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The greatest life lesson I learned after moving to Spain

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“You’re not 21 years old anymore. You can’t just pack up and move to Spain.”

These words, from my successful now ex-boyfriend, haunted me. “I guess I am too old to move to Spain,” I thought.

During college, I studied abroad in France. Another American friend studied in Madrid. I fell in love with Madrid!! I told myself, “I have to live here some day.”

10 years later…

I had been working in the television industry in Los Angeles, CA for several years, and I was burnt out. Spain got back on my brain when I met a couple of Spaniards one day. The emotion that exploded from my heart when I met them made me realize:

I don’t know why I am so drawn to Spain. But I feel like I have to go.

I don’t speak Spanish, I don’t know anyone there and I don’t have a job. Ok, I’ll go! This was my illogical reasoning that received a bit of criticism.

And I went.

And everything fell into place. The stars had aligned! Apartment and job, check! I was intoxicated with my new life.

Fast forward 7 months. Everything changed. I had my heart broken and my roommate turned out to be a psycho. She stole my clothes and put chemicals in my shampoo that fried my hair. She kicked me out and changed the locks. My life felt like a movie.

I had nowhere to go, no real friends, and a family far away.

In this moment I thought, “you know Maria, things are pretty bad right now…if you want to go back to the US, it’s okay.”

I took 2 weeks to travel around Spain alone. I cried a lot. And I wrote a lot.

But something happened. When the train was arriving in the Madrid station, I thought, “No, I’m not leaving. I still want to be here. Things will get better.”

And they did. Beyond my expectations.
There is no age limit in following your heart. And things do work out when you stay true to yourself.

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