Bohemian Agent Blog

Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, manifesting your own happy, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Subscribe!
Be notified whenever we post.
Email Address

Blog

My first Spanish cava and tapa still make my mouth water

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  A rumble in my tummy in Spanish wine country leads me straight into tapa ecstasy in my tiny village called Sant Sadurni D'Anoia. 

After leaving Mr. Mohammed's phone shop, I felt a rumble in my tummy.  It was probably just about the perfect time in the evening to enjoy a real Spanish dinner, lucky me!  I'd later find out that Spaniards love their dinner late and on the lighter side (unless it's a holiday), but they go huge on the lunch (hence the need for siesta's).  I continued down what seemed to be the central vein of the village and stumbled upon what would wind up being a dish that still makes my mouth water to this very day.  Yep, it's happening now only at the mere thought of eating it.  I was about to be in for a great treat as I randomly chose the place I would dine for the evening. 

I entered into a very playful decor surrounded by thousands and thousands of cava corks.  Cava is what this small wine village was known for producing, and I would soon become one of it's biggest supporters.  If you've never heard of cava, it is fabulous and made using the same process as champagne, but with Spanish grapes instead of the ones from the Champagne region of France.   As I walked in one of the waiters showed me to a table and handed me a menu in Spanish.  I tried to make sense of it, but I was struggling (what a surprise, being ill prepared to whip up a last-minute Spanish class before this wonderfully spontaneous adventure).  

I knew one thing that would allow me to take charge of this moment and that would be ordering my first Spanish cava in the wine village.  After ordering my cava, the waiter handed me an English menu upon taking mental note of my horrible attempt at the Spanish language.  Let me just get to the glorious chase of what happened next.  I ordered something very simple, yet elegant.  A tapa of sliced duck served with thin slices of orange and sprinkled with a course sea salt bringing a new culinary joy into my life experience.  This dish along with a tall glass of cava would wind up being my continual "go-to" happy place for the rest of my stay in the wine village.  It was now close to 11 pm, and I headed back to the hostal where I would say good night to the friendly owner named Montse and close out my very first evening in Spain with great success.

Taps de Suro is located at Placa Ajuntament, 7, 08770, Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, Carreterra C-243a, +34930070578.  Their hours are from 1pm - 3:30pm for lunch and 8pm - 11pm for dinner.  Closed on Monday.  Order the duck with orange slices and cava.  You're going to thank me for it, I promise!  Image provided by Taps de Suro.  

Hostal Sant Sadurni is located at Sant Antoni, 99, 08770 Sant Sadurni, d'Anoia, Spain.  Image provided by Hostal Sant Sadurni. 

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.   

Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Be kind and inquisitive with others

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Running my first necessary errand to of getting my new sim card in Spain would teach me a lesson on taking time with others. 

As I woke from my long nap, my mind and body started to come to again, and I realized I was waking up from a nap in Spain!   I still couldn't believe this was real!  I immediately drew the curtains, and it was already turning dark and early into the evening.  

Wow!  What should I do first?  I asked myself, as I quickly swung open one of my many suitcases to try to find something to wear.  It seemed a bit cold, so I dressed accordingly and headed out into the tiny wine village with the spring in my step of Pepe Le Pew.  I must have seemed the happiest Moron to all the Spanish villagers as I filmed and photographed nothing but stone alley walls on my first stroll down the village streets while grinning from ear to ear.  I wanted to zig-zag my way through the streets while kicking my two feet together high into the air, but instead, I just walked wide-eyed and explored with a very energetic shuffle.   I recall spastically shouting out "Hola" to a couple of teenagers in the alleyway while happily filming nothing at all, and they chuckled at me not knowing how to interpret my giddy enthusiasm.  

Insert Pepe Le Pew "I Deserve A Vacation" here (for those reading this off line).

