Here is what I have written in my memoirs so far in 2021.
Monday, January 18, 2021
I have started writing my memoirs and to be honest, I have updated those more than I have this blog! So, I will copy and paste everything I have written from 2020 and 2021. So much has happened to me in such a short time since we left China!
Well it looks like in 2019 I was overly optimistic about 2020. This has not been a great year for anyone so far.
Our plan was that Jenny would leave for Spain in September and I would stay until January 2020, to finish out my contract and then I would fly to Spain to rejoin her. This four-month period of time was the longest amount of time that we had been separated since we met each other. It was not easy to be away from my wife for so long, but I was staying busy working and getting ready to move. There were times that both of us were lonely and missing each other and it felt like the days would never go fast enough.
However, before we knew it January 24th had arrived and after finishing all the things I had to get done at the university, I boarded my flight from Shenzhen to Madrid and then onto Pamplona Spain. Finally, after four months I was able to be reunited with Jenny once more and start my new life in Spain.
From this point forward, I will need to arrange my working visa, we need to get a car, I need a driver’s license, or a new apartment and all the basic things that one needs to start a new life.
We will see what happens for me (and Jenny and our family and friends) in 2020 and find out what life has in store for me and us. I look forward to seeing what happens.
As of March 2020, the biggest story here in Spain and around the world is the Corona Virus (or COVID-19) that has paralyzed the world. Everything has shut down here in Spain and worldwide. We are in our third week of total lock down here in the house. We can leave (one person only) once a week for groceries or to go to the pharmacy or hospitals. Luckily, Jenny and I are still able to work online. Many people are not so fortunate. The only people allowed to be out are the ¨essential¨ healthcare workers.
As of March 31st, 2020, there are 801,061 cases worldwide with 38,748 deaths. These numbers will just keep climbing unfortunately. This is unlike anything the world has seen in over one hundred years at least.
Spain is currently third worldwide in the number of total cases (94,417) and second worldwide in deaths with 8,189. Scary stuff. Luckily, so far no one that Jenny or I know here has been personally affected but that could change. My sister in law works in the hospital and many people are getting infected.
But Jenny and I now have jobs, an apartment and a car so as of right now we are still doing ok. I am more worried about my family back home in the U.S.A. than I am about us though.
The U.S. is generally much less well prepared, and people seem to be taking it much less seriously there. Our current President and administration are not helping matters. I truly hope that things get better sooner rather than later.
Hopefully the whole world will have learned something from this, and we can all come out stronger from this. The only positive thing is that (at least for now) we humans are doing much less polluting and general destruction of our only planet.
April 5th, 2020, a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. This was the day that Jenny told me she was pregnant with our first child. I still can't believe that we have created a new life that will arrive in nine months. I am beyond scared, so nervous and unprepared but excited. I have no idea what I am doing, and I know nothing about babies but now I have something beyond myself. Someone who will live beyond me.
I have a legacy, someone to pass on not only my genes but also my ideas, parts of my personality and more. Of course, I am not the only person involved in this process, in fact, I have the easy part. Jenny has the hard part! Our child has 50% of her as well.
We are partners in this new adventure and many years from now, maybe my future child will be the one reading these words.
Now we have a responsibility to try and give the best life possible to our child. I hope Jenny and I are as good at parenting as our parents have been. I couldn’t ask for better parents and I know she would say the same.
We will have big shoes to fill. As of May 25th, 2020, we are in week twelve of our pregnancy. We still do not know if we are going to have a boy or a girl, but we are super nervous and excited either way.
In three days, we will go for our first sonogram and hopefully be able to find out the gender of our little one. As soon as Jenny told me she was pregnant I felt a change inside of me. I became extremely emotional and excited at the thought of becoming a father and to have done my part to help create a new life on this planet. Creating a life is one thing, raising a child is a completely different matter!
However, I am positive that Jenny will be a great, loving, caring and involved mother and I only hope I can do half the job that my dad did to raise me and that I will be a good father as well. I sure am going to try my very best to give our child the best life possible.
I already feel more love than I ever thought possible for him/her and our baby is not even here yet!
I am excited every day to see and feel the changes in Jenny's body, knowing that our little one is growing inside her and I cannot wait to hold my child in my arms.
This is unlike any experience I have ever had, and I have never experienced the feelings that I now feel with anyone or anything else in my life.
This is a new and exciting adventure! I got to feel Eliana kicking in Jenny's belly. That was an exciting day for both of us.
We are very happy and excited and can’t wait until she is in our arms. We are hopeful for a smooth and uneventful delivery so we can see our healthy baby.
After arriving to Pamplona in January, I got a job at the public university until March but then we went on lock down and we were basically locked down to the apartment until the end of June so we didn’t get to do anything outside of the apartment and then I ended up in the hospital. In June 2020, I started vomiting and experiencing headaches. This started my eight-week journey at the hospital in Pamplona. Spain. My mom has come over from Texas and Jenny´s family has been great. I ended up having three brain surgeries.
