Hello, my name is Estrella and welcome to my blog.
Traveling around the world has been a long held dream of mine, and I am fortunate enough to have the opportunities to make that dream come true. I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, a city known for it’s celebration of multiculturalism. Though I love my country, and am very proud to be Canadian, in my heart I am not yet ready to build a life there. To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll ever be.
From a very young age I already knew I wanted to live at least part of my life abroad. Throughout high school I had planned to apply to teach English in Japan, but life brought me other opportunities. Through some friends I learned about the English teaching program in South Korea and applied to it in my final year of university.
Two months after graduating from the University of Toronto in 2010, I hopped onto a plane to Incheon, South Korea. My year in South Korea was one of the most challenging times in my life. There were a lot of firsts, both good and bad, but overall it was an enriching experience. Leaving South Korea at the end of my contract was difficult, but I thought I was ready to go home and I missed my family terribly.
I returned to Toronto but didn’t feel as content with life as I thought I would be. I began looking at other programs to teach English abroad with my qualifications and found the North American Language and Cultural Assistant Program. I applied, and in the fall of 2012 I moved to Madrid.
During my first two years in there I worked as a language assistant in a wonderful public school in Móstoles, a suburb of Madrid. The public school program limit placements to 2 years so to stay a third year in the Spanish capital I had to find a new job. Luckily I was hired by BEDA, another teaching assistant program that works with Catholic charter schools in Madrid.
I had only planned to stay for one year in Madrid and then move on, but someone changed my mind. About month after I arrived, I met and fell in love with an amazing Spaniard. He is one of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed in Spain and he is the reason I no longer call Madrid home. After months of little luck job searching in the capital, he was offered a great position in Granada. I’ve moved down here to be with him (and our pet cat, Nami!).
In my free time I attempt to learn Spanish (sometimes), drink tinto de veranos (frequently), and eat tapas (any chance I get).
The purpose of Estrella Explores is to chronicle my life abroad, to capture my travels through photos, and hopefully, to provide some information and entertainment to its readers.
My gorgeous header was made by the amazingly talented KitKat Pecson.
All opinions on this blog are my own and do not represent any organization I work for.
I believe in full disclosure, if I have been paid, or in any other way compensated, in regards to something I post about, I will explicitly put a discloser on said post.
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