More Investing in Myself

Sometimes I feel like things in my life align just right to remind me what my priorities are.

My cousin has lived and studied in Guatemala on and off for a while now. He goes to many places in Central and South America to write long-form articles about the political situations in different countries, and now he’s researching a book proposal about the atrocities of the Guatemalan civil war (heavy shit, to be sure). He is there now, studying with his favorite teacher, and he emailed me to see if I knew of anyone who’d want to do Skype lessons with her. I immediately thought, well I would!

So now I’m ducking out of bedtime on Wednesday nights to Skype with a lovely lady (I’ll call her L) in Xela, Guatemala for two hours. We talk and she writes notes about mistakes I make or words I don’t know or can’t remember. She gives me little lessons on the grammatical structures I still struggle with. Mostly we just talk in Spanish. She is very nice and our first talk was very pleasant.

It was definitely a challenge to keep the kids out of the room and I could tell my husband was struggling, but I love that I get to step away from my nightly bedtime duties once a week and do something for me.

Talking to her also made me realize that I really do need to invest in my Spanish. Which is why I’m so excited that…

…I bought my tickets for Ecuador!!!!!

I’ll be gone for 10 days, with two travel days, so I’ll have 8 days in Quito. I am so excited, and a little terrified. I’ve never been away from my kids for so long (I think this is twice as long as I’ve traveled without them, and I’ve only done that twice) and I’ve haven’t stayed with a host family since I was 16.

I am really excited for this trip.

I am excited to have some time away from my family, to remember who I am when I’m not scrambling to meet the needs of so many people. I’m excited to take my Spanish to the next level. I think after four months of weekly sessions with L I’ll be primed to make the most of my time in Ecuador, where I’ll be studying for 30 hours with a private language teacher. I can’t wait.

I’m also excited to visit somewhere new. I’ve never been to South America and I can’t wait to wander the streets of Quito. I’ve heard it’s beautiful, nestled in the high mountains. I’ll have a day before my classes start to roam the city and then a weekend after my classes to take some day trips. I already have a few places in mind.

I am so freaking excited! And it feels so good to invest in myself this way. By the end of this summer, I think I’ll be ready to apply for any high school job that comes available, or look into other ways of making extra money with my Spanish.

Ecuador, here I come!

How are you investing in yourself these days?


  1. That is so exciting! I love traveling, and I haven’t had the funds to do it in so many years. That sounds amazing.

    And the Skype lessons sound like a great idea, too.

    1. I also love traveling and it’s been so, so long. I can’t remember the last time I left the country… probable when my husband and I visited Playa del Carmen in 2007? It was a long time ago. I am so, so ready see somewhere new. Now I just need to renew my passport!

    1. Thanks! I’m really excited. The Skype lessons are so awesome too. It’s hard, and at the end of the day I’m so tired that it can feel exhausting to use my mind so intensely, but I’m also going to learn so much!

  2. This is amazing. I am so happy for you. What an awesome experience. Recently after a four year hiatus from exercise other than running after small people, I set aside some space in our house and am purchasing a treadmill and have also purchased a bike. I need to make my health (mental and physical) a priority again and I have finally found my backbone and voice in making everyone around me hear this as well.

    1. Yay for exercise equipment at home! I have an elliptical in my bedroom, and sure it takes up 1/3 of the floor space left around the bed, it’s still so totally worth it. I have used it at least three times a week for the last five years. Best purchase I ever made. I adore it. (And I’m typing this while I work out on it!)

    1. Thank you. Your trip to Madrid definitely inspired me to travel somewhere! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. How exciting!!! I bet the skype lessons will really be a huge help in the coming months. Those 2 hours have to be exhausting and intensive but also a great prep for a week of immersion! Yay!

  4. Yayyyyy! I’m so excited for you! I’m also curious about the Skype lessons go and might ask for a referral at some point. I’m an intermediate level Spanish speaker and want to do more formal lessons (but online because in person here is way too $$$) over the summer. Keep us posted about how they go! Also, I did Spanish classes and a homestay last summer in Peru. I’ve done it before but it felt quite different/refreshing as an adult. Ahhhhh, what an awesome experience to give yourself! And I know you strive to live in the moment but part of the fun of travel is the anticipation so you also just bought yourself several months of pre-trip excitement! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Wow these opportunities sound fantastic! I know when I went down to Argentina for a little over a month in law school my Spanish drastically improved. It certainly helps to go to a country where there isn’t a lot of people speaking English. Good for you!

  6. Yay! For both the Skype lessons and for the trip. Buying the tickets is a leap and investment… now you know it’ll happen for sure!! REALLY excited and happy for you.

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