The first surgery, the doctors tried replacing the shunt tubing. After that didn't work. They decided to take out the shunt tubing for a week to monitor the flow of liquid.
Well that didn't work either, so they ended up taking my thirty-five-year-old shunt and giving me two new programmable shunts. These shunts can be adjusted with magnets without having to open my head to do another surgery. So, I survived three brain surgeries, but I have a lot of recovery ahead of me.
Unfortunately, I have lost weight and mobility and I am still weak, and I have some facial paralysis with a wonky left eye that needs correcting (hopefully it will be self-correcting with time, but eye surgery is an option for the future if needed)
So, I have lots of rehab ahead of me to get back to 100%. But I am hopeful that with time and some hard work I can fix my left eye and get rid of this facial paralysis.
I know that physically I will gain my weight and stability back, so I am not worried about that. But it has been nice having my mom here to help and give me some good Southern food. Of course, we will get to see them again in December when Eliana is born. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms and hopefully both of us will be 100% healthy in December.
Friday, February 14, 2020
Sunday, December 23, 2018
They have a lot of things with sauces and creams in the middle, a lot of spicy or sweet and sour flavos. They eat a lot of rice here and lots of green veggies. They love to eat fried food and food with a lot of oils and stuff. I really am quite amazed that they are as skinny as they are here with all the fried food that they eat.
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Sunday, December 02, 2018
I got offered a job in China back in June and Jenny and I decided to make the move to China! I love Colombia and really enjoyed my (almost 7 years) there. I am already missing it and missing the ability to communicate, since we don´t speak Chinese!
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
So we booked a hotel online from here in Bogotá. It looked nice but once we arrived, it was in a terrible area and a total dump! We didn´t even have a mirror or a toilet seat! So after one day of staying in that hell hole we left. We found a much better place to stay albeit much more expensive :( But, we were able to meet up with a coworker of mine and his wife in Medellin. They happened to be visiting at the exact same time as us.
We all went to a natural science museum and it was actually really cool. Then Jenny and I had a great dinner. We ate at this Italian pizza place and it was real pizza! Super super good! Not like the usual bad pizza you get here in Colombia. The chef was true Italian. Medellin is so much cleaner and more organized than here in Bogotá. They have a metro train system and a cable car system to transport you all around the city and up into the mountains. They even have giant escalators to transport you directly up the mountain! It is super cool!
We also went on a tour around and outside of Medellin. We took a boat ride on a cool lake and we saw a giant rock that they have built stairs into and turned into a tourist attraction. The guy who owns the land must be super rich because there seemed to be about 10000 people there and they charged about 8 dollars just so climb up that rock! For that reason, and for the crowds we decided not to summit the rock but we still had a great view and a great time. We also visited a typical traditional little town which was neat to see.
The only mistake that was made we Jenny begged me to plan something for our trip. Something set in stone. Well those of you who know me, know that I am not a big planner. Never have been and most likely never will be. So I decided to plan nothing to prove to her that we could have a good time without planning anything. My plan to not plan, was to go to the tourist information office and ask them some questions and plan on the spot. Well what I didn´t realize was, because of the holidays they were closed!
So my plan to not plan, failed! I had to eat some big crow on that one! But we still had a good time none the less. I really really enjoyed Medellin and would love to return!
Yall take care,Tyler
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
I wish I had more to tell you but right now this is all I can think of. Yall take care,Tyler
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
She was nervous about her level of English but she did great! All of my family loved her and we had a great time. I took her to Austin and we stayed at my uncle's house and toured around Austin. After that, I took her to San Antonio and to The Alamo and all the touristy stuff in San Antonio. Back closer to home, I took her to Denton and The Square, then we went to Downtown Dallas and The Kennedy Museum. I also took her up in The Ball (reunion tower) in Dallas and we got to hang out with my best friend Matt. I showed her around Frisco and Little Elm and The Colony as well. Jenny only had 10 days before she had to go back to work and it went all too fast.
After she left, I stayed another 10 days or so and celebrated Christmas with my family. Then I headed back to Colombia on the 25th. When I arrived back in Colombia, Jenny's family was already there. She lives here in Bogota with her brother but, her parents and sister live in Spain. So her parents and sister were here in Bogota. Also her brothers fiancee is here in Bogota. I have had a really good time visiting with them so far. We went to a city about 6 or 8 hours from Bogota and it was close to the desert. It was really neat going to see the desert. It wasn't like desert with sand dunes but more just kinda barren rocky terrain. After leaving the desert we went to a water park and that was fun.
I am still not working at the moment but I am staying busy searching for our next apartment. my contract is up 1 march so Jenny and I need to find an apartment quick! I will start back at work at the end of this month. Jenny's sister and father have now gone back to Spain but her mother and her brothers girlfriend are still here. Jenny is of course busy with wedding planning and working so we are all staying busy! I am helping out with the planning where she needs me but she is doing the lions share of the work really. We have the invites,my tux,her dress and things are moving along smoothly, getting ready for that august date!
