Expat Files: Cassandra in Andalucia

There are plenty of super cool expats here in Spain. Most people who decide to move to a foreign country are open-minded, fun, and maybe just an overall bad ass. I feel very lucky to have met some and connected with others on social media. Moving to a foreign country can be a little intimidating but it´s a heck of a lot easier when you know that there are people just like you out there. So I thought I´d introduce some of these charismatic travelers on my blog so you can hear their story. Maybe their story is similar to yours and it can help you with any problems you´re facing or questions you may have. For me I find it so interesting that people love exploring just as much as I do. I´ve asked a few expats some questions and I´m linking their blogs below. Follow along and let´s meet them.

Here is Cassandra Le!

Her background: Originally a Virginia native, Cassandra is a Lifestyle & Travel Blogger and Spain Expat. She’s creating her “American Dream” outside of America, which includes a lot of traveling and frolicking through pretty cobble-stoned streets. Her mission is to inspire women to travel more, be fearless, and take on the adventure! You can join her on the adventure through her IG: @TQpineappleor her blog: www.TheQuirkyPineapple.com where she blogs about travel, being an expat, post-college years and the messy in-betweens of life.

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At her first home (Toledo, Spain)

1. Why did you choose Spain?

“Is it cliché to say that I didn’t choose Spain, Spain chose me? I think it’s a bit cheesy! I first visited Spain in high school with my Spanish class for 10 days. It was my first time traveling alone without my parents, and to be honest, the only thing I remember about that trip was visiting Toledo and eating amazing paella.

Fast forward to my senior year of college and I knew that I didn’t want to work a 9-5 office job like the rest of my friends, but instead wanted to travel, see the world and do something different! I thought of teaching English and was connected to my parent’s client who was already in the program. She told me about the Auxiliar program and about Spain and I was hooked! I knew I wanted to come back to this country and really learn Spanish. Plus, when I was a little girl, I remember I’d always tell my parents that one day I’d live in Europe!”

2. Can you tell us a little bit about where you are located?

“Currently, I’m located in a pueblo in the province of Córdoba in Andalucía! The town is called Lucena, and is the 2nd biggest pueblo in the province, right after Córdoba city. There are a lot of churches here, old people who always hang out in the plazas and A LOT of schools. The pueblo is pretty big, with about 25,000 inhabitants.

In Lucena, they are pretty religious (kind of). I’ll explain! They are religious in the sense that they truly believe in the patron virgin of the pueblo, Araceli. They have processions to celebrate the virgin and even a feria during the month of April called: “La Feria de Araceli“. It’s really interesting! They also have a great Thursday night life, where everyone goes out and celebrates “juernes” and enjoys tapas, which are also a big thing here. Also, it gets VERY hot, very early!

Oh, not to mention, I think everyone and their mother has a Vespa. It seems to be the cool thing!”

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Her and her boo in Cordoba

3. What was the biggest obstacle when you moved to Spain?

“Well, this is my 2nd year living in Spain. My first year was in a small pueblo outside of Toledo, in the region of Castilla La Mancha. The biggest obstacle was the culture shock I felt, especially being an Asian American. Although Spain is a developed country, I think it is a relatively new country, so there are not many immigrants here. My appearance is clearly Asian, so while walking around, I wasn’t used to people staring at me, whispering about me, pointing and talking about me and calling me “china” for a Chinese girl. It still happens, even though most people recognize me; but now I’m not so shocked when someone is staring or saying something!”

4. Can you describe Spain in three words?

“Historic, Beautiful and Vibrant”

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A view from the Caminito del Rey

 

5. What is one thing you wish you knew before you came here?

“This is hard! I think I wish I knew a bit more Spanish before I arrived, because although I’ve definitely made some great improvements in my Spanish, it would have helped me deal with land lords, understanding how to set up a bank account, etc much faster. The other thing I wish I knew before coming here is that patience is a virtue! Technically, I already knew that… but I don’t think I ever put it into practice until arriving to Spain!”

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That’s a wrap! I want to thank Cassandra for taking the time to answer these questions and it was so nice to hear some different a different perspective on life in Spain. Be sure to follow her on her social media and follow her blog at thequirkypineapple.com for lifestyle and travel inspiration!

Hasta luego.

 

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