Euro bound

The big move has finally come!

At this stage, I have re-checked my packed bags for the thousandth time and it’s now time to say last good byes – and worry dreadfully about forgetting something!

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Last goodbyes with my Lulu

Since being offered this incredible opportunity late last year,  to experience a full racing season in Europe, I have been busily running around trying to get life organised – which has been well worth it’s stress.  My Visa has been approved (with a couple of weeks to spare) which means the Spanish Consulate has successfully returned my passport, I’ve pulled together all the necessary paperwork (I think can think of so far) and my living arrangements are ready and waiting for me… Before even touching base in Spain! I figured it is much easier and less stressful process to get things done 15 774km (the exact distance to Spain) away, then to actually deal with the Spanish..

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From the last blog posted, “What’s to come…” I have been in contact with so many people who have been extremely generous with their advice. Thank you! I feel as though I have gained so much valuable life experience, vicariously through their encounters and have enough knowledge to survive, at least to begin with! And for those who know me quite well, you would understand how important it is for me to be over prepared.. For every occasion…
With 2016 underway, my new year has been a mad rush deciphering papers for my Visa application in which after sending it off to the consulate several days later, I was informed a couple of pieces were missing. It was bound to happen… And then another mad rush to send off the final pieces… Whilst trying to organise a place to live. It was busy busy busy!

 

For most people – comfortably, it will take around several months to organise a move overseas – I had to get it done in less than two months. And it has been well and truly worth it…  to get that tick of approval on my Visa. I would like to think, what an incredible accomplishment so far!

If anyone needs advice on how to apply for a Spanish Visa…

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The view from my apartment in Girona, Spain

In preparation for the trip ahead I have also given myself a couple of off-bike goals for the year. The first goal, which is easy to say let alone do, is to be completely immersed in the culture that I am surrounded in, and now with all this spare mental energy (that is not being used frustrated at the Spanish Consulate) I have been putting this into learning Italian, Spanish and a bit of Catalan (local language in Girona). My speaking capabilities are slowly coming along with a bit of study…

I may struggle to have a conversation, but at least I will be able to name every bike part in Italian and most importantly be able to order wine… Bianche or Rosso? With this personal goal I am also ready to make some massive lifestyle adjustments – to both the Spanish and Italian way of living. Bring on sleeping in til 10am and eating Paella at 10pm at night. It’s scary because its different.

Hopefully with a bit of preparation I have learn’t enough to have a basic understanding to be able to survive and at least understand whats going on in team meetings… However at this stage I feel like its going to be a lot, “si si si! what?” from me…
After the long haul flight and arriving in Girona, I have half a day to tranquillo in my new home town and explore off the bike before I will be off again the following day to travel to Verona, Italy to meet the crew who are behind the scenes, team directors and some team mates… During which time we will set up the new equipment (most importantly the Cipollini bikes!) and talk/ translate logistics. A quick pop over to Italy if you want to call it that!

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Looks like home already…

My first race of the season turns out to be a World Tour – one day classic in Mid-March – Ronde Van Drenthe in the Netherlands and that is correct, there is no easing into it in the cycling world…

Maybe I should start learning Dutch too?

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Euro bound

  1. …you will want to ask for a vino tinto! I’m in a very similar boat looking to moving across to Girona for a significant period of time this year – but didn’t think a spanish Visa was possible – would love to hear how you went about getting one of these… (Might be different in your case being employed by international team?). All the best

    Liked by 1 person

    • … I’ll have vino anything!
      Oh that is exciting to hear Brendan, I’ll catch you on the flip side then! I am more than happy to try to explain the process.. I applied for a ‘temporary’ non lucrative visa.. Which is a non working visa that lasts up to three years!

      Like

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