Spain, Alicante

12th July 2004 – 19th November 2004 

I left Korea, a place that had become home, had become normal, had become enjoyably comfortable. I left great mates and a girlfriend behind in-search of the next chapter of my journey. I now found myself in Alicante, Spain, feeling lonely and missing them.

Alicante was located 2 hours below Valencia, golden beaches sprinkled with topless bronzed sunbathers and crispy red beached whales in town from the UK on cheap package deals. It wasn’t a place you went to experience the Spanish culture (you could, just had to try harder) as there was such a big tourist scene. But that always meant one thing, plenty of sun and plenty of options for nighttime fun. While in Alicante I made a conscious effort to explore other parts of Spain and diverse beauty from the greener Northern parts to dry desert like southern parts.

View over main Alicante Beach View over Alicante Marina, the heart of Alicante nightlife.

Compared to the concrete jungle of Korea, I found myself in paradise, living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I lived on the family property 40 mins out of Alicante, I had my own 2 storied house, view of the Mediterranean, a maid, swimming pool, and a 1 minute walk to the semi private beach. My first day I had been thrown the keys to take the kids into town.  The garage housed 2 Mercedes, a Jeep, a Jaguar and a limited edition Rolls Royce. So you can imagine how nervous I felt my first time driving on the opposite side of the road, on tight Spanish streets in an over-sized Mercedes!

The house, ummmmm should I swim in the Mediterrean or the Pool? View from my balcony

My job was to get the 17 year old son prepared for his GCSE high-school exams and teach the mother English.  He was an intelligent student, for example he was doing all his exams in English that was his third language, something I found impressive being from mono languaged New Zealand. A normal day would consist of class in the morning at my house, then we would go to the gym and/or play tennis, following that would go to Alicante for his computer course where I would take Spanish lessons while I waited. So it was a pretty good gig.

One day the father called us down to his office. In his German accented english he announced “I have just fired all the crew on my boat, how do you two feel about flying to France with me and helping crew it back to Spain?” –does a monkey eat bananas?- I obviously replied “I would love to”.  The following week, we left Alicante in the private jet and landed in Toulon and taken to the boat. When I say boat, I mean a floating mansion, it was 33 metres long and 3 stories of luxury complete with jacuzzi and pop-up flatscreen TV’s. It took us a week to crew it back to Alicante and were held up in the party capital of the world Ibiza for 3 days. Life’s a bitch working the world.

The worlds skinnest business teacher The floating mansion - a great weeks work.

After 6 weeks living the high life I needed some more independence and moved into downtown Alicante. My boss kindly gave me a scooter to commute the 40 minutes to work.  I found a place living with an Irishman and an American who had attended the same Spanish language school I had. It wasn’t good for my Spanish being surrounded with English speaking –if you can call Irish English speaking-, but there was never a dull moment being around an Irishman.

In November before the students’ exam I was called into the fathers office and was proposition with an amazing opportunity that would see the next chapter of my journey. The proposition was to go and work for his international company as an Assistant Marketing Manager (what I had studied at University) in Ohio, America. The start date was 1st February 2005, so I had 2 months to get travel out of my system before the corporate world consumed me.


One Response to “Spain, Alicante”

  1. Ling December 22, 2009 at 4:43 am #

    Your journey is really amazing and aspiring. It makes me miss traveling so much and wish I can just drop of everything and start traveling again.

    I bet the experience of working and traveling is completely different than just traveling.

    All the best in Antarctica. It is one of my dreams too! Am saving up for the $10k+ cruise ship.. unless if I am lucky enough to also get a gig waitressing on a cruise to Antarctica

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