Bucket List #4 – Teaching English in Spain

As some of you may have seen in the announcement video I posted earlier this week, I am very excited to be able to say that I will be going to Spain this Fall to teach English for a year in Madrid! I am very excited about this incredible opportunity, not only because now I feel like I actually have a plan for the next chunk of my life, but it means I also get to return to an amazing country, and this time not as a student but as a teacher! This is something that has been at the top of my bucket list for a long time, and after a grueling application process and waiting period, I finally received notice that everything worked out and I was placed in the region that was my top choice. I can finally rejoice knowing that my future will not consist of eating Taco Bell and watching all of the editions of Real Housewives. 

The program is Auxiliares de Conversación and it is a commitment for the entire 2015-2016 school year. I will be a paid teaching assistant, helping Spanish students learn English by conversing with them in English during their classes. I also hope to tutor in my free time for extra (travel, wine, ham sandwich) money and I am so excited to be close to so many amazing places that I have never been to before, with hopes that I’ll be able to travel on the weekends and during my time off.

I really look forward to continue making weekly video highlights of what is going on in my life, and especially now that I will have a lot of new content to share with all of my viewers in an amazing new country. I also have another exciting project that I am working on which is set to be released soon, but for now I want to keep that a surprise.

In the mean time, for all my traveling friends who have spent time in Europe, let me know if there’s anything you think I absolutely *must* do while I’m over there. A year is a lot of time, but I want to make sure I see the best things that come to me from my friends as recommendations.

Stay tuned for more! Love you all so much.

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Electric Forest 2015

I wish there was a way to put into words the life-changing experience that is Electric Forest.

The person who walked into the forest isn’t the same person who walks out. And not only because they haven’t had a proper shower in 5 days.

Electric Forest is a 4-day music festival in Rothbury, Michigan. It takes place in Sherwood forest, an expanse of tall trees and fields that host various artists, vendors and musicians on stages to perform over the 4-day period.

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The experience showed me the value of traveling in big groups, making new (and incredibly amazing) friends and the importance of positivity and good vibes in every day life.  I wish that everyone could have a music festival experience, as I think it really helps foster a connection with people, even strangers that one only sees for a few seconds.

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After being to two very different music festivals in a short period of time, I’ve definitely had my fill of car camping for awhile, but I really loved both experiences.  I was blown away by the music, the friendship and the overall experience at Electric Forest. It was also a much more enjoyable music festival experience because of the climate of Michigan vs. Tennessee. It was much cooler weather and the ability to sleep past 7a.m. without being roasted alive in a tent provided much needed relief when we would be boppin’ around until 4 in the morning.

My favorite show at the festival would probably have to be Odesza. Their lights and set were something I had been looking forward to,and they did not fail to disappoint. A new artist that I hadn’t heard of before that I really enjoyed were Charles Bradley, who donned a sexy velvet suit and belted out songs in a manner that really blew me away. Kaskade was incredibly fun to dance to and Lindsey Stirling didn’t fail to impress on her violin, although the tent she was in eliminated a lot of mobility in being able to see the stage.

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Our totem

Stay tuned for a Music Festival Survival Tips post, coming soon!

Watch my Electric Forest video experience:

Finding Motivation

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS KIND OF CLICHE, BUT IT’S STUFF I NEEDED TO GET OUT OF MY BRAIN. ALSO SORRY FOR WRITING IN SECOND PERSON, I’M NOT YELLING AT YOU I PROMISE.

A lot of magazines, blogs, journals and other media platforms are constantly discussing and analyzing what the various “keys to success” are, trying to sell their readers a comprehensive list of traits they must have in order to achieve success. Despite the extensive quantity of content that there is on this subject, I truly believe there is only one trait one must have in order to achieve any sort of success. Motivation.

Motivation is the most important trait to have when leaping over the hurdles to success, but it’s also the hardest one to build up and maintain. It applies to all aspects of life; work, fitness, personal life, future goals and dreams, all things that rely on our own personal motivation so that one day we can accomplish what we want. It’s what sets apart the dreamers and the achievers, the people who aren’t afraid to pull on their boots and go through the processes of making their dreams come true.

I think it’s completely normal to struggle with finding motivation sometimes. The excuses to make the choice to not do something can be endless, generally resulting in a lack of motivation to accomplish anything. Falling into ruts and traps can happen easily and the effects of being in one can be compounding if you don’t fight to get out. It’s like one of the principles of inertia that I “learned” about in physics: An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

The spiral downward is dangerous and the longer you let yourself fall into it, the longer you’re going to have to crawl back out. Not going to the gym today means that you’re already a day behind where you want to be. It’s recognizing that these little excuses that hold us back are not worth listening to, and choosing to do what we know will set us on the path to success that is the key. While sometimes difficult or nearly impossible, it’s what needs to be done. There is so much pleasure that comes with being able to cross off an item on a never-ending to-do list, a sign that actions are leading in the right direction, that our efforts are not a waste but are adding up to something.

With motivation comes inspiration, and generally success or some sort of accomplishments also follow. Things that motivate me are lists of things I need to do, with an aching desire to cross things off the list. Tracking progress is a great way to stay motivated; every time I look at my Endomondo running app and see how I’ve increased the distance and average min/mile over the past month, it motivates me to run more, to improve my stats even more and set goals for the future. This is just one example of goal keeping and tracking progress, but there are so many more ways to apply the concept to our daily lives.

Stop picking up the remote instead of your gym bag. Stop hesitating to send that email to share that idea that you have that could blossom with the help of others. Stop showing up for work at a job you hate instead of searching for something better. Put down the box of Cheez-its and pick up the bag of spinach. It’s all about these little victories that can add up to so much more in the grand scheme of our lives.

Now that I’ve revealed all of my thoughts surrounding motivation, I want to know,

What motivates you?

Some of my motivational internet resources:

James Altucher’s Blog

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