My first stop would be the village phone shop, and here I would meet Mr. Mohammad.   I was thrilled when I learned he spoke enough English to communicate with me about my new phone plan options in Spain.  I spent a good hour in his shop talking with him as I excitedly entered into phase one of this new adventure.  My zest for life would be very apparent to Mr. Mohammed and my interest in him, and his little phone shop would wind up touching him in a way that I could never have imagined.  After a little over an hour, I decided that I had spent enough time in this lovely little place with this charming man and would be on my way and told Mr. Mohammed that I would see him again.  He then said something that touched my heart in a strange way.  He said "please come again" and proceeded to blurt out that I was his first friend here, as I was making my way out the door.  I asked him how long he had been in the village and his answer both surprised and saddened me.  It had been several years.  Really, how could that be?  I have been here all of 5 minutes, and I am already your first friend.  Well, it turns out that nobody took the time to get to know Mr. Mohammed and to know his name and about his little shop.  I suppose people just shuffled in and out and never stopped to see the man behind the sim card or to take the time to speak with him about life or things other than phone plans in all the time he lived there.   

So, with that being said.  The most important takeaway from this post is to be kind and inquisitive with others.  Take a chance to get to know people, even if it's just while you are getting your new sim card.  You never know how much that might make both your day and theirs.  I didn't have to be all the way in Spain to make a difference in someone's day, but it sure did make the first leg of this journey seem to start out on the right foot!

 Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

The Eagle has landed

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  A simple taxi ride from Barcelona to Spanish wine country turns up a barricade at my final destination making this trip worth fighting for till the bitter end. 

As I sat there numb on the plane, I sunk deeply into my seat with both relief and disbelief that I had finally boarded the glorious flight that would eventually take me to my dream destination of Spain.  It would take another 16 hours till touch down as I headed from Denver to Frankfort stopping for a layover and back on the plane to Barcelona bringing the delirium in well over the 36-hour mark.  I managed a few small naps in all this time, but the adrenaline continued to course through my limp mind and body while I awaited the magnificent journey ahead.

And before long, it came!  The eagle had landed, and I arrived into Barcelona with a delirious grin from ear-to-ear.  Did I just arrive in Spain?  I didn't even pinch myself.  I shuffled to collect my baggage and quickly realized now would have been a good time to know a few words in Spanish (for navigating my way around and negotiating what would be my first financial loss in euros).   

In all the haste back home I never put researching the exchange rate on my daunting checklist.  This lead to a bit of a dinero loss on the ole exchange rate (please learn from my mistakes) at the airport (a survivable setback, I've got this).  I suppose it also goes without saying that I packed the suitcase maximum allowed on the plane, so that meant taking public transit would not be an option when heading to my new tiny Spanish village in wine country (another manageable situation, no problemo).  Naturally, I followed pictures to the taxi bay and quickly realized this wasn't going to be one of those places I could be a lazy American and hope everyone else on the planet could communicate back in my native tongue (a good thing, of course, as I dislike entitlement).    

It was just that I was so tired and unable to think on any level after powering through the ten days I was given to exit the country and take this job offer in Spanish wine country.  My sister-in-law was one of the angels that helped me in my 11th-hour pre-boarding the flight.  She and my brother had me quarantined to their basement to sort through my final things for storing and packing before leaving the country (because they fell violently ill from a 24-hour bug).  Even though my sister-in-law was sick as a dog, she kept yelling down the stairs asking me how the final packing was going.  When she received several whimpers and sobs back as a response, she broke her rules for quarantine and repacked my bags for me.  This heroic step got me on the plane the night before, but it also meant that I had no idea where anything was in my bag.  

I knew I had a book with Spanish catchphrases in there somewhere, but now would not be the time that I'd find it.   Thankfully, I had for the foresight to write down the name and address of my hostal and handed it to the taxi driver hoping for the best.  100 Euros later would get me out of Barcelona and down the streets of a tiny, charming Spanish village in about 30 minutes time.  The taxi had trouble finding the hostal because the road leading to it had a barricade (I am so close now, it's all good in the hood).  

No problemo!  We parked the taxi in the middle of the road and wheeled my suitcases down the back alley which FINALLY  landed me in front of the Hostel in my new Spanish village.  Hallelujah!  Man, did I work for this moment, but there I was, standing in what would have been merely a dream ten days earlier.  I immediately checked into the hostel, and just as quickly I got my first bit of real sleep in over 36 hours time. 

Insert Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah here for those of you reading this offline:

 Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Just call me Willy Power!

While I was driving away from my Denver apartment for the final time, I cried in transit to my brother's house.  Not because I was sad about leaving the apartment, but because I needed to get present with myself.  Crying was the only way that my body and mind knew how to do that, so I sobbed on the journey to his house.    

