By John Z, Auxiliar de Conversación in Murcia 19/20.
When I sat down to start this blog post, I realised that right now my life is great. I have a fulfilling job and I am enjoying valuable time with my wife. I can’t imagine another period of my life where I will have days like I do now. As I started thinking more about what I would write, I realised this post wouldn’t be so easy. The reason being is that days here vary. You don’t have your ‘typical’ day as such, but rather you have your types of days. I am going to explain these various types of days and hopefully, they will help you out understanding our little life in Murcia.
Before I dive into the types of days, let me provide you with some background on where we live and who we are. We are an Australian married couple, who decided to move to Spain 6 months after our wedding. We are placed in a seaside town called ‘San Javier’, but we travel a lot. This year was for us to enjoy life and make the most of being positioned in Europe. Our work schedules have allowed us to do just that.
A typical teaching day
I thought I would start out with what 80% of our days look like. The school starts at 8:30 am and finishes at 2:30 pm. Depending on your school, these start and finish times will vary. It is also important to understand that your timetable is variable. Monday to Wednesday, my wife and I have the majority of our hours. Our schools are amazing in making our schedules. They aim to help us out by packing our hours into as few days as possible.
We wake up, and the first thing we see is the beach and sunrise from our bathroom. Check the picture. Correct, our apartment has a bathroom with a view of the water. I usually teach online for about an hour, while my wife goes for a run along the beach. Waking up has never been easier. We have a quick breakfast together and then head off to our schools.
Since we made the choice to live near the beach, we have a 25-minute walk to our schools. We tossed up getting bikes. But the weather here in Murcia is so amazing that the walk has become one of our favourite parts of the day. I use this time to read, call family, and just switch off.
School passes by as per normal. You go in and do your job as an Auxiliar de Conversación. We have made friends with the other teachers and we spend our breaks talking in our limited, but expanding, Spanish. The day is over before you know it, and we head back to the house. Here we are, it is 3 pm and we have the rest of the day. Special mention to the days where you turn up to school and the principal is cooking a giant dish of paella.
You will notice Spanish people have their own times for food, and you quickly get used to it. My wife and I have lunch and watch whatever series we are working through (currently Breaking Bad). Then, we give each other some space. We spend a couple hours practising Spanish or just enjoying ‘me’ time. It is about 5 pm now, and the gym calls. We head to our amazing little gym where we feel like family, and try and work on the damage being done by Spain’s amazing cuisine.
The rest of the evening is a mix of private classes, dinner, learning Spanish, and relaxing. All in all our typical day looks pretty damn amazing on paper now that I have typed it out.
So this is our ‘Friday’. Yes, we have a long weekend. It is worth a special mention because we do have a routine for this day. Considering most of our hours are front-loaded Monday to Wednesday, our final day of teaching is a great wind-down day. Everything pretty much is identical to above with one exception. We go out for lunch every Thursday following school.
This is something my wife and I both look forward to, and something we will miss most post-Spain. We have a little bar/restaurante we adore. Coupled with the fact they do ‘menú del día’ (lunchtime special menu) for 10 euros, we are hooked. We love the staff and again we feel like family here.
This is how all weekends should start.
This is where it gets fun. We have two types of weekends, and they alternate. The ones where we stay in our peaceful little town and the other which we travel to a new city. We are very fortunate to be able to say we holiday every 2 weeks.
Weekends in our little town
The weekends in town are relaxing. Our everyday life consists of living life like a retired couple. We go to our local cafe, we get groceries from the market, and take our long strolls on the beach. We might go to one of the main cities close by. But usually, these weekends are to catch up on learning Spanish and our other hobbies.
Murcia is such a beautiful place in the world, so we do try to enjoy as much of our time here. The weather is amazing and it has beaches everywhere. It never feels like a tourist hub and we love it for this. We always feel like we are experiencing Spain, and have grown to love this. I can see how this could get boring if you were on your own. We make sure we have plenty of things to keep us occupied.
Weekends traveling to a new city
The other type of weekend we have is where we choose a city in Europe then spend our 3 days enjoying it. We either leave on Thursday night or Friday morning, pending flights. We have become super efficient with all things travel. These are the weekends we sign up for. We spent a lot of time researching our cities and working out the most cost-effective ways to travel this often. No two of these weekends are the same, and they keep us energised. That being says we are always happy when the plane lands back in Spain.
Overall, this is how our life in Spain, as an Auxiliar de Conversación in Murcia, looks like. Not bad, huh? Whether you are fond of spending quiet time in a small town, or if you are more into catching planes and traveling through Europe, life in Murcia offers you everything. For us, this is a perfect life: a harmonious mixture of quietness and movement, of routine and adventure.