McClarKinnon Adventures— June 6

<Written by Justin>

We’re aware that one of the flaws of social media is what is shared doesn’t always reflect real life. It is easy for individuals to share only the best moments and avoid a broader range of emotions and experiences. We want to share a well-rounded look at our life since leaving California.

Since moving the highs have been higher, but there are still moments and even days that are pretty low. Some days have been amazing and magical. And some days have tested our patience and emotional stability.

In the spirit of transparency, here are a few photos and stories that reflect a balanced experience. While we’ve LOVED Sagrada Familia, fantastic food, and Yo-Yo Ma, we’ve also dealt with this stuff too.

This is the third litter box we purchased for Gizmo. While he was physically standing in the litter box while he relieved himself, his urine was spraying out of the litter box and onto our floor. Meaning our apartment smelled like cat pee for a few weeks, and we spent $100 on litter boxes.

Soon after purchasing our third litter box and moving it a third time, Gizmo peed on our bed. We discovered this when Paige crawled into bed after midnight and laid in it. After a long vet visit, we learned that he is 100% healthy. Just a jerk and/or acting out with all of the litter box changes. We slept on a twin mattress in our guest room for three days while we cleaned, aired out, and dried our mattress while also making trips to the laundry mat to wash the comforter.

Tessa had a cancerous growth in her ear and had surgery to remove it. We went to a couple of vets before we found the right one. She is doing great, and the operation was successful. But it’s been hard to find a vet, communicate our needs and next steps, and feel confident in how we are managing the pet’s health.

I (Justin) had an anxiety attack at this coffee shop when I couldn’t communicate with someone who worked there. I got very self-critical that I wasn’t working hard enough to learn Spanish and that I was just a monolithic American tourist displacing local people with my privilege and digital nomad lifestyle. This has been a persistent concern.

There are some things we really like about our apartment — the location is perfect for us, and we have tons of sunlight. However, we have additional guests that aren’t welcome — bugs. As the temperature has increased, the number of bugs has grown as well. There are three different types — 1) tiny and slow, 2) medium-sized and fast, and 3) large and average speed. We can’t wait to leave those roommates behind.

This photo is from before the move. The time zone difference is hard. We’ve rebuilt our days to start later, but it’s still an adjustment. We’ve both had nights where we’ve been on conference calls and work until 2 am. Additionally, it has been harder to keep in touch with family and friends. There have been moments where we have felt bad that we’re far away from loved ones and can’t help them in the way that we would/could/or want to. It presses on fears that we are not the friend/family member that I want to be.

We hope this wasn’t too much of a downer, but we want to be real. We hope that you enjoy sharing in the positive moments with us, and you will continue to share your own ups — and downs with us too. ❤️ y’all

These are the adventures of Paige, Justin, and Tessa as we live and travel abroad.