Hi. I’m Jazmine. And this is Julen.
This is all pretty much his fault, but I mean that in the best way possible.
Julen & I began dating when we were 18 during our first semester of college. Our first conversation was about his family’s hometown of Mundaka, in Spain’s Basque Country where he spent his summers surfing, fishing & eating his amama’s delicious home cooked meals. After three years of dating, I joined him on one of these summer adventures & I fell in love (with Spain… I’d fallen pretty hard for this dude already).
Fast forward to an unusually cool March day in Miami. We were walking the trails in the Everglades when we made the decision – we were moving to Euskadi (the Basque Country). We didn’t have a plan & hadn’t done any research (which, for a Type A whose entire life is held together by to-do lists, calendars & some duct tape, this was a huge deal for me). But, we just knew Spain was where we were meant to be.
Julen proposed on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii a few months later.
Since then, our move took a back seat. We’d talk about it from time to time, only to get overshadowed by talks of wedding colors & cake flavors. On especially stressful work days, we’d call each other & fantasize about leaving the hustle of Miami behind, living in Mundaka, traveling all of Europe & consuming my weight in pintxos & wine (okay, that last one was my fantasy).
At the beginning of 2016, amid engagement pictures & wedding dress shopping, Julen & I applied for the North American Language & Culture Assistants program through the Spanish consulate. The program places Americans in schools throughout Spain to aid in teaching English to students.
After what felt like an eternity of waiting & checking our emails & crying a bit (okay, YES that last one was me, again), it all happened & it happened FAST. We first received the notification that we’d both been placed in the Basque region & a week later received word we’d both been placed in schools in Lekeitio.
After a flurry of administrative forms and putting the final touches on our big day, Julen & I tied the knot on August 27, 2016 in Miami! The three weeks after our wedding were a whirlwind – we got rid of about 85% of our belongings, moved out of our townhouse to stay with Julen’s family, went on a beautiful honeymoon in Puerto Rico & then packed what was left our stuff into four suitcases & said “Agur, America!”
Our story is just getting started. I hope this blog will help keep friends & family updated on our adventure as well as serve a no-nonsense guide for becoming a newlywed, expat and wanderlust.