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Before yesterdayAmora Adventures

Living Alone in a Foriegn Country

1 May 2016 at 19:14

So for those of you that don’t know in September 2015 as part of my foreign languages degree I took the plunge and moved my little self all the way to a small town in the south of Spain. In order to be closer to my job I also took on the challenge of living alone for the first time. Yup that’s right I chose the first time that I live alone to be in a country that I have never been to, and after a few months I think it is only right to share some tips for anyone who is thinking of doing the same.

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  1. Keep busy

When you are living alone it is easy to fall into the trap of isolation and keeping to yourself, and yes solitude can be bliss and refreshing at times but like most things, only in moderation. Β So in order to find your balance, I suggest that you completely immerse yourself in your new culture and the best way to do that is to say YES to all new opportunities that head your way. That’s right I literally mean say yes to it all like in that film β€˜Yes Man’. When I first arrived here in Spain, the locals soon discovered I was the new English teacher in town and this opened up so many doors for me, work wise and socially. Colleagues invited me regularly into their homes for delicious traditional lunches, and experience new festivities with them, like Semana Santa. Additionally, an English examination company approached me with a teaching opportunity, to run English oral and listening classes for students in order to prepare them for their exams. Now I must admit at first I was very hesitant to accept the offer, as prior to moving to Spain I had not had any teaching experience at all. So understandably, many doubts cropped into mind such as; β€œHow am I going to control a class of teenagers BY MYSELF?” β€œI only just left teen hood myself” β€œHow am I going to make sure that they all pass their exam BY MYSELF?”. Well the truth is I didn’t know, so I shut off those thoughts and said yes anyway, and like most things in life I have had to learn along the way. I think living alone in a foreign country has been a great moment of growth for me and it can be for you too, if you just say YES to the unknown.

  1. Bring home comforts

Now just because you have set yourself up in a new setting, it doesn’t mean that you have to completely shut yourself off in order to embrace it. When I first moved, it was the little things that I never expected that I really missed from home. The main thing for me was home cooking, so I had a family member send me some seasonings so I could try and recreate them in Spain. It’s important to remember that moving to a foreign country can be an extremely overwhelming experience, especially if the native language is not your mother tongue and you are still learning the language. So sometimes when the culture shock gets a bit too much, try out an activity you would normally do whilst back home, whether its catching up with your favourite TV show or reading the next book on your book list. Whatever it is that helps you to chill out, that doesn’t have to stop now that you are living in a foreign country. In addition to this, I also brought family photos, some of my leaving cards and some motivational words to decorate and make my place feel more homey as opposed to just another rented apartment.

  1. Socialise with locals

This tip may be easier for some than others, depending on how you deal with meeting new people, nevertheless I still think it plays a key role in establishing your healthy new solo set up. We are social creatures so wherever we go it is important for us to make friends for our own sanity. If not this could lead to the temptation of reaching out to friends and familiarities already formed back home, which could inevitably lead to homesickness and, you get the picture that I am painting here. For me personally, I am quite the awkward turtle when it comes to meeting new people, but what you will come to notice about me is, no matter how uncomfortable things make me I will still push myself into a situation as I know it will contribute to my growth. Socialising with the locals has helped with the loneliness that can come with living alone, it has also helped immensely with my language learning development, as there is only so much the much the books can teach you, sometimes the best practice is the real thing. And a bonus is that you get to learn cool slang too, which is priceless.

  1. Try something new

This is my favourite tip as it is what has brought be here today, so of course I have to share it with you all. There is no doubt that living alone creates a lot of mental freedom and you can choose to either procrastinate and deteriorate your mind or occupy and enrich it. I suggest the latter, you know that thing you have always thought about doing, but maybe it just wasn’t the right time, life got in the way, or you never thought it were possible, or even worst, someone told you that you couldn’t do it. Well you can, and now is the time, if you have already made the big step to live alone why stop there, you are capable of just about anything. I always wanted to start a YouTube channel, after seeking advice from it for so many years, I wanted to see what I had to offer. And after all the years of watching I am now a person people seek advice from, just by sharing my experiences. Three months after starting my channel I wanted to find another way to inspire others, and yup you guessed it that is how Amora Adventures came about, although I never imagined it I love being a part of the blogging community; sharing my written words and reading the eloquent ones of others. So even if you’re not living alone in a foreign country never stop trying something new, as you never know what doors will be opened for you.