It was about 10 am on New Year's Day as I pulled up to my brother's house.   I had left a disaster in his garage and basement, and the thought of tackling these final tasks were probably the truest tests of my willpower to date, and that's saying a lot!  I've tested it so many times; one could nickname me Willy Power!  Ha-ha! 

So, there I was. Willy Powering my way through this pile of things that I was suddenly caring less and less about (Crystal Ball moment here: they'd wind up stolen out of my storage unit months later anyway.  If I'd known that I would have just set them on fire and called it a day).  As I entered the basement, I heard the friendly but sickly voice of my sister-in-law from upstairs.  "Girl, we are all shitting our pants up here."  Wait, I must be delirious.  Did she just say that the family had a load in their pants?  Yep, she did!  My little niece caught a bug, and my brother and sister-in-law quickly followed suit.  They also believed they got food poisoning only pushing the grotesque nature of this bug to the next level.  I quite honestly didn't know how to feel.  I mean that.  I was so numb and delirious.  I was starting to lose the ability to process information.  Let's recall I hadn't slept in 24 hours and the nine days before that were no picnic.  

Oh, did I mention the upstairs shitter was my ride to the airport?  It's about 10:30 am at this point.  Now, quarantined to the basement because of the illness fallen upon the upstairs I felt I wanted to weep again, but there was no time for that now.  I wouldn't break.  This flight was going to happen today.  I was getting on that plane to Barcelona.  

I looked around the room, and a haze came over me.  I had to come to terms with the limited amount of room left in my storage unit, decide what I was packing for a bold move out of the country and deliver the sold car to my friend.  Now, I would add tackling finding a last minute ride to the airport to the list in the next few hours.  Did I mention that I now had a no internet pay-by-the-minute phone plan with no service at my brother's mountain house making it nearly impossible to arrange this necessary ride to the airport?  The pressure was mounting up, but somehow I would sort through it all and make my flight later that day by way of nothing short of a miracle.  That miracle would be named Val!  Again, angels come in all shapes and forms, and mine would be the lovely brunette that bought my car for her son.  

There is no need to go into details about how the rest of this day went.  I was tired, delirious, insane, but still determined and that's the point of this post.  It wasn't an option that this wasn't happening and so it did.  I got on the plane sisters!  With what seemed like all odds stacked up against me, it came together just as it needed to and I was driven to the airport just in the nick of time to catch my flight.  I am talking about running down the corridor to catch it, but I made that mofo with every last bit of my strength.   And so I was off, for this new journey to officially begin.  

 Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

When I needed help it would come

This post is about allowing the universe to take over the details when you can't possibly see them for yourself.  When I needed the help, it would come. 

I lived in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Denver; CO.  My apartment was on the 3rd floor, and my car/parking space located another block from the apartment.  At the start of this week, my place had been packed full of things (even after having a massive garage sale the month prior).  I wasn't remotely close to being in the clear after nine straight days of continuously running things to the thrift stores.  It was now my last night in the apartment, and I had to be out by 9 am the next morning for the "friend of a friend" to meet his new landlord and take over my lease on the first of the year.  

I ran up and down three flights of stairs, then one block over to my car for a straight 24 hours by myself.   I had unstrategically picked a storage unit about an hour outside of Denver that would close at midnight on that final crucial night in Denver.  Just after midnight, I began driving things to my brother's house temporarily until storage reopened back up again at 9 am on New Year's Day.  I don't know why not getting on that plane never occurred to me when the volume of work ahead would be overbearing.  The details of how it would happen were completely unknown to me, but I just believed that there was no other option and powered forward.  So, while everyone else in Denver was bringing in the new year cheer, I was a one-woman powerhouse on an unstoppable mission to hit the abort button on Denver for a magical slot of time. 

I could talk all day long about the things that felt like they were going wrong at this point, but let's focus on the crucial ones that went right and got my ass on that plane the next day.

