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.
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.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.
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!
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!