It’s real now.

My dad sent me an email last Tuesday with the words “Here is your ticket info” in the subject line. I made the decision to come home about two months ago, but having an actual return date means it’s actually happening. I’ll be leaving behind a life here for three months. When I come back, things will be different. Sure, I’ll have my job and a bit more money, but plenty of people are going home. I had to say goodbye to Sam and Luke in Huelva on Friday, and the girls I love dearly won’t be returning. Kate will be gone. Angela and Pablo, two of my favorite coworkers, have received assignments to work elsewhere in Andalucía.

Change is good. After all, I came to Spain not knowing anyone or speaking Andalú or really understanding just how long nine months is. But I immediately liked being here, despite the shit and the bureaucracy and the job and everything. In the US, I’ll return to working all day and stressing out about money. I’ll have to be conscious of what I spend and have to be without Kike for three months. I’ll have to tip at a bar, use my car (therefore spending tonnnnns of money on gas) to go everywhere and eat processed food. All the things I love most about Spain are things that I won’t have in the US, namely cheap beer and plane tickets, sunshine and Kike.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited to see my family and my friends and my dog and watch TV in English and read the Trib and eat Chicago Style hot dogs and go camping and enjoy summer in Chicago, but I expect to have really bad days where I miss Spain and the life I have here. I kinda suffered the same thing during college, but Iowa City was a three-hour car ride. Sevilla is an eight-hour plane ride plus layover in Madrid and then getting down here. I can’t just go back when I want. It’s almost like I’m the kids with divorced parents who lives in two different places and never really feels at home in either one. Quite the paradoja.

Either way, I’ll be back in the US about 2pm CST on Wednesday, June 11th, just in time for Bethy’s birthday. I’ll have my little puppy, but not my Big Puppy. So, please, do everything you can to distract me from the fact that I’m not in Spain. Gracias.

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

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