My building had a handyman with two qualities I quickly began to see as a benefit to my dire late night situation.  Insomnia and hoarding issues.  Two things that would prove to be invaluable to my successful departure.  He would get a text message from me and start benefiting immediately from my weakened state of mind and body.  I gave him a good portion of cherished possessions that I had rationed away for storage.  I am talking about gems here.  Vintage collections of fabric, trims, tools, you name it.  All gone!  To this day, I both love and hate him for playing this role in my departure.  Without his instantiating appetite for hoarding and his inability to sleep regular hours,  I would have never completed the final rounds of removing my things to clean the apartment before 9 am.  

One of my best friend's would also be one of my last-minute saviors by moving a good amount of my things into the attic of his new home.  He left his garage open for me when panic was setting in that night so that my coveted vintage craft book collection and all my vintage glassware could escape the handyman's taking for the time being.  A mini hoarder's victory here!   

It was about 8:45 am, and as I drove away from the apartment I was in disbelief at how I managed to pull this part off.  I miraculously managed to get out of my apartment 15 minutes before the new tenant arrived.  The final words my building handyman spoke to me were that he'd never seen the apartment look as clean as I left it.  Phew.  With sweat still on my brow and storage reopening at 9 am, I put the pedal to the metal to head that hour back to my brother's house to load my car back up and sort through the last mess for storage. 

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

How I got the hell out of dodge and onto that plane to Barcelona (checklist)

I've mentioned a timeline, but I've yet to produce one to show you how the hell I got straight out of dodge and onto that plane in enough time to take the job in Spanish wine country.

I had ten days till Spain, and it was imperative that I multitask like a mofo to get myself organized to take flight to Barcelona on the first of the new year.  Whatever could that entail?  Well, just a few things on the ole checklist this week.  No big whoop here.  All in day's work ladies. 

Oh and just for old times sake, I'd like to repeat that this all happened in ten days chicas.  Below is the best account by my memory of all the things I had to accomplish within the ten crucial days I was given to catch that flight to Barcelona and begin the life-changing journey overseas: where teaching English would pay my bills, and the rest would be left up to chance!

Ten days till Spain checklist:

Legal Documents, Bills, and Resume:

  • Getting fingerprinted and running an FBI background check on myself to show that I wasn't a serial killer when I arrived in a new country to teach English.  This step might not have been necessary had I gone through Oxford's recruiting program, but since I found my job through a Facebook post on the TEFL Barcelona Facebook page, it was a good idea to prove my criminal record was clear.   
  • Finding and making copies of all my legal documents:  American Passport, Irish Passport, Social Security Card, Driver's License, Birth Certificate.  I must pause with a big shout out to Irish Grandpa Connolly here.  Having this second passport that I obtained through his decent is what allowed me to come to Europe and live without a visa.  Woot!  Woot!  Grandpa C!
  • Ordering and receiving original copies of all my educational requirements for teaching English.  Diplomas, Degrees, Certificates all had to be either rounded up or ordered for me to take along to Spain; it was equally important to scan copies of them onto my computer.  (Luckily, my proud mother saved the original copies of my degrees, and Oxford Seminars sent me a scanned copy of the Teaching Certification while they mailed the original to my brother for safe keeping). The scanned copy was enough to show my credentials to the school I would be teaching.  

Changing my address with the post office and on all my bills.  I did this when I was finishing up my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course to tell the universe "I'm so ready for this to happen now"

  • Scanning final bills and important papers, shredding and discarding the rest.  Having my utility/credit card account numbers and the corresponding phone numbers were some things that I needed when I had troubles with an account that didn't close properly in my haste to leave the country.
  • Canceling any automatic payments and keeping my bank account open was key since it can be challenging to reopen an account after living overseas for awhile. 
  • Saving all of my relevant contact information: Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant, etc.  I used a contact database built into my computer, so I'd remember where I put them.  Had I not been whirling around like a psycho in these last ten days, I would have made time for a better chat with my accountant about what to expect at the end of the year when filing.  
  • Getting a beautiful portfolio printed to show my previous work as a featured artist/writer in case I needed to freeball my next job in Spain or where ever else I might wind up in following the 6-month contract I landed in Spanish Wine Country.  I also made sure to have both written and electronic copies of my resume ready and packed away. 
  • Oh yes, there was that thing called a new career I was starting!  I brought some books on Teaching English, and I wish I would have known to stock up on some things at the Dollartree before I left.  I still cannot find a Sharpie here to save my life. 

