In the teaching program I am in, I will be re-newing for a second year.
As a second year teacher in the program, I will have priority of my choice of destinations.

My choices are limited to:
ANYWHERE in the entire country of Spain. 

For an American not living in Europe, you make think it's no big deal. But, this is like having a job opportunity in any state, and having to choose just one, when each one is filled with so much different culture. 

Before deciding, I'm doing my research on any and all destinations in Spain. Along with it, I thought I'd give y'all (I'd probably choose a southern state if this was the US....yeehaw!) a little lesson in Spanish geography.
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This is Spain. Member of Europe. Neighbor of France and Portugal. See Italy close by? The boot? And Africa underneath?
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Sidenote: THIS is not Spain. We don't eat spicy foods here. We don't say "¬°Ay mamacita!" on the streets. Nobody wears sombreros here (at least not anyone I associate with). And we aren't just over the border from the US.
If you did not know that, please shut down your computer and go buy a map.
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The orange part of this map is Castilla y Leon, Spain. The capital city (and center) of this region is the place where I live now, Valladolid.
Castilla y Leon has rich wine, beautiful cathedrals, and the best, purest form of Castellano Spanish you will ever find.

Salamanca has the prettiest plaza mayor and golden light in the streets. León has history and free tapas. Segovia's castles are breathtaking. And there isn't enough I can say about Valladolid. I really do love my cuidad

The weather is pretty much the opposite of Florida, and the people are said to be frio right along with it. I find this stipulation to be untrue, in general.
Asturias, Galicia, and Cantabria are all in Northern Spain. 

These regions bring fresh seafood and beautiful landscapes. You have the mountains on one side of you while the sea is on your other. It can be rainy at certain times of the year, but when it isn't, the landscape glows with green grass. 
In the south of Spain is Andalucia

When you hear "Spain"...this is what you picture in your head. Or at least I did before I knew my own version.

White houses (no, Americans, not like Obama's). Flamenco. Sangria. And SUN. In summer, it gets up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 
On the east coast of Spain on the Mediterranean cost is Barcelona and the region of Cataluña. 

One of the most famous tourist spots because of its picturesque surroundings. In this region, they speak Catalan in the schools, which is an entire other language. That, I don't know if I'm quite willing to take on.
The Balearic Islands are off that same coast of Spain, situated smack in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

The climate is supposed to be perfect, and the people are said to love fiesta. Ibiza, one of the islands, is a party capital of the world.
The Canary Islands are another option. A popular vacation spot in Spain, off the coast of Africa. And they are just a bit closer to my home in Florida because we both share the Atlantic ocean.

It goes with out saying there is MUCH more to Spain than these few highlights on the map. I haven't even touched on Castilla la Mancha, Extremadura, La Rioja, Madrid, Navara, the Basque Country, Aragon, Valencia, and Murcia.

If you had your choice, how would you choose? The hardest part, is I am not going on a vacation, I am going to live there. 

The first time I came here, I had no other option. The second, I knew where my heart was. 

Now, I'm ready for another year of adventure!

But, where do I go?
 


Comments

Abbie
02/06/2012 8:08pm

First, love your blog Jen! I'm so proud of you! What an amazing opportunity! If I had to choose, I would choose Andalucia. 
Barcelona would be amazing, but the language barrier would be difficult. And the islands, I'm sure that they are beau-t-i-ful, but it might feel secluded? I figure you could travel to the islands from Andalucia..
I mean, I've never been to Spain, but that is just what I would do..

Again, I'm so happy for you! - Wish you the best!

Love,
Short girl, round face

Reply
Me
02/07/2012 11:58am

Thanks my favorite short girl round face! I'm so glad you read my blog and equally as glad to hear from you. I am doing my main research right now about Andalucia...so let's see where I end up! :)

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Laura
02/07/2012 4:42am

Hey Jen! I am not renewing. I will have to live vicariously through you.BUT if I had to choose I would go South. Andalucia or Canarias, just because I hate the cold. Also, there's lots of culture down there too that I would like to see. The language would be a challenge because they don't speak as pure as our hometown now :) whatever decision you will know what's right!! Xoxoxox

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Me
02/07/2012 11:59am

I see a lot of people have been hinting at me to go south....is it just because I'm a Floridian girl? haha ¡Vamos a ver a cual sitio voy a elegir!

Reply
02/19/2012 12:46pm

I did a little laughing out loud, enough to wake the Nov from his siesta. I've been to just about every region in Spain, and here's my advice:
If you want to be near airports and able to live in a city, go to Madrid. There are only a few assistantship positions in BCN, and I don't like their politics. Yuo could try Alicante, but there are only a few there, too. Málaga is a huge hub because it's on the Costa del Sol.

I think that, with your open attitude, you could go just about anywhere and make it your own. I loved valladolid when I studied there, but wanted a different challenge, too. I love andalucía, and it's probably the closest you can ge tot Florida, but I also love the North. Good luck!

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