I’m Sarah, a 20-something Midwestern American girl who embraces the world as her home. I love languages, cultures, living in Spain, eating international cuisines, a good cup of tea, photography and exploring new places.
I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, in a military family with parents who instilled a love for travel in me at an early age. I boarded my first cross-country flight at the innocent age of two and have been hooked on flying and traveling ever since. The odd thing is, I haven’t lived there full-time in over 10 years so while it’s the place I’m from, it’s not exactly my only home. I’ve found many “homes” around the US and world now. My extended family all lives in the U.S. (in 4 different time zones!) while I’ve made Spain my home for nearly 4 years now.
My first international living experience was when I went to Baja California, Mexico in 2006. I was 17 years old and was a very enthusiastic advanced Spanish student with big dreams about living abroad. I went back the week after I graduated from high school in 2007 with big plans to live in a Spanish speaking country in the future.
I started with immersing myself more in the language by living in Jacksonville, Florida, where I accepted a spot with a hefty scholarship package and mild winter (aka no Midwestern winter!). I discovered the Hispanic Community and learned about the study abroad programs my university had to offer. I had always wanted to go visit Spain and the study abroad advisers couldn’t convince me to study abroad for less than one semester.
So from 2008 on, I studied up on Spain and Spanish culture and planned to study abroad in Seville, Spain in 2010. With careful planning, research and recommendations from classmates who studied there before me, I made my dream come true and spent a full semester there, wholeheartedly enjoying Sevillano life: the festivals, the parties, the summery sangria and tinto de verano and the monstrously delicious tapas. From not being able to feel confident enough to speak, I left Seville being able to speak Spanish fluently, just after four months of total immersion: host family, classes taught in Spanish, writing and thinking in Spanish, local, non-English speaking friends and limited contact with the English language. Get my best tips for learning Spanish here.
After an incredible time in Europe, I went back to the US to finish my double degree in Spanish and Economics. I worked in freelance marketing and translation for a couple of years and managed to make a return visit to Spain (and Portugal) and spend time with my local friends. That visit confirmed my desire to come back to Spain but this time to live and teach English. Selfishly wanting to preserve my study abroad home, I applied to teach in the North of Spain (Galicia) and lived in La Coruña in 2014-2015 and then Santiago from 2015-2016. I had the most incredible two years of my life but the endless rain sent me packing and I moved to Madrid in September 2016.
And I’ve been here ever since! I took a huge leap last year in terms of my career and modified my student visa to a freelancer visa, which you can learn how you can do that yourself here. Now I’m working as a freelance copywriter, translator and ESL teacher plus, trying my hardest to make this blog a form of passive income to support myself in the future.
It hasn’t been easy to live abroad or to be away from the United States and my family for over two years now but it’s definitely been worth it. All the personal growth, opportunities, new countries, new friends and adventures in life and in love have helped to make my expat life rich and fulfilling.
Will you come along for the ride with me? I filter everything around me through a Christian worldview and I hope to inspire other Christian females to travel solo and follow their dreams. There’s more to the world than news headlines and reports. Locals are your clearest window into other cultures and the media tries to fuel our fears and squelch our curiosity of the world. I’m here to show you that the world isn’t as scary as you think it is.
I’m by no means perfect and I’m always curious to learn new things and from all perspectives. Please add to the discussion on my posts and we’ll talk there!
Or for the latest updates and stories, follow me on Instagram. Stay tuned for new posts, guides and encouraging words for travelers of all types coming soon!