I did it again. Almost a decade later, I sold my car and moved across the Atlantic. But this time, I was not alone.
“What are your goals?” He asked me over our first beer in Amsterdam.
I responded the way I knew how, talking about flying lessons, earning my ratings, and promoting within the airline.
“I want a family,” he shared his intentions, “and to stay in Madrid.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. It was the first time I heard a response about family to a question about goals, from someone who makes a living doing what he loves and makes time to continue to fall in love with life. I had been programmed to talk about careers and education, from the time my parents drilled me for spelling tests through young adulthood where the media jockeyed images of women executives with small children with equal numbers of generation-x women as perpetual bachelorettes of their own accord.
Since I was a young teenager, I thought I wanted to live out of a suitcase. But after a year of commuting between Ohio and New York, multiple times a week, and sleeping in the airport terminal for five consecutive Saturday nights during winter irregular operations in order to catch the first flight back to Columbus for a flight lesson on Monday morning, I was exhausted. I learned I enjoyed being home for dinner.
My commutes between Ohio and New York then turned into commutes between Madrid and Detroit.
“Moving to Madrid will be the easy part,” I told him early on. In 2008, I graduated university, sold my car, and moved to Egypt for work. But I knew it was temporary, because my prospective employer in the U.S. could only hold my application for four months. Madrid, contrarily and to my mother’s anxiety, would be permanent.
After taking a three-month leave of absence to test the waters, or perhaps taste the wine, in Spain, I resigned, last November, from a well-paying job with great benefits and a flexible schedule at a Fortune-500 company. I sold my car to my youngest cousin, finished the visa process, and moved to Madrid, just in time for the holidays.
I awake, every morning, with a hand to hold and an espresso that puts any American coffee to shame. I love and am loved. I am learning my third foreign language, Spanish. I look forward to building a business together, rather than having the perpetual internal debate of loss aversion in leaving a good job for a chance at something even greater. I spend more time sleeping in my own bed than on airplanes. I know that our shared happiness and health will allow us to be more productive to work on our business, creating something to support our desired family and to give back to our community. With a mutual vulnerability, there are now opportunities that were previously both unknown and impossible.
First written for my MBA application for IE and then published here.
Christine & Angel
Aisle or window
He likes the window; she likes the aisle. Match made at FL350. Here are some other travel preferences. Full disclaimer: These are affiliate links, meaning the authors are rewarded for referrals (usually in the form of a credit to use more of the product/service themselves). Pinky promise: Recommendations are simply the best.
The Art of Strength is our sister site, with all of your fitness needs. Whether you are training for your next adventure, to avoid shopping for bigger clothes so that you can save money for your next adventure, or to have more energy with your kids, there is a training program for you. Click the photo below for the latest training special.
When we are not hitchhiking through the airport and landing in foreign lands, Christine is teaching English in Spain. She also offers classes via Skype, allowing you to learn from the comfort of your home, with flexible scheduling. Click the photo below for more information.
We are in the coffee business. Because wherever we go, we drink coffee. And let's face it, some hotel coffee leaves a lot to be desired. So now we can pack our own. Click the link below to have your coffee delivered to your home, to drink there and on the go.
Away makes thoughtful luggage featuring unbreakable shells, interior compartments, and built-in USB chargers. Click the image for $20 off your order.
Airbnb is the preferred accomodation for Christine & Angel when they want to connect with locals, want to keep their entire group under one roof with the privacy of separate bedrooms, or when staying in a place known for expensive hotels. Click here or on the photo below to save on your first stay.
New users, click the photo below, or sign-up with code christineh8502ue to get your first Uber ride for free.
Make your travels meaningful with Pack for a Purpose. Simply use a small amount of space in your luggage to pack supplies needed by community projects around the world. Click the photo below to find a project in your destination.