Flights and Accommodations:

  • My sister-in-law was a champion in getting my brother to release a good chunk of his frequent flier miles to me so that I could get a one-way ticket to Barcelona on the first of January.  Miraculously, it cost him less mileage to fly me out on the first of January, which was also the day that my new boss suggested I get on the plane.  I love when that happens!  Again, no accident here girls.  The universe was sending me on my way.  
  • A huge measure of importance taken with regards to flying was finding out my airline's restrictions on baggage allowed on the plane.  Hello, hoarder up in here!  I had to maximize that mofo and get packed up as tight as possible for this journey again.  Having a giant scale to weigh my bags happened to be a huge bonus when I filled it to the exact limit. 
  • Getting luggage tags and books on Spain for the plane (I didn't read these on the plane, but one of them had a train map of the Barcelona subway system, and phrases that would prove valuable later).  Also making sure my luggage would be easily detected when I was delirious and landing in this new world to me.  A pink, black and white polka dot Betsy Johnson suitcase set did the trick and absolutely could not be mistaken at baggage claim. 
  • Oh, there was also that little detail that I had no home to arrive to in Spain.  Honey, I'm home!  Wait, I don't have one. Ha-ha.  Yes, I Googled my little Spanish Wine Village and found a Hostal through booking.com.  (Please note here in Spain for some reason hostals are more like hotels rather than the typical hostels we think of in America when were here this word).  No, I didn't have to belly up to a fellow traveling hippie after this long journey. It was my room with a bathroom and shower.  Thank you, Jesus, for that!  (Mama needed some sleep and a shower when she arrived).  

I booked the hostal for three days, and the universe would work with me after that on manifesting what I needed. 

  • I didn't have time to get or think about traveler's checks.  I'm still not sure whether that would have changed my life much differently, but I wanted to mention it for those that may want to plan better than I did.  
  • I wish that I 'd researched the exchange rate before leaving. Yes,  I lost my ass here exchanging money at the airport when I touched down in Barcelona.  That $5000 from the sale of the car got nearly diced in half at the airport with their exorbitant exchange rate charges and because the U.S. dollar had less value than the Euro.  Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but it was a good $1500 cut from the top here.  In the future, I would do this ahead of time if traveling abroad from America or I'd look for a bank in the arriving country.  Do not do this at the airport unless you are tired and as desperate as I was.  

Personal Belongings:

  • I had to get all my belongings donated, sold and put into storage which continued straight through till the very last moment that I was in the country (because of previously mentioned creative hoarding issues).  I drove to and from the thrift store which seemed like all day every day running carloads of things over for donation.  I found the cheapest storage unit possible and waited until the last minute to start stocking it up to delay my first bill and to postpone what would be left to store after donating like a mad woman daily.
  • I got the job offer in Spain on a Monday, and the apartment rented that Monday evening.  How did I do this so quickly?  I pulled together super-human marketing skills where no flailing or failing were options.  
  • I created an amusing video to rent the apartment that I posted on Craigslist and then shared that post onto my Facebook page  (tagging relevant friends that might have known someone needing a place).   I wound up with more responses back than I could handle from both Craiglist and Facebook.  I wanted it to ideally go to someone that I knew (or that my friends knew that needed help) and indeed it did!  The beauty of this was that my friend's friend was also working with me on the move-in timing.  He would stay clear out of my way up until 9 am on the 1st of January so that I could pull this move out plan off and get on the plane that same very day.
  • I scrubbed, cleaned and photographed my car and did the same things to sell it in record speed on Facebook.  The responses here were also incredible.  

I sold my car to a close friend who would completely save my ass by letting me use it up until the last minute that I was in the country and for being the one that wound up driving me to the airport to boot!  

Another huge hug from the universe here in an otherwise chaotic countdown. 

  • Unlocking my phone was necessary so that I could use it in another country and this took way more time than I allocated (an entire afternoon).  I then had to figure out how to keep my American phone number while I was in Spain for an undetermined amount of time but on a pauper's budget.  T-mobile had an amazingly cheap pay-as-you-go plan that I have been coasting with after investing only $150 into, and it's one year later.  This phone plan is great, but if I use the phone, it's mega bucks a minute. Otherwise, it's only about $3 a month to keep my old phone number for as long as I need, but I have to remember not ever to let the payments lapse, or I'll loose that old number forever. 

