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.
This is Spain. Member of Europe. Neighbor of France and Portugal. See Italy close by? The boot? And Africa underneath?
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.
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?