The truth is that I’ve been my whole life studying whatever I could find related with linguistics and ancient languages. I started with classical languages (Latin & Greek) and then Indo-European Linguistics. I’ve always been fascinated by how human beings produce such an amazing thing that is a language, how we articulate it, how we develop it and make it evolve into another one. Unfortunately, my passion has never been enough to make a career out of it. Altought I got my Master’s degree, my gradings were not good enough to start a funded PhD and probably I wouldn’t have had the patience nor the strength to do it. Besides, who the hell wants to learn Latin, Greek or Indo-European? Me. Me and some friends of mine.

As a result of it all, I’ve been my entire life working in whatever I could find. I never cared about it, but it never satisfied me either. The only important thing was that I could study what I wanted and, when I finished that, my main aim was just to travel for a year. What happened after that?

All of a sudden I was in Barcelona again. With my degrees, my irregular working experience (from being a waitress to a Spanish teacher’s assistant, through private lessons, Post Office, food store, etc etc) and all my hopes and dreams if the teaching field. I would never be able to teach Latin and Greek at a University level. But hey, what about languages that I actually speak? Would I be able to demonstrate my passion for languages teaching something real?

When I was less expecting it, it happened. One day I send resumes to all language schools in Barcelona offering myself as a Spanish, Catalan and even English teacher (ok, my English is not that amazing but I could teach basic levels, couldn’t I?). The next day a small school calls me for an interview. Jorge interviews me and we get along immediately. We share the same passion, the same view about teaching, I feel like when I first got to the Leiden Summer School: where I belong. After the interview I meet my friend Iki for a beer. 10 minutes later I receive a phone call: I’m a Spanish teacher.

Laura teaching pronouns.

And so it happened. I became part of Dime Barcelona. Another Spanish school? I doubt it. Dime is way more than a Spanish school. Dime is where our students learn Spanish and spanish culture. Dime is where all the teachers share their years of experience, their energy and their passion. Dime is dancing Sevillanas, eating chocolate con churros and going to drink vermut on a Sunday morning.

Vermut in Barcelona

Chocolate con churros y melindros

The people from Dime are not my colleagues anymore, they are my friends. The more I know about them, the happier I am about having the chance to get to know them.

Christmas party at Dime (me and Raquel)

For the first time in my life I truly enjoy what I’m doing. For the first time in my life I wake up every morning thinking about what my students will learn that day.

Every other Wednesday, for example, our students can learn Sevillanas.

After so many years being the black sheep in my family, in my group of friends, studying useless languages and complaining about every single job I had, have I finally found what I want to do the rest of my life? Maybe. Probably.

And for more information, you can check either Dime’s website, or the blog or at least became a fan of their facebook page to keep track of the latest activities at the school. If you just want to gossip a bit, you can check the Dime Team too.

If anyone wonders why the hell I’m writing a post about my job, hey, ask my friends how annoying and pesimistic have I been with finding a decent job and you’ll understand how important this is for me! (this is my way to say sorry and thank you at the same time)

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Probably I will always remember 2011 as the most exciting, weirdest and most surprising year of my life. I started the year as far as I could be from my hometown: in Gisbourne, New Zealand; I ended the year as close as I could be: in Barcelona, Spain.

I keep a text that I wrote the first minute of 2011 to remember that we didn’t start the year dancing Eurythmics, Ina and I went further dancing a catalan sardana while Shihad were playing.

This year I’ve been through all New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and I came back to Barcelona. Not bad, don’t you think? But it wasn’t only travelling, it was also growing, learning about myself and meeting all sorts of amazing people on my way.

Guys, thanks for making this year unforgettable.

 
 

#5 Fujiya & Miyagi – Knickerbocker

Vanilla. Strawberry. Hoky Poky Glory.

Singing this song, Ina and I drove more than 4000 kilometres along New Zealand. Half of it with Marty. Every single meter was worth it. Every single minute was worth it.

 
 
#4 Antònia Font – Icebergs i Guèisers

I don’t know why, but I became obsessed with this album and this song. I think it’s the most beautiful way of saying how much you miss someone. And this might have been a travelling year, but it has also been a year of missing people: the ones that I left home, the ones that I keep leaving as the trip went on. But missing is not bad, it just means that someone went through your heart. Missing people is just a sign of the amazing people I have met in my life.


 
 

#3 El Guincho – Bombay

This song is Melbourne: roast chicken, parties, dancing and realizing that nothing lasts forever, you just have to enjoy it on the meantime.

 
 

#2 George Harrison – My sweet Lord

The hippiest hippies in New Zealand were definitely us.

 
 
#1 Talking heads – This must be the place (Naive melody)

This must be the place. Not a physical place but an emotional one.

 
 
 

Thanks for sharing another year by my side. Wherever you were, wherever you are, Happy 2012!

I hope you allow me to make a “remember when” moment. I forgot to post something really important: a video of how a couchsurfer host became a friend, a video of how three months in Melbourne taught us so much about ourselves, about people and, more important, about how to have real fun.

To everyone we met in Melbs or came to visit us: THANKS. You are all awesome and you’re the reason why I keep smiling when people asks me about that city.

And, obviously, special thanks to Jarrod.

Laura + SupersubMARINA from jarrod sheehan on Vimeo.

Nobody said the trip was going to be easy. Nobody said that we had to follow our schedule day by day. So, the time has come. Change of plans.