Friends, Family and Holiday:

  • It was during the holiday season, so that made saying goodbye to friends and family relatively easier.  However, what was not made easier would be the fact that I had holidays to celebrate along with the rest of the country.  That meant businesses closed, checklists delayed and some unnecessary stress added here to get things done on the week of Christmas and New Years.  
  • I had friends get a little sensitive with me here about goodbyes, and as you are reading through the psycho list of tasks above, I tried to take also owning this "inability to say proper goodbyes" guilt off my list. Hey, here's an idea.  We can see each other if you can help my suffering ass get out of this country on time.  Ha-ha.  I wish I just said that to people, but unfortunately, I didn't.   My suggestion might be to take a little more time here ladies.   Get clear on the help you need, so people know where you stand and can decide if helping you is worth saying goodbye.
  • I'd like to point out a rule that I quickly created when up against the clock.  I would focus only on the oldest and youngest people I knew because they would be the ones that would change the most while I was gone.  Make time for this if you find yourself in a similar situation.  I don't regret my choices here to see my one-year-old niece and my favorite couple in Colorado who are both into their 80's now that I love dearly like my family.      

I think this about covers what would be now called my Ten days till Spain checklist. 

At this point, I wanted to collapse from exhaustion, but I couldn't just yet.  I still had my final 24 hours where my lists would put aside, and a mad dash and miracles would get me on the plane from here.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Crazy as a shithouse rat!

Crazy as a shithouse rat. It's the only way that I can explain the chaos that would be called my life while pulling this travel plan together.  Did I mention that I am originally from Jersey?   It might be becoming more evident the more that I speak in cliches and quotes from my favorite sayings "Jersey style."   

You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can't take the Jersey out of the girl.  Just keeping it real up in here!

Speaking of keeping in real, I'm in Spain, bitches (I am saying this in a very jovial Dave Chappel kind of way)!  

Image provided by Huffington Post and modified by Bohemian Agent.

Yes, let's get back to how that happened.   It's tough to try and capture the intensity and amount of emotion that had been mounting in my life up until this departure.  It was dramatic; I had to think quick on my feet, and I had to make shit happen to pull this wildly crazy plan off in record speed.  In spite of all the chaos, the one thing that felt liberating was the fact that I was indeed pulling this off (and with the help of no other human beings).  I lifted every box, donated every piece of furniture and burned the midnight oil straight through the night on New Year's Eve to get out of my apartment the morning of January 1st and take flight to Barcelona that very same day.  Yes, it was nothing short of a serious hustle and bustle chicas.   

In my mind, this WAS going to be a 2016 thing.  It wasn't going on the "to-do" list for the future that might never come.  I wanted this so badly that it was blurring my vision.  How quickly can decisions blur my vision, you ask?  Well, it happened at speeds that might even make the bionic woman's head spin.  I decided that my life officially needed changing in the summer of 2015.  Let's just say that a deadly combination of bad decisions chased me right out of the country in search of my spirit again.  

Insert clip of Bionic Woman here (for all of you offline).

I left the unfulfilling job in September of 2015 (I recall the words "my soul is dying" coming out of my mouth during the exit interview as she tried convincing me to stay).  I enrolled in a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course by the end of that October.   I finished the course by the end of that November moving at an inhuman pace toward completion.  I then got assigned to a placement recruiter in December and found out that I was too old to qualify for their program in Spain.  I processed how I would move past this and went renegade to find my job on a TEFL Barcelona Facebook Group.  I got an interview from the first post I saw for a job, miraculously, and was offered the job on Monday, December 21st.  My new boss told me that I should plan on flying out to begin paperwork on their end on the 1st of the year.  I had ten full days to pull this exit off with no room for error, and neither hell or high water were going to stop me from getting on that plane.   

