Hola to our friends and family, and welcome to oursteppinstones.com! This is our first blog post! Please keep in mind we are very new to this, so bear with us as we navigate through the technological world of blogging. Since we do not have internet yet, fingers crossed in the next few weeks, we will try to post weekly to keep everyone updated as we continue our journey as expats living in Madrid, Spain and traveling through Europe!
The first steps onto Spanish soil Trey and I were beside ourselves. Cashman by our side, we waited in line to go through passport check. There were all different people from all over the world waiting to enter Spain, just as we were. We waited for maybe about 10 minutes and we were through. I kept looking at Trey and asking… is this it? We went straight to baggage claim, praying our bags would be on the luggage caracals. Needless to say, with my past experience, I was not going to hold my breathe. Trey on the other hand, Mr. Optimistic, went to figure out how we were going to wheel all 6 bags to a single cab. It was funny watching him stand in front of the machine that dispensed the key to unlock the luggage cart, because of course it was all in Spanish, and Trey didn’t understand a single word. He never looked back or asked for help but continuously tried to insert his Credit Card in the key dispenser slot. Finally he got it! He looked at me from across the room, threw both hands in the air waving the key in celebration of his first Spanish victory. BEEP BEEP BEEP …the carousels had started, the first few bags began to come around the corner AND…they were ours. We loaded our 300lbs of luggage onto two carts, with Cash on leash we headed towards customs. We walked into a room with no line and two men behind a glass counter speaking only Spanish. I told him I had a dog. He asked for the paper work, took one glace to make sure they were stamped, he signed our paper, and said ok. I again looked at Trey and said is that it really!?! Trey shrugged his shoulders, and said I guess so. Let’s go check out our new home. Everyone was speaking Spanish, talking and moving very fast. We noticed from our previous travels that Charleston seemed to be undoubtly the most tranquil airport in the world. Therefore, when we arrived here it was as if we were walking into a nightclub with 100 strobe lights. We followed the course of traffic and were herded to the cab lines. When I told the traffic director we were together in my Spanglish... he quickly responded to me in the first English I heard... No, you are not. He whistled for two cabs and waved for Trey and his 3 bags to go in to one cab, and put me in another with our remaining luggage and Cash. With little sleep and complete slap happiness. I continuously said OOOO Bonito! Me gusta with my broken Spanglish. I am sure the cab driver thought those were the only words that I knew…If he thought that...well, he wasn’t too far off! He began to talk to me about Madrid, once I was able to snap out of my awe. He told me the population was 3 million. He was very patient with me and talked slowly so I could understand him. He was so friendly, and I thought to myself wow if all Spaniards are this nice, I am going to love it here. He took us through the city center and entered our neighborhood; Arguelles. It just kept getting better. It was a true dream! I always pictured myself living in a large city and now it was reality. Even today I can’t believe our little family is living in another country, much less that we are living the city life!
“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ― Lao Tzu “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
"Today is my tomorrow. It's up to me to shape it, to take control and seize ever opportunity. The power is in the choices I make each day. I eat well and I live well. I shape me."