So I guess that is it for now. Yall take care,Ty
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Anyway, just wanted to give yall the heads up. See you soon!
Sunday, November 22, 2015
On a happier note, Jenny and I and her brother saw the new James Bond film Spectre. It wasn't the best James Bond I have ever seen but it wasn't the worst either. Other than that, I am busy with my last weeks of work and getting ready to go to Texas with Jenny to visit my family and friends. Jenny and I are deep in wedding planning as well (ok mostly her haha) but that is coming along well. Really other than that, I am just living life and pretty happy :) wish I had more to tell you but that is about it for now. Things here in Colombia are going along swimmingly and nothing crazy as of now. Hopefully it stays that way.
Yall take care,Tyler
Sunday, November 08, 2015
Ben and I traveled the world together for 2 years. Between 2009 and 2011. I can say (and I think I speak for him as well) that our travels were some of the best times in our lives. We were both working and living "normal"life but we were so free. It is really indescribable if you haven't lived through a similar experience. We was so happy and so free. Doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted free to travel and see the world and explore and take advantage of every opportunity offered to us.
In a way, both of us are living in the past. Because we both compare our current life experiences to the experiences we had four years ago. Our barometer for happiness has become the happiness we felt four years ago. We are constantly trying to reach the point that we felt 4 years ago. We constantly talk with each other (and others) about experiences we had 4 years ago but the only people who care are us. It isn't always good to live in the past, but it is also hard to move on when your barometer for happiness is stuck in the past.
Both of us aren't kids anymore. I am 30 and he is 28. Eventually you have to get your life together and figure out what you are going to do for the future. You can travel for your whole life if you want, but you will most likely end up a lonely old man with no one and nothing. That is not what I wants nor does he. We have such great memories of our travels and it isn't like we can NEVER travel again but now I think our travels just have to change.
I don't want to suggest that I am completely unhappy with my life. That is so far from the truth. I am in love and getting married! Jenny is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn't change or give up our relationship for anything in the world. I am happy with my life. I guess I am just not happy with routine. Once you break out of the box its hard to go back in again. For the most part I just live my life, go to work,see Jenny and do normal stuff. I mean that is life. I may live in Colombia and many of you thing I live this exotic and amazing life but in reality I do the same things as you, just in a different country. Really the only time my old emotions come flooding back is when I see a video about someone dropping everything in their life and going to travel the world. Once a traveler always a traveler I guess.
More than anything I want a life with Jenny. I want to be married and be with my wife and enjoy married life. I am very excited for that! But I still have that free as a bird spirit. It is hard sometimes to be torn in the middle. The solution I think is to have a conventional life that makes you happy while still trying to do unconventional things to keep it interesting. I just don't want to die and say wow I was so boring and I never did anything, I don't want to grow boring. I want to be exciting and have an exciting life! Luckily now I have Jenny to join me on adventures and I know now that I won't be alone she will always be by my side to support me and I will always be there to support her.
I know that this might not make much sense to some of you but I wrote it to express myself and maybe someone else is feeling the same. Maybe I will help a fellow traveler to know that they are not alone. I just want to reiterate that I am not unhappy with my current life, quite the opposite! I am very excited for my future! Maybe what I need to do is just reset my barometer for happiness. But I welcome your advice/suggestions.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
You know, I took a risk when I was 24 and I moved across the globe to Australia and it was hard and scary at first but I have survived and I haven't looked back since. But, I am writing this to yall (and myself) because I want and need to make a promise right now.
Learning a new language is easier for certain people and harder for others. As for me personally, this has not been easy to learn Spanish but I have been trying. I have been studying. I have learned quite a bit but I do have a long way to go until I am at a level where I can actually be a full time certified translator. I do study on my own (Duolingo and such) but there is more I can do.
I am writing you this because there is more I can do and more I need to do. I have been taking classes but it isn't enough. I have this goal but I need to get hungrier. I want this but I need to want it more. I need to get to my goal faster. I saw a YouTube video recently and the guy said you are the sum of what you spend most of your free time on. I work two jobs. I work hard and I work a lot. I teach English so most of my time is spent speaking English. It is ironic that I live in a country where Spanish is the official language and I have to try hard to speak it with anyone other than Jenny.
You know how I spend most of my free time? I am usually really tired when I get home so I love doing things that are "no brainers" to relax. Like reading the news,watching YouTube videos,movies,series etc. It helps me unwind. It is enjoyable to me. But you know what else? It doesn't get me any closer to my goal and my dream. I am working hard to my goal of being a translator but I can work harder and I need to work harder. I need to stop spending my free time with my brain off and I need to start working hard in Spanish to get to my goal faster.
This is my promise to myself and to yall. Tyler