Last November, my husband and I had packed up all our belongings into 7 suitcases. We said goodbye to friends over coffee, wine and gin-tonics. Then we left our newlywed life in Madrid, Spain to follow an opportunity that opened up in NYC.
It is hard to believe that this was a little over a year ago. In that amount of time, our entire life shifted in a way that makes our old life almost unrecognizable. There were many things with the move that was a welcome change. Though we have moments when we wish to have spent a little longer abroad. A negative consequence that we noticed immediately (and continue to feel) was the higher cost of living here. Even after a year, it still hurts at the first of the month when we have to fork over rent that was twice the amount that we paid for an apartment near the heart of Madrid.
Then again, I certainly cannot regret where life has taken us this past year. Now, we have an adorable little newborn. Had we stayed longer, we wouldn’t have our little one. I knew that I didn’t want to be pregnant and give birth in a foreign country where my language skills was only intermediate and there was no family around to help. Another thing I’m grateful for is having my skin back to normal. Madrid was so dry that I suffered a terrible case of eczema the whole time I was there. It didn’t help that I found myself allergic to Spanish wine, of all things!
There are a few Madrid habits that have hung around our household. Late lunches and dinners are still the norm. It doesn’t help that my husband comes home late from work. We also have gotten pickier with what we consider good bread and olive oil. It’s pretty hard to find a decent one without spending a fortune (or at least it feels like a fortune in comparison to what we used to spend).
If you told me last year that my life would be the way it is now, I would not have believed you. Has it already been a year already?