  1. Stay in touch with family and friends back home

Never forget that just because you live alone, it doesn’t mean that you are actually alone, you have people back home who love and care about you and want to know how you are doing. Sometimes unintentionally we can get side tracked from this as we try to adjust to our new lifestyle. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, communication is so much easier nowadays. Although I have only just taught my dad how to use Whatsapp Call (he was using phone cards to contact me before *facepalm*), there are so many ways to contact abroad, you have no excuse!

Well that’s it for now, I hope you can find some use for these tips even if you don’t plan on living alone in a foreign country. All of these tips are based on my own personal experiences, and so are life lessons which can be taken with you wherever you go πŸ™‚

Check out my YouTube Channel to see the video this post was based from.

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amorafirst

My First Time: Semana Santa

25 April 2016 at 10:04

I have come to notice that I haven’t really spoken much about my current situation here on my blog yet, so allow me to briefly set the scene for you guys. As of this moment I am living in the south of Spain in a little town called Montilla and have been doing so for the past……*counts fingers* seven months (wow doesn’t it scare you how time just creeps up on you like that). Whilst being out here I have been working as a teaching assistant and teacher actually, as part of my degree back home, but at the same time have had to learn to adapt and adjust to new surroundings and consequently a new way of life.

Since moving out here one of the things I was looking forward to most was Easter, simply because I had heard so many great things about it, and the celebrations seemed to be on a much larger scale in comparison to the non-existent ones back home in London. My Easter usually consists of relaxing with family, enjoying my auntie’s amazing fried fish with hard dough bread (if you know, you know), my dad trying to replicate it but failing miserably, and then the whole religion aspect of it all is pushed to the background somewhere. However here in Spain, there is no doubt that the religious aspect of Easter or Semana Santa, is very much at the forefront, but not in a way to exclude if you, if you are not a religious person. Somehow even if you have no idea what is going on or do not consider yourself particularly religious it still manages to be an enjoyable experience for all and I think that’s one of the things that makes it so spectacular.

On Good Friday or Viernes Santo as it is known over here, I was awoken by the sound of loud traditional compositions of trumpets, drums and cheers and I knew right away that this day was going to be an adventure. As I mentioned before, the town that I live in is very small (like I can’t leave my house without seeing somebody that I know kind of small), so when I stepped out outside my front door I couldn’t believe the mass of people stood outside before me. A friend soon confirmed to me that this is probably the only day in the year where the whole town comes outside, and I can absolutely see why. There is so much going on along the streets and even the narrow winding pathways. It felt like one massive town party with adults, teens, and children all dressed up, wine flowing (of course), families opening up their homes for all to pass through just to socialise, tapear (some things you just can’t translate), mingle and have a good time.

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Now let’s get to the main event…. The processions, although Spain is well known for their spectacular processions across the country I really did not know what to expect. So for those who are knew to this like me, try to imagine hundreds of men women and kids parading in the streets, where mainly men are carrying on their shoulders these massive floats known as β€˜Pasos’ each representing a different religious scene relating to Easter. I am always fascinated when I take the chance to pay attention to detail of the world around me, and the thing I admire most about the Pasos is that they really are works of art where some have been around for centuries and have still been maintained to a high quality which just demonstrates the sacredness of them. Moreover, I just love how this ritual unites the whole country together still after all these years.

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So all in all my ALOA would have to be that for many here in Spain, Semana Santa is like one big carnival for people to come together and be merry, and feel part of something really unique and special. Maybe it’s because I have been fully immersed into small town life now, but I can see why it is a tradition which plays such a huge role in Spanish culture, as it spreads so much joy and positive unity, and more importantly I definitely feel we could do with a little more of this back home in London.

Until the next Adventure

Amora First x

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Liebster Award: I got nominated!

14 March 2016 at 13:16

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Congratulations on all your hard work Amora – it shows!

Thank you soo much tmisseghers for allowing me to be a part of this award and more importantly acknowledging my blog in a large sea of so many creative writers. It has really boosted my blogging confidence and I have had lots of fun responding to it πŸ™‚

Liebster Award Acceptance Rules:

  • Thank your nominator.
  • Share the award on your blog.
  • Answer the 10 questions asked to you.
  • Ask 10 questions to 10 new nominees.
  • Notify them.

Tanya’s Liebster Award Questions:

For you, does blogging replace or enhance journaling?

