What I’ve been doing while I wasn’t blogging

Usually, I would publish an end-of-month Behind the Scenes recap but given the circumstances (not having published one, like, since February) I figured – maybe this is the perfect time to post a big picture update! While it’s fun to come up with random stats (like minutes spent on a plane in a given month), this info becomes kind of meaningless when there have been so many other weird and wonderful things happening over the past 3 months.

I quit my job

Blue Sea in Tenerife, Spain

This was a tough one. I had a great team of extremely talented and fun people. We did some amazing things that clients and banks thought were almost impossible. Worked in a beautiful office in one of my favourite parts of London (Fitzrovia). Got invited to extravagant drinks and dinners. Flew across the Globe, ramping up frequent flyer miles like there’s no tomorrow and staying at hotels I could otherwise only dream of.

So, I had a project-based job that combined the creative and financial industries, paid the bills and allowed me to travel around the World – which I thought was all I wanted. But it turns out – it wasn’t. What happened?

To be honest, my decision wasn’t as much about enjoying my job but, instead, about a shift in my definition of ambition.

Over the past few years, I had grown to the idea that ambition was putting your career in front of everything else. But now I believe that my definition of ambition and success have evolved: they no longer means pulling all-nighters and constantly sacrificing personal stuff to deliver flawless projects or win over new accounts.

Don’t get me wrong: I still believe I’m ambitious – Maybe even more than I had ever been before. Now, I’m not willing to settle down for a life that doesn’t make me happy in more than just one aspect of my life!

I moved back to Spain

Hiking in Tenerife, Spain

Have you ever felt the need to simply reset

I had been pushing away this feeling for a while – after all, to me, London was for a long time the land of advancement and opportunities. But it was also a land of expensive flats, long commutes and cold rainy days. So, following my resignation, I gave myself a fresh start altogether.

Now I’m back in the Canary Islands as a resident (first time in over 12 years!). I wake up early, eat healthy and spend a lot of time with my family. I signed up for my local gym, go for regular walks / hikes and explore new beaches. After only 6 weeks, I’m already feeling more rested and energised. It’s like being in a retreat – but instead of being in India, I’m on a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast.

I read all the books

Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife (Canary Islands)

If there’s one thing I’ve done consistently every single day it has been this: reading. From crime to comedy and from business to psychology research (though mainly psychological thrillers!) – Here’s a list of some of my latest reads:

The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins – ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m a sucker for psychological thrillers but must admit that this one is among the best I’ve read over the past year – I literally couldn’t put it down!

Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healey – ♦♦♦♦♦

What first attracted me to this thriller was the unconventional narrator: an 82-year old woman with dementia. I was immediately hooked with this brilliant mix of mystery and dark comedy – highly recommended.

Snow white must die by Nele Neuhaus – ♦♦♦♦

I admit that, at first, I was put off by the title. However, this book (the #4 in a mystery series) quickly caught my attention due to its suspenseful setting in a small German town that deals with gossip, power and appearances.

The good girl by Mary Kubica – ♦♦♦

Another psychological triller – this one, however, centres around the abduction of a young school teacher. Although it’s not as twisted as others mentioned above, it does contain some brilliant surprises.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – ♦♦♦

I’m not sure what just got into me. I must have bought this book after binge-reading thrillers until I could no longer sleep at night. Granted, I’m not strong on romantic chick-lit – although I admit that this one had its charm.

I’m currently reading Boo by Neil Smith and am loving how the characters and storyline so far (very imaginative!). After Boo, I’m short on books – any good recommendations?

I applied to Business School

Sunset in Tenerife, Spain

If money was no problem, I would be a student for life – not because of the parties and student discounts (ehem), but because there’s so much out there to dive into, that the thought of sticking to only one topic/career path to specialise in and work on for the rest of my life is a wee bit overwhelming.

I had been toying with the idea of business school for about a year now – and after months of thinking, researching, deciding (then not-deciding) and finally committing to apply: I’m done. Unlike many other MBA Applicants out in the blog world, I have only applied to one school: one I believe is a perfect fit. 

There are a million +1 reasons that led me to decide for business school, but probably the main one (together with the whole learning something new part) was the realisation that an MBA would open the door to plenty of amazing opportunities and provide me with a strong network of like-minded innovative and ambitious people from all over the Globe.

