Ryan October 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      That’s awesome! It’s an amazing city that I’m happy to call home. I’m not ready to get a Spanish keyboard, but I’ve got one on my phone 😉

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