Well I would have to say that blogging has enhanced journaling for me, given that I haven’t really kept a diary since I was young. This is because one day my step mother read all of my diaries, and I decided from that day forwards I would never write out all my thoughts in that way again. However now that I am older I am experimenting with blogging as I have discovered just how powerful ones’ words can be when articulated in a certain manner, and so far I am enjoying being a part of that.

What is your must-have while blogging? Glass of wine? Snackage? Helpful cats sitting on your keyboard? Music? All of the above?

Anything I can munch on! At the moment as I write this I am eating some shepherd’s pie, salad and a bunch of strawberries πŸ™‚ Yums. – You can take the girl out of Britain…..But you can’t take the British out the girl πŸ˜›

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I also like to write in silence or with soft music, anything else will distract my thoughts.

Have you ever attended a blogger’s meet-up in person? What was it like?

Nope I’m not even sure how that works but it sounds cool and I wouldn’t mind trying it out.

Do you always blog in the same physical location?

Well I am new to blogging so have only made a few posts but the majority have all been in my apartment either at my desk or in bed.

Β  What is your most creative time of day/night for blogging?

Definitely day time! I love the sun shining whilst I work, as that’s what gets my creative juices flowing πŸ™‚ Nighttime is strictly for Netflix/YouTube and chilling

Are you active on any other social media platforms?

Yasss! I have a YouTube channel which I am currently using to document my life since moving to Spain and I also give tips and advice for language learners, and to my fellow travellers out there! On top of that I’m pretty active on Instagram too, capturing all the cool sites I see on my adventures

Do you have plans for monetizing your blog?

At the moment I’m just seeing how creative I can get with this blog and enjoying the journey too. But who knows what the future may hold, never say never.

What is your all-time favourite post and why?

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/104002936/posts/42

This was the first post I read and first blogger I followed on WordPress (You can tell I’m a newbie since I still remember this). Why I think this post sticks with me most is because it’s all about transformation, growth and getting back up when you are knocked down and I find it amazing how this was the first post I clicked on when I was thinking about blogging. The universe is so powerful like that πŸ™‚ So here I am growing and transforming through blogging.

Name one person who isn’t blogging that you wish had a blog

This may sound a little strange but I sometimes wish that some of my favourite singers/rappers would post. Like there are so many artists who inspire me with their music, I just imagine if they were blogging too, the inspiration would just be levelled up. So to answer the question I would love Jhene Aiko or J cole to be blogging.

What is your reaction to the nomination?

Woow! When Tanya nominated me I was grinning so much, firstly it always excites me when I get that notification and see that not only someone has taken the time to read my work but also comment their thoughts on it too, it is just so motivating. So to be acknowledged for this award really uplifts me and gives me the hope and assurance that I must be doing something right πŸ™‚

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My Nominations:

https://musicteacherlifestyle.wordpress.com/

https://notallthingstouristy.wordpress.com/

http://dreamines.co/

https://tishowthelightgetsin.wordpress.com/

http://youngofw.com/

https://cherryflare.wordpress.com/

https://littleladyintheburgh.wordpress.com/

http://foodforsoul.me/

https://findingjoyinmeblog.wordpress.com/

https://kayleyislame.wordpress.com/

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My Liebster Award Questions To My Nominees:

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?
  2. What motivates you to keep writing?
  3. What type of blogs to do you enjoy reading most?
  4. Do you ever let others read your work before you post on your blog?
  5. Why is blogging important to you?
  6. What are your goals for your blog in the future?
  7. Do you reread your posts once you have written them?
  8. What is your favourite thing to write about?
  9. What do you love most about blogging?
  10. How do feel about this nomination?

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amorafirst

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Taking my blog to the next level

5 March 2016 at 09:21

Now that the blogging 101 course has reached an end I have started to think about the future of my blog. How am I going to keep it up or even continue to improve it without the supportive tasks, tips, and feedback from blogging 101? This course has been an amazing foundation for me, and I honestly would not have a clue how to begin my blog if it wasn’t for this, so I am extremely grateful. I have learnt so much in the last few weeks, whether it be through feedback from fellow bloggers, simply reading other writers work and getting to know different styles of writing, and most importantly the daily tasks. Although I found many of them challenging (proof of this is that I am still trying to complete them now even though the course is over), I appreciate them a great deal as I know for a fact that I would not have known how to go about writing my About page and thanks to this course it has been my most successful post to date.

