Plaza Mayor in Madrid
…moving to another continent was no easy task, but nothing worthwhile is.
My name is Joyce and I was born in Mexico, in a bordering state with the U.S. on the Northwest called Baja California. Going from one country to another, and switching languages was the norm in my childhood. I became tired of the hours spent at the border and moved to sunny LA for college. I only had to cross the border once a month from then on, in comparison to the 2-3 times a week. Living in California, you get to meet people from all over the world, try different foods, experience diverse cultures and hear a lot of different languages. I considered myself an open-minded and quite an international person. I thought I could experience other cultures through other people. I was naive.
I lived all over LA for 10 years, working in the digital entertainment field for a few years and had long accomplished my first goals in life: get my Bachelor’s Degree in Film, get a job in the entertainment industry, have benefits such as 401K and healthcare, etc. I got bored of being an adult and decided to drop it all and go teach English in Spain. The timing was right. I didn’t have to miss my brother’s wedding, my family was in good health, my friends supported my decision and I had friends in Madrid who facilitated my transition. It was too good of an opportunity to pass.
Like any big change in life, moving to another continent was no easy task, but nothing worthwhile is. During my first year in Madrid, I’ve traveled to 10 countries and countless cities. I have met so many wonderful people and I’ve learned so much from these travels, some of them solo. I, by no means, consider myself an expert. Still, I hope other people, especially other solo female travelers, will learn from both my advice and mistakes.