Mario

Why I Hope 2014 Will Be Better Than 2013

If I’m being honest, 2013 wasn’t the greatest, especially if I compared it with 2012. There were good moments, for sure, like traveling to Amsterdam and Paris, celebrating our wedding in the U.S., and holding our third annual Thanksgiving in Spain. I made friends, met new people, and had a lot of fun.

Kaley Amsterdam Canals

New Friends

But 2013 was, for the most part, a difficult year. Mario’s job kept him constantly away from home. I felt lost in a big city like Madrid and found myself missing my Spanish home.

(more…)

About these ads

Things Bicultural Couples Do

Bicultural and/or international couples (in my case, both) have some habits that can seem odd for an outsider. Most of the time, when Mario and I take a trip, we end up speaking a weird hodgepodge of English and Spanish and Spanglish, which confuses the locals who just want to place us in a little box. (Oh, Americans; or Oh, Spaniards.) But no, we’re not so easily categorized or identified.

Mix up traditions.

I wear my wedding ring (alianza) on my right hand because I didn’t have the traditional engagement ring and wedding ring match set. I wanted everyone who saw me, in Spain and in the US, to know I was taken, so I figured I’d wear one ring on each finger. Problem solved. Mario, on the other hand (literally), wears his on the other hand, his left. Why? It’s more comfortable. So we mix up traditions. So what?

We also chose to say our vows both in English and in Spanish, because those words in our native languages were and are really important to us.

Oh yeah, and we had two weddings. We’ve decided we could have one every year. There are lots of states, after all.

Code switch.

(more…)

Anniversary

Today is October 1st, and that is significant for two reasons:

1) Mario’s been at his job—the job that brought us to Madrid—for one year now. Yipee, hooray, and all that stuff.

2) Four years ago, I started dating him.

Spanish American Couple Salamanca

Our first date, our first picture!

(more…)

Denied Entry—Or How an Expired Tourist Visa Got Me Deported

denied

Okay, it wasn’t technically deportation, but I wasn’t allowed into Spain.

In 2009, I was blissfully unaware of all things Schengen. I came over to Spain in September to work a campus organization at the University of Salamanca. Before coming over, my then-future employers had advised me not to worry about a visa, as it “had never been a problem before.”

Famous last words.

(more…)