Time is ticking slowly, but quickly. As I prep myself to leave Madrid for the summer to make my way back to the states; I thought I'd share my thoughts with prepping for the summer to find success in the fall.
Here are a few things to note now and to keep in mind as you prep for your travels.
This is an exciting and high anxiety time for all. But I hope I can help with some preparation and assurance.
Number one thing. Live in the present. Spend time with family and friends and make the most of your time in the states before your big move abroad. Make dinner dates, attend birthday parties, offer to babysit children of your best friends. A year abroad means a year away from birthdays and family events. Do it all while enjoying a big margarita with your best friend with spicy Mexican food. Believe me you'll want to take advantage of that stateside while you can. Really make this time count. Your adventure starts at home with those around you as you embrace for the next chapter in your life.
Save your dollars. Those 85 dollar pair of Levi's or Sephora makeup is all good but heck that's a round trip ticket and a weekend of hostels in Ireland for the weekend. You can buy cheap fashionable clothes and products here in Spain. Work those odd jobs, put in that overtime, ask your sugar daddies to help you out. Every penny saved is a trip earned.
When arriving in Madrid you will need to take into account the necessary funds for settling into your new home. From taxi fares, cellphone set up, Airbnb/Hostels, apartments, deposits, food, and other basic needs that you will have within your first few days. Budget yourself. I recommend arriving to Madrid with at least two thousand euros to last you till your first payment at the end of October.
You will not be paid till the first of November/ end of October by your schools. That means budgeting in every way possible. Cut out unnecessary funds and subscriptions that aren't accessible worldwide. Meaning subscriptions to USA only subscriptions to your monthly Undies and Beauty Boxes should be cut from your finances. You will thank me later when you realize you have that extra 35 dollars that will go towards your ticket to Germany for the weekend.
Check out other necessary subscriptions for your health and medical needs. Talk to your doctor about purchasing year long contact lenses and medication. Depending on your health status and insurance policies you may run into some obstacles with purchasing medication abroad. Ask what's accessible and what isn't. Birth control and other basic medication is accessible and cheaper here.
Get yourself STD and STI stateside. It's your body and your life take responsibility for it. Bring necessary means of protection. It's offered here but do your part.
Prep for cancellation of utilities and services at home. Email landlords and electric companies discussing the cancellation of their services. Be aware of last months payments for these services and leave a friend or family member in control if they need to act on paying an extended bill. Talk to services and state your final day of service.
Speak with loan officers regarding your financial situations abroad. From student loans, car payments, mortgages. Also speak with banks and credit card companies to determine what credit cards and services work best for you. State to them where you would like free access to your card in Europe so you won't run into any sudden freezes to your account. Fees add up quickly so save yourself the hassle and make the communication. Keep copies of your account numbers, forms, and other important documents stored on your computer as well as on a platform like Google Drive which is accessible almost anywhere in the world.
Electronics and technology.
Consider purchasing external batteries to help with long journeys and bus rides, as well as external hard drives to protect your important information and what is needed for the school year. See my attached post regarding technology use and products that I have found useful in Spain.
Purchase a basic Kindle or tablet. I find success with this from my downtime to transits to private lessons and school work. With the new features of Spotify and Netflix you have the opportunity to download items and videos to listen to or watch on your morning commutes or on travels.
Check phone plans to see what is accessible for you. Other threads and comments can be started to further discuss the meticulous thoughts. But overall, find yourself a world phone or chat with your carrier about unlocking your phone for use here in Spain. Providers here are cheap and easy to work with. If you have an old phone laying around...BRING IT. Phones break, get stolen or just end up dying; having a secondary replacement will ease the panic. Ask around for old iPhones and Androids from family and friends to have.
Start packing little by little. Designate a spot in your room to toss essential items that you may desire in Madrid. Items like stick deodorant. Favorite perfumes. Jewelry. Keepsakes. Clothing items. Toiletries. Books and materials. Start now for later. Clothing items can be easily purchased in Spain. I would almost say buy new clothes here. They are cheap and have a variety of options.
Make copies of every document that you have regarding your VISA application and your personal identity. I have copies of passports, identification cards, birth certificates, credit cards, visas, insurance cards, everything. Have a binder put together and organized with your documents. Duplicate that binder and leave with a trusted individual at home in case they need access to your records. Scan/upload documents into PDFs that can be accessed anywhere on Google Drive. You never know when you may be stranded or need access to copies of your personal information.
Dreamer. Lost in the moment.
Podunk Wyoming native, living and thriving in Madrid. Lover of Craft beer and art.