My suitcase is packed, Ryanair online check-in completed, all-important Facebook status announcing my departure posted. The comfortable, repetitive routine of university life is behind me and ahead lies... well I'm not really sure yet, but it's certainly going to be a change. As a linguist and a travel fanatic I am extremely excited to find out what my next journey away from the good old UK will bring, as I venture over to the land of lederhosen, beer and sausages to work for the next few months.
I have lived abroad before - five months studying on the Island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean, and six months working on the Costa del Sol in Spain - but this experience will be a whole new challenge. Whereas before I was protected by a thorough understanding of the native language of my newly adopted (or perhaps fostered) countries, this time I will be heading into linguistic pastures unknown... OK, I have taken the odd evening class, and visited Germany several times over the last two years, but there is none of the reassurance that comes from building up a knowledge of a language over many years in an educational environment. I will be testing out the alternative: jumping in at the deep end. I anticipate a lot of treading water at first, flailing my arms eratically as I struggle to string a sentence together, gasping for air as I completely embarrass myself with a language faux pas or two... but by December I intend on being Olympic material. Well, Commonwealth at the very least.
My route is not exactly direct either; first stop is Madrid to babysit a couple of turtles, dodge Catholics when the Pope comes to town, and generally try not to melt in the city that is known as 'the Frying Pan' during the summer. Then my boyfriend and I will be hiring a car and driving to Andalucia, hopefully seeing Cordoba and Seville en route to the coast, whereupon I envisage throwing myself into the sea without delay in an act of desperation caused by the intense overheating that my body will have suffered in the preceding week and a half. At the end of the month we will board the plane (Ryanair once again, I like to travel in style...) to Cologne, and the German adventure begins!
So, for now it is adios amigos, no idea when I will have the internet again, but sporadic entries will undoubtedly follow in the near future...
Besitos, TG xx