Tag Archives: life

Episode Eighty-Two – Old and New

Hello!

I’d like to tell you a little story. A little while ago, I was filling in a very demanding job application that required a list of every job I had ever had and of every trip abroad I had ever taken. As you can imagine, this was a complete pain: I had to trawl through emails from years ago, searching for flight confirmations and clues from years-old conversations to pin down the exact date I started X job or moved to Y address.

In doing this, I realised that the emails that I sent to my long-distance partner during that time served as a sort of running commentary on my life; not just on the milestones but on the little things too. Everything was there: my good days, my bad days, my self-depracating humour, my crippling weaknesses, my hopes and dreams for a phantom future I would never, it turns out, live out. It’s comforting to have this log of experiences to look back on, so I can trace what happened when, which decisions I made and why, and how I got to be where I am today.

Since the relationship ended, I have kept no such record of my life. For a whole year, all of the people who were closest to me actually lived close to me – just along the hall or at most a bus ride away. So we would just talk about things in person, and I never had to write it down. But now things have changed again. I’ve moved to Madrid, most of my friends are far away again, and in the meantime I somehow seem to have got involved with another American, who is now back in America. And so today, when I came home from an exciting day of discovering my new home city, my first instinct was to write him an email and tell him all about it. I guess old habits die hard.

But then I stopped and thought for a minute. Why was I relying on him to be the reader of this micro-auto-biography? After all, my incredibly exciting and inspiring day essentially amounted to eating a sandwich and taking a book out from the library. And while I’m confident I could have composed an 1800-word email about it all, was I really doing it because I knew he would be dying to hear my news? Of course not: I was doing it for the simple cathartic release of writing it all down. I was doing it for me. And then I remembered that I have a blog called A Trail of Breadcrumbs whose explicit purpose is to document all of these little things, allowing me to express myself without wittering on to my long-suffering American boyfriends about my mediocre days-in-the-life, and to have a written reminder of what happened when and how and why, so I can read back over it later and trace how my life got to where it is today.

So instead of an email, I’m writing a blog post. A blog post that, of course, didn’t turn out to be about the delicious roast beef sandwich I bought from a food truck at a pop-up street fair, nor about the peaceful library right in the middle of the stunning Parque del Retiro where I obtained my Madrid public library card and borrowed a book by Javier Marías just to force me to go back again. Instead, it turned out to be about everything that’s happened since I stopped writing in here, and everything that’s happened since I started writing in here, and everything I hope might happen if I start writing in here again. Because five years ago, a lost little 17-year-old girl at the start of an exciting new adventure had a premonition: that she would always be a lost little girl, looking for reasons and connections and explanations about her life, and that she would need a blog like this to help her remember where she came from and guide where she was going. And she was right.

Seriously, though, it was a damn good sandwich.

Seriously, though, it was a damn good sandwich.

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Episode Seventy Four – On Writing

Well, that was an intense semester.

Aside from my written and spoken language requirements, I’ve had a literature module each for French and Spanish, and they have been fantastic. Especially the Spanish one. The Spanish Newspaper Column By Writers was perfect for a blogger, as the assessed coursework was not an essay but rather two of our own newspaper columns, our handling of which was supposed to be indicative of our understanding of the column as a literary genre; being a blogger helped me to compose these assignments, and composing the assignments was useful for my blogging, too. Not just the assignments, in fact, but the course in general: I learned a great deal from the module, not only in terms of Spanish literature but much more generally as well.  Continue reading

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Episode Sixty Eight – S’more from Megan, Finally!

Hello again, faithful and long-suffering readers.

Goodness gracious, I’ve been busy since leaving Strasbourg behind! As I mentioned, I’ve been training for this new job at Sandemans New Europe tours. They offer free tours (as well as paid ones) in lots of cities all over the continent, and when I got in touch and said I wanted to be a tips-only tour guide, they responded by offering me a stable job with a good hourly wage instead :) Continue reading

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Saturday Spotlight Twenty – Things I’ll Miss

Well, well, well. Look what we have here: the last day of my year abroad. Weird, huh? Especially for those of you who have been following my journey since before I left home for Costa Rica last July. I’m feeling a little sad to be leaving the semester (and the year) behind – but also eager to get started on the next stage of my life: my final year of university and a great job! (At least, I’m confident that it’ll be great, though I haven’t started yet).

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Episode Sixty Two – I Don’t Speak Luxembourgish

Did you know Luxembourgish is a real language? I guess it says a lot about my blundering approach to travel that I didn’t even research what language they speak in our weekend destination; but aside from the fact that the official language is not French as I had assumed, doesn’t it seem like it should be called Luxembourgese or Luxemburger or something instead?

Whatever they choose to call their language, we got along fine without it: gesturing to your camera and pointing at yourselves tends to get the message across.

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Episode Sixty One – Millin’ Around in Milan

My, my, I am doing well with these plays on Italian city names, aren’t I? Well, here goes: the final leg of the adventure, which doubled as one heck of a scenic route home. Although, travelling exclusively by land from Rome to Strasbourg, is there any other kind of route?

I know, cathedrals aren't my strong point. If anyone has any tips on photographing huge, ornate buildings, they're more than welcome.

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Episode Fifty Four – On Bucket Lists (Part A)

You know, a strange thing happened to me a little while back: I became interesting.

‘How does one go about doing that?’, you may ask. And I’ll tell you: not how you should do it, but how it ended up happening to me. Of course, I would never say that this is the only way of doing it: that’s the whole point of ‘interesting’, that there’s no formula for it. But for me, this is how it happened.

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