Seville Snapshots: Reflecting on 2012 at Parc Guell, Barcelona

As I sat having a beer at 11 a.m. a few days ago with my family, I slipped off my coat and let the sun shine right on my face. It was nearly 65 degrees in Barcelona and I was toasting to a family trip. As the year was coming to a close, I found myself in disbelief that 2012 was already over after such a whirlwind year of travel, big decisions and finally finding some equilibrium between America and Spain, work and play.

2012 is a year that neither sticks out as fantastic or awful – it was a good balance of both. I turned 27, got my first ticket, traveled a whole bunch to new destinations like New York City and Turkey, learned to cook. For once in my life, I’m looking back at a year that just was. And, honestly, I’m feeling alright about it.

I think my biggest accomplishment was sticking up for myself and quitting my job. After two years teaching, I decided it wasn’t for me. Without even trying to say goodbye to my students, I wished them a happy summer. I found a job that gave me just the thing I was looking for – balance – and enough time to keep up this writing project and get my master’s online. Life is slowing down to a comfortable pace as I’m finally finding time for being a better girlfriend, friend and teacher.

Here’s to you and yours and to all of the things 2013 holds. I’m looking forward to the things I love best – grabbing Camarón, having a beer outside with the sun on my face and exploring a new place. I’ll earn my master’s in Public Relations, hopefully start a new writing project and maybe finally take the plunge… in more ways than one.

For now, the cava and the 12 midnight grapes in Puerta del Sol!

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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.


  1. Phil Henke says:

    Happy New Year, Cat (perhaps a few hours early)! Here’s hoping 2013 brings you nothing but wonderful things. And here’s also hoping that 2013 contains a healthy dosage of Chicago.

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      You seemed to have started your resolution of being my friend this year early, kudos!! Still up in the air about Chicago this summer (I want to walk the Camino de Santiago), but you can aaaaalways come visit! Sending big hugs and lots of well wishes from Madrid.

  2. Happy New Year Cat! Enjoyed your reflections. Seems 2012 was a great year for you with lots of insight and learning! All the best to you in the New Year my dear!

  3. Each year brings new adventures and experiences, some more outstanding than others. A year in which you accomplished a few firsts (like that ticket) and visits to new destinations is worth celebrating. Cava and grapes sound like a good way to do that (we had cava, too) and to welcome the new! Here’s to a productive and exciting 2013…and to keeping your balance :-)

  4. Love your photo! I hope you had a good time in Barcelona. Happy 2013, and I hope you can keep your balance in the next year. Mucha suerte, chica!
    Jessica recently posted..Photos: Wrapping Up the Holidays, from Barcelona to CaliforniaMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Thanks, Jess! Number one priority is the master’s, and then figuring out hopw to finally get out of teaching…just have one toe in it, really!

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