After checking my bank account and realizing that flying through Australia is WAY more expensive than expected, I have to shorten my trip. First I thought of coming back in September instead of the end of October, this way I would have more money to travel a bit through Australia. But I think I’ll need to have at least something when I get back to Spain, money to survive a month while I look for the shittiest job ever.

So, dear all, I’m coming back in August. I still don’t know the exact day, because I’m not sure if going back to Barcelona or going back to Madrid and staying definitely there. But I’m coming back in August.

As Marina and I are independent adults, we are going to travel separate. Well, she’ll travel more and I’ll stay in Melbourne three more weeks trying to decide which two spots of Australia I can’t miss. Yes, only two. Considering the price of flights here and the huge distances, believe me, two spots is a lot.

After 7 months and a half together, it’ll be really hard to separate from her. But I also know that we both need it. 7 months being 24 hours together, even sleeping in the same bed hasn’t been easy. In order to save our friendship and our own minds, I think we both need some time apart.

Ok, I’m writing this and I’m still not crying. I am a grown adult. I can do it. Well, I can’t do anything else! Australia is actually that expensive and I am actually running out of money. No matter how bad I feel about this, no money will appear in my bank account.

August in Spain.

Does anyone know of any job that I can do in Madrid? 🙂

When I turned 27 I was in Holland, and after one of the biggest party ever my mum sent me three messages (true story):

– Happy Birthday! You’re 27 and still without a house!

– Happy Birthday! You’re 27 and still without a boyfriend!

– Happy Birthday! You’re 27 and still without a degree!

I woke up in my 29th birthday and realized that my mum is still right and I still don’t have a house for myself, actually I’m in Australia jumping from house to house without knowing where will I sleep next. I woke up in my 29th birhday and realized that I still don’t have a boyfriend, as if this was of any importance. I woke up in my 29th birthday and realized that well, actually I do have a degree. I have a Master in Indo-European Linguistics and I’m travelling around the world because I couldn’t find any job related with that.

I woke up in my 29th birthday and realized that maybe I don’t have any of that, but what I do have despite the distance, despite my irregular moods, despite all, is my friends.

The friend who travels with me

The one who makes me laugh

The one who makes me sing

The one who makes me dance

The one who makes me scream

And the one who knows me since I was born,

and the one who waits for me in Madrid, actually there are a couple of them waiting for me in Madrid and one was living in New York enjoying her life, and the other was studying to be a lawyer, and talking about lawyers I also have a couple of them in Barcelona, and a friend in Holland with whom I don’t often talk but I still love her, and the Spaniards from Holland, my dear expatriates, and all the kiwis, my family in this adventure, the ones who taught me so much about myself, and all the ones that I can’t mention but I know will be there no matter how.

What I do have is friends.

Sometimes I’m really bad sending mails, sometimes I’m really selfish, sometimes I’m the worst friend ever. But guys, you know I’m serious when I say it: I love you.

And as The Beatles already said, All you need is love.
.
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Several weeks ago (click here to see the post) I told you about our new theory of kiwi animals, how a Pukiwi (also known as Takahe) was the son of a Pukeko and a Pukiwi.

Well, I guess if you have no idea of what those animals look like you might think we are crazy. But seriously, it all made sense when we thought of it!

Anyway, I promised a diagram of those animals, the real and the unreal ones. And thanks to Ina, here it is:

New Zealand birds

To sum up and to make sure that we all learn the lesson:

UNREAL ANIMALS: kiwi and pukiwi (formerly known by New Zealanders as takahe)
REAL ANIMALS: pukeko and pukiwi second (formerly known by New Zealanders as weka)

kiwi + pukeko = pukiwi
kiwi + pukeko = pukiwi second

As you all see, if a real animal has babies with an unreal animal two things might happen: a real baby or an unreal one. Our diagram clearly shows the birds development as we saw it. (never trust the books, we know the truth!!)

Darwin would be SO proud of us!!

New Zealand in numbers:

– Days been here: 125

– Kilometers done: more than 9.000. We’ll actually never know because we were stupid and we didn’t look at it when we rented our camper van in South Island.

– pictures taken: 1.298

– New friends on Facebook: 35

– NZ phone numbers registered in my cellphone: 23

– sheep and cows seen: more than in my entire life. Millions, seriously.

– memories that I’ll try never to forget: uncountable.

New Zealand in my heart:

Marty. The guys’ house. Their jam sessions. Jai. The road trips. The car. Eating salad for Christmas. The weird pineapple lumps. Jon. Shihad. Jägermeister. Listening to Pony Bravo. Listening to Fujiya&Miyagi. Summer. Beach. Forest. All green. All blue. Fish & chips. Hokey Pokey. Earthquake in Christchurch. Auckland. Wedding. Weeding. Rotorua smells like egg. Mince pie. Nelson. Madcester. Anzac biscuits. Wellington is alive. Anaya. Totos. Dresses. Salvation Army. I like lager beer. Yellow Submarine. Vampiritos. La niña. My first nephew. My grandma’s surgery. Being a hippie. La Fea. Cows. Sheep. “Highway”. Kiwi. Pukeko. Their idea of “city”. Their idea of “town”. Laughing. Crying. Smiling. Ok Cool.

Us

All in all, I’ll miss New Zealand.