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Trust it will all work out

This post is about allowing yourself to trust that it will all work out.  I decided to get my TEFL certification to teach English to travel abroad.  Most people would probably take their time doing this, but I went through the course like I was the lead racer in the Indie 500.  After graduating the TEFL course in the least amount of time allowed.  I had the immediate misfortune of finding out that I was too old for them to place me in Spain using their recruiting contact.  What, too old for Spain?  Was that even possible?  I called the TEFL course with new questions daily as my brain tried to work through this unforeseen obstacle.  I probed them with questions to determine if this was a Spain thing or if I just encountered a hiring restriction from their program.  Here's what I learned. 

Rule number one for dream manifesters.  You've got to get down to the nuts and bolts of your no's gals.  Don't let the first couple of them stop you in your tracks.  Just know, they are going to reroute you to exactly the right place at exactly the right time.  Get clear on what you want and keep on forging ahead ladies.  If you want something badly enough, the best thing you can do for yourself is staying open to ALL possibilities of receiving it.  Don't get stuck on one specific way that your dreams will unravel or you may lose the opportunity that the universe was handing you on a silver platter (when all along you were looking for it on the gold plate).  

I found out the reason for being too old for this particular recruiter/program had to do with grant money that had a specific age cap of 35.  I then found out that the country of Spain starts school in September/October and it was now the beginning of December.  I stewed on these new facts and felt a temporary despair come over me.  Was this too much for me to dream past?  It may have seemed like the end of the line for most.  I admit that I succumbed to a depressed state for about two weeks time and then snapped out of it and proceeded forward when no other option lit my fire quite like moving to Spain did.   

I started asking more questions and doing more research, and it appeared as though I had found a loophole in this setback!  It was INDEED possible to find a job in the middle of the year in Spain only IF someone quit the position mid-year or IF the school hadn't filled the position that they intended to fill in September.  There it was!  I suddenly felt like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber when he gets rejected by the girl and asks what his chances are.  I had a grin as big as good ole Loyd in a very classic film about a determined jackass on a mission.

Insert clip of Jim Carrey here (for all of you reading this offline).

I decided it was best to go renegade to find my job in the interest of time.  Sure, I had no idea how to do this, and yes, there was that language barrier, but somehow I still believed there was a possibility that I could go in January.  When I say January, I am talking about the recently arriving January.  As in weeks from now January.     

I still had my heart set on Barcelona, so it seemed logical that I should join a TEFL Barcelona Facebook Group.  Please keep in mind that from the inception of this entire travel idea until the present moment had been approximately two seconds in dog years and almost three months in the timeframes we work in as humans.  Was I working at the speed of most people?  Not exactly.   

I combed (stalked) this TEFL Barcelona Facebook Group for something inspiring until I found a job post in a small village outside of Barcelona in wine country. Was this happening?  A job post in the middle of the school year that was near Barcelona?  I quickly responded to the post along with about 20 other people located in Barcelona.  Somehow I managed to get an interview for that coming Monday and a job offer on the spot once the interview took place.  I cannot tell you how clear wanting this job was to me, even though chaos seemed inevitable to follow if I were actually to get it.   

The job offer came on a Monday night.  The 21st of December, 2015 to be exact.  The glow that came over me was indescribable.  I asked my new boss when I should arrive in Spain.  She said it would be best to come at the first of the year.  What?  I had ten full days to exit the country.  In my mind, there was no option for this plan to fail.  I rallied up super-human marketing skills within myself and rented my awesome apartment that evening.  My brother and sister-in-law gifted me a one-way ticket to Barcelona the following morning using their Airline Miles, and I sold my used car (reluctantly) a few days later for $5000.  A massive garage sale had already taken place a couple of weeks back as a way of telling the universe I was grave and ready to go (before I had any idea these opportunities would come).   That is the most important thing that happened in the midst of all these temporary setbacks.  I explicitly told the universe I was ready and I started taking action toward that readiness.  The details (unknown to me) would unfold at a speed only a crazy person would consider enduring and that only a girl from Jersey might be ready to handle.   

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Nobody puts baby in a corner

Hello, again gals!  I suppose it's time for me to produce a timeline of how this mofo all went down.  Well, it was a fast and furious plan.  Certainly not the first of it's kind in my life!  Although it may be the craziest one yet.  I left the country in just ten days time (I will explain more on that later).  Please let me start this post by saying that I am by no means telling you to try this at home ladies.  I am merely giving you the idea that anything you can dream up in your heart IS POSSIBLE as long as you are willing to assess and (keyword) accept what might be given up to get it.  