Ending this course is a little like flying the nest. It is now time for me to take my own steps into this blogging world, so to get started I have decided to set myself my own tasks which will help to develop Amora Adventures, and so I figured that if I write them out here then I am more obliged to fulfil them since it is engraved for all to see, so here it goes:

Task 1: Unify my YouTube channel and my blog more closely together

I want the things I am most passionate about to be available on all of my platforms. So far on my blog I have only demonstrated my love for travelling, but one of the main reasons for how I manage to make it all possible is through my choice to studying languages. Therefore, I want to create a β€˜Tips and Advice’ section, (once I work out how to do that) all to with language learning, travelling abroad, and even living abroad since that is what I am doing now. So when I do not have an adventure to write about expect some Amora advice heading your way.

Task 2: Amora’s Lesson of Adventure- ALOA (I kind of just made that up now)

For each adventure that I write about no matter how big or small I want to acknowledge something new that I have learnt and share it with my readers. As I am sure I have read somewhere that success is in the journey not the destination, and if someone has taken to time to read what I have to say I want them to be able to take away at least one thing from my posts, so keep your eyes peeled for my ALOA’s (hey it’s growing on me already)

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Task 3: Set a posting deadline

This is going to be the trickiest task for me, as what I have found whilst on the blogging 101 course is that I struggle with consistency, but it is something I am willing to tackle and overcome in order to develop myself as well as my blog. One of my traits that will help me with this is that I do not like not completing things or giving up, so I am determined to keep going with this. So for now I am setting a goal which I know I can achieve and then as I progress I may change, no WILL change it so that I post more and more. With that I am going to start writing at least two posts a month which will be bi weekly.

It pleases me so much to know that readers are looking forward to following me on my journey, and without a doubt this motivates me even more to keep going. If I haven’t said this before thank you blogging 101 and my readers for giving me the skills, tools, and encouragement I need to take my blog to the next level.

Best of luck to all other bloggers on their incredible journeys!! πŸ™‚

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amorafirst

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Who am I? Amora First

12 February 2016 at 11:23

Writing this blog post feels a little bit like a job interview. The moment when the interviewer turns around and says β€œSo tell me about yourself”. In an instant your brain frazzles for all the relevant information that defines you, but at the same time makes you stand out amongst all others, gives you that WOW factor. What’s different? In reality, when you think about it, the things which make us unique are all our characteristics, traits, thoughts, and actions in their truest form, and not what we think others find special. So who am I? I am Amora First. No that isn’t my real name (I know what you’re thinking, what happened to my truest form) but it helps to explain why I am here, other than the fact this is the first task of the Blogging 101 course, which I am EXTREMELY late for by the way. So let’s break it down; β€˜Amor’ translates to β€˜Love’ in Spanish, β€˜A’ stands for Amber (my real name, see there’s the truth), so what you have is: Amor[LOVE]a[AMBER] [FIRST]. I have decided to use this name in order to share my truest form with the world in order to enlighten, encourage, and inspire others through my experiences, and the only way to share my truth is to love it.

I figured the best place to begin this journey would be to start exercising my creative side again as I feel that in the mix of work, studies, and travelling I may have packed it all away somewhere in a little box for β€œWhen I have the time”, but time is only really what you make of it, so here it goes.

I have to admit, blogging was not my first choice when beginning this adventure, in fact it was vlogging on my newly developing YouTube channel. Since vlogging my experience of moving to Spain, I have realised that I am not a natural public speaker, so expressing all my ideas that come to my head verbally, is not always easy. As a result, this has lead me to try blogging, given that, not only do I get the opportunity to practice my writing skills, but also I can rewrite and rephrase my words as many times as I want until they feel just right. I named my blog Amora Adventures since one of the things I love to do most in this world is to travel. So as I take on more and more adventures, I have decided to document all that I learn and experience. I am hoping that my YouTube Channel will be like the movie of my experiences, and then my blog would be the behind the scenes directors point of view. We’ll see how it goes. So I hope that kind of clears up why I am here, if not feel free to check out my YouTube Channel.

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All in all, if it gets to a point where people from different parts of the world, take the time to read the content that I put out, and can take away a positive outlook however big or small, like encouraging young people to travel, without the fear of money for example. Then I could proudly say that my blog is a success.

