“Here’s to taking chances and following your heart” – a quote from the note that my Aunt Paige wrote me upon hearing the news that I had completely changed the course of my life by choosing love and adventure over career and responsibility. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for that decision and this quote will always have a special place in my heart.
Question: So how did a 23 year old American end up living on a magical little island in the Mediterranean
Answer: It was a bit of love, fate, and dumb luck
The week of my college graduation I met one of the College of Charleston’s swimmers, Evan Renn at a pool party. I already had half of my stuff packed up and shipped back to Texas, but after meeting Evan that day, I knew that I had to stay in Charleston longer and see how things turned out. After about five months of dating, we were madly in love and completely confused about what the future had in store for us. It was difficult to find professional jobs in a town full of recent graduates all competing for positions. Evan had been a Spanish minor in college and mentioned applying for a job abroad, teaching English in Spain. My heart went racing with the thought of getting to move to another country so I encouraged and pushed and nagged Evan into completing the application. One year later, here we are! We had both never even heard of the island of Mallorca, the program simply chose Evan’s placement and that, was that. Hence the love, fate and dumb luck having something to do with things.
Evan was provided a visa through his work program, in order for me to tag along with him I had figure out my own way of getting a visa. Originally, I wanted to find a job an put my Hospitality/Tourism and Business Administration degrees to use…not an easy thing for an American to do these days because of Spain’s current economy. The work visa option ended up being impossible because Evan’s program did not place us until the very. last. minute. I couldn’t apply for jobs when I didn’t know where we were living! So I quickly applied for a Master’s course in International Business through UAB, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. By being enrolled in a Spanish Masters program I was able to successfully apply for a student visa which would allow me to live here for a year.
After about two months of living here, Evan was getting accustomed to his new job and I was at home every day doing chores and working on my online masters course. I wanted a friend! So we went to the Son Reus animal shelter here in Palma and adopted a two year old, puppy. We named him Dima – a Russian nick-name for Dimitry. He is the light of my life now, and the perfect addition to our little family.
It has now been 7 months of exciting life here on the island, I would change my life for anything. I am very grateful for that chance meeting by the pool in Charleston and for all of the crazy decisions made by following out hearts.