The most important lesson of this post is that you never have your back up against the wall just quite as bad as you think you do.  I had no idea how I would move to Spain and live in another country, but somehow still managed to it believed it was still an option for me (while being the owner of an empty bank account and without the slightest clue how to speak Spanish).  I shall quote the late great Patrick Swayze to help me vocalize the power of this energy "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" when she has new ideas to explore.  

I've been doing my own thing since "73" sister girls, but I have experienced moments of great doubt when I've opened myself up to hearing the fear-based advice that comes instinctually from my loved ones (meaning I got some big-time resistance concocting this travel plan).  Please do pay your loved ones the respect they deserve, but also know that they might just be struggling with the idea of getting to know the new you (since they have become very accustomed to the old one).  Just be patient with both them and yourself on your wonderfully unique path to authenticity and abundance. 

There is a lovely clarity that begins to take shape in your forties that I am embracing on every plane, train, and automobile on this happy journey called the present moment.  Don't let it slip you by girls.  Take 5 for a little dream session today and allow some new energy to go toward some of those old ideas that have been put in the corner of your life.  It's never too late to revisit the things that make your heart skip a beat.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  

Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne

It's time to Abe Lincoln this bitch (of a situation)!

Let's talk about Abe Lincoln.  The man was too legit to quit!   Why am I combining MC Hammer lyrics with an Abe Lincoln story on a travel blog?  Well, because Honest Abe was a man that never gave up on his journey to greatness despite many setbacks.  Abe Lincoln became one of the most coveted American Presidents of all time at the age of 51, even after experiencing a laundry list of failures throughout his long career.  So, when a situation gets sticky chicas, remember this.  It's time to Abe Lincoln this bitch (of a situation) and forge ahead!  Am I right or am I right? 

Making a big change starts with two very simple questions.  How badly do you want this and assessing what you are willing to give up right now to make it happen?  

Are you familiar with the power of setting intentions and creating the life you long for using the law of attraction?  They are real things that you can access right now, no matter where you think you may be in your life, to make some incredibly empowering changes for yourself.  

One year ago today I arrived in Spain (more on this is coming).  Leading up to it I had no idea how I would pull off a travel journey of this magnitude.  All I knew is that I wanted no option other than this trip of self-discovery.  My heart so dead set on Spain.  I was already knee deep into the dream, and there was no turning back for me now.  I could feel it, taste it, touch it.  It was on like Donkey Kong ladies, and yes, I had an empty bank account.  

Taking a spin down the road less traveled meant saying goodbye to most of my beloved possessions.  Why did this sting so badly?  I had been on a hot streak of getting my art (indie redesigned vintage furniture) published the several exciting years prior.  Over those years, I started to believe that some big delusional paycheck was on its way into my bank account and somehow this allowed me to put off any aforementioned dreaming year after year.  In my mind, every published article of my work became one step closer to the "big payout" that must be coming my way.

Well, I am here to tell you that I am still waiting for it gals and holding my breath would have had me dead long ago.  Don't wait for the perfect moment to take action because the opportunity is likely not going to present itself this way.  The universe is waiting for you to create the momentum and tell it how badly you want this thing. (My inner optimist does want to chime in and tell you that I feel quite confident that the universe has been waiting for the perfect time to deliver something truly magical to me and it already has).  So here it is.  A quick snapshot of my previous life and how I just simply decided one day it was all going to change.

I had a pretty impressive creative portfolio, but my bank account was one fit for a pauper.  I am obviously not the first story of struggle in the pursuit of creative dreams, but I may be the first to say that I wouldn't change a second of it.  

The moral of the story is that after receiving serial jap slaps across my face from life; I learned that I was a very powerful creator of my own destiny (for the better and the worse).  All the struggles and triumphs have been part of my journey, my healing, the push that I needed and the energy that I was creating (and receiving) at that time.

There is certainly no crystal ball on how the future adventure stories will play out, but I can say this: "having regret about what could have been, felt a lot harder for me to write off than a few hard bumps along the path to authenticity." 

I simply woke up one day and decided to be happy again.  It was time for me to Abe Lincoln this bitch and get the job done.

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, the Bohemian Agent

Syndicate content