Maybe it was a risky move – there’s no guarantee that this will actually materialise, but I’m staying positive. *fingers crossed*

I celebrated my birthday (with lots of wine)

Wine in La Rioja, Spain

Two weeks ago, I flew off to Bilbao to spend my birthday weekend exploring the Basque Country – a place that, despite being so close, was completely foreign to me. It made me realise how much of my own country I still need to explore (and also wonder: why is it that we always tend to favour international travel when we’ve got so much beauty right here?).

Needless to say, the Basque Country was absolutely stunning. We went on wine tastings, visited some of the region’s most notorious vineyards, took a leisure hike to a waterfall, bought lots of wine and cheese (and by now, already ate about half of it!), explored industrial and historical Bilbao and took a day trip to Portugalete and Playa la Arena. The 3.5 days felt far too short and now I’m already planning my next  trip to Northern Spain later this summer!

PS: a post about my long weekend is soon to come, but if you’re curious about this place on Earth I highly recommend you visit Christine in Spain, who avidly blogs about her life in el País Vasco. 

So, what have you been up to the last few months?

23 thoughts on “What I’ve been doing while I wasn’t blogging

  1. Feel like travelling very bad reading your blog, I’m heading to Costa Rica ASAP myself. I really think reading is a good thing to keep you grounded and growing living abroad and you seem to do a lot of it. Keep going! 😀

  2. Totally understand your need for these transitions and how sometimes you get to those moments in your life where you don’t have the same perspective on what you want anymore. Those can be both very challenging and exciting times!

    Best of luck with everything 🙂

  3. Congrats on quitting your job! As you know I did the same last month…and looking at your link, I think your company and mine work really closely together in Asia Pacific! Funny how parallel our lives are sometimes. Happy belated birthday to you as well and good luck with the business school application! I’ll be in Barcelona for a week in mid-July if you happen to be in the area, it’d be great to meet up.

    1. Thank you, Edna. I remember seeing your link and thinking that we were almost doing the same thing! How long will you be in Barcelona for? I am traveling across Spain starting this Wednesday for a few weeks but didn’t really have plans to include Barcelona this time, unfortunately. Are you planning on visiting somewhere else, too? Would be fun to meet up.

      1. I’ll be in Barcelona for a week beginning July 15. We were considering Andorra or Valencia but I think at this point we’ll probably just stay in Barcelona for the whole week, and do more of Spain another time when we have more than a week to spare!

  4. Great pictures and nice report. I love the way you decided to quit your job and do something new, something you will be passionate about- many people cannot do this and are stuck at one place, in one job and are unhappy…Well done. PS: Spain is a beautiful country

  5. Hi Mam..Really wonderful reading your blog posts. It does fascinate people like me who love travelling! Thanks for being an inspiration and someone whose posts are fun and relaxing to read! I also write about stuff you may like so please do check it out in your free time(if u have some).
    Thanks and regards.

  6. That sounds awesome, especially quitting and moving back to Spain! I’ll be in spain for a year in 2016 as Im studying Spanish. exciting!

  7. Girl, you got guts, I love it! Your transition out of a job is very inspiring and if more people realized that life is more than a JOB than I truly believe we would live in a more creative, happy, inspiring culture! Thanks for sharing your experiences, photos and future plans…you turn fantasies into realities. Cheers ❤

  8. Nice report and really….exciting (I don’t know, which word I should use for the german word “spannend” in this context.) to read it 🙂
    And if you’re happy now, everything is fine

  9. Bravery, passion and commitment…you got that down! Good luck and looking forward to your future adventures. Also, thanks for the book list… I will now try to catch up with you.

  10. it sounds like a very productive retreat from what was your past life of busyness and travel. I wish you well on your new path and I hope that your MBA program becomes a reality. All the best as you venture further on your journey.

  11. Kate really no words for your writing, pictures. It’s simply awesome representation. I like to travel and like to read more about new places. Unfortunately i cant visit places which are far away from me but i can see that places from your blog….Thanks for sharing this. Keep posting post like this….and be lated Happy Birthday Kate 🙂 I wish you all the success in your life 🙂 🙂

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