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Valencia: My new founded favourite city

24 January 2016 at 16:12

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What a beautiful start to the year it has been. Already I have dived straight back into the adventures, with my first stop at Valencia, and I must admit this city is something special. It has just the right balance of city life; not too congested like London or Madrid, but still has the usual amenities and frequent public transport to get by. Better yet, this metropolitan city is perfectly situated on the coast, with the rush of the Mediterranean tides, and thanks to climate change, it bursts with consistently warm weather. It is weird to think that I visited in January (one of the coldest months of the year) and yet there I was only 2 hours’ flight away from sleeting London, with my shades and light jacket on, watching the ocean waves at the average temperature of 20 degrees. It is the little things like this whilst travelling the world that truly fascinate me, which reminds me of a quote I came across the other day:

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The beauty of travel is that:

Someone’s ordinary

Becomes your extraordinary

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I could not agree more with these simple yet enlightening words, as after my short but sweet trip to Valencia I begun to visualise myself living there. So allow me to reflect on what it is about this city that has me captivated so tremendously. First and foremost, the astounding architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences, home to Europe’s largest Aquarium, is absolutely enrapturing; the striking all white, futuristic buildings are a must see. I could not help but imagine myself gliding pass them on my way to work in a mini hovercraft or something (OK so maybe I am getting a bit ahead of myself). The next would be the accessible transport, coming from London I am accustomed to the packed, fast moving, hustle and bustle of the tube and buses. But in Valencia I found the Metrovalencia quite refreshing, it was easy to use, affordable, clean, comfortable, and spacious. As it was my first time in the city it always feels welcoming to me when you can navigate yourself around a city without too much confusion. Moreover, one of the things I long for most in a city, is diversity; being surrounded by various cultures different to my own is a privilege which I never take for granted. Especially since moving to a small town in Spain where the presence of ethnic minorities is a scarcity, but an experience in itself nonetheless. Appropriately, this helps to explain why inhabiting in Valencia would be more preferable to me, given that it is rich with diverse culture and authenticity which is clear to see all over the region. Last but not least, as I am a language student, the exposure to new languages always thrills me, and whilst sitting on the metro immersed in the Valencian language; through advertisements and station call-outs, I found myself thoroughly enjoying trying to self-teach the language through comparing it to Castilian Spanish. Grammar, linguistics, and the origins of the words we use to communicate today, all make my brain cells tingle, but we shall leave that for another blog post.

So to conclude, Valencia you have been ever so good to me, so much so that I shall be returning without a doubt, in order to explore the vast amount remaining that you have to offer. The splendid climate, trendy beaches, the alluring surroundings, and diversified people would have to be my highlights. Maybe one day I just might be able to call this place home for a while.

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amorafirst

I Caught The Travel Bug And I Never Want To Recover

3 January 2016 at 21:35

From an early age, I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to the wonderful world of travelling with my family. As a result, I have now visited many different beautiful countries around the world; Canada, USA, Morocco, Italy, Jamaica (just to name a few). Therefore, it is no surprise that by the age of 18 I couldn’t wait to start manifesting my own adventures, and exploring the world for myself. Well when I say myself, I mean without the guidance of my family. I haven’t quite braved the solo backpacking journeys yet, but don’t worry it is definitely on my bucket list of things to do before I leave this Earth. Instead, my first β€˜solo’ travel was with my childhood best friend, and now new founded travel partner in crime, and we visited the captivating Cape Verde islands. I won’t go into too much detail of that trip as I think it deserves its own blog post. However, what I will say is that this trip was the kick start to my passion and drive, to see all the wonderful places our world has to offer. I know many young women my age, choose to spend their money on fashion, beauty, cuisines etc. So when I share my travel plans with my peers they are always amazed by how I manage to organise it all, and more importantly how I finance such holidays, whilst committing to studies and living away from home. The plain and simple truth is that, for me, travelling is my addiction and passion, and when you desire an interest so much, you make it your priority. So while I am young with little responsibility, I take advantage of this privilege, and as a consequence I have come to the realisation that since my trip to Cape Verde, each year more and more of my savings and earnings are invested into travel. Now at the age of 20, having visited 19 countries to date, I have recently set myself a personal goal to travel to at least two different countries each year. And when I travel, I travel in style. Furthermore, for each country that I visit, I want to experience something new and out of my comfort zone. So with that in mind as we embark on a new year I have already decided that I will be visiting Thailand and Costa Rica this year having never visited Asia nor Central America… Let the planning commence and bring on 2016 travels!!

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