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.
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.
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.
San Millán de la Cogolla in La Rioja, Spain, was where Mario and I chose to use our gift pack from La Vida Es Bella back in October. San Millán is home to the monasteries of Suso and Yuso, built in the 6th and 11th centuries, respectively. It was a trip filled with the scents of autumn, crisp morning and evening air, walking, and—how could it not be so?—wine.
Yuso (“el de arriba”) Monastery
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.
Our first date, our first picture!