365 Days of Writing

Exactly one year ago today, I published my first post and officially launched my first blog. I didn’t know what to expect, and, to be honest, the whole concept of a blog was rather foreign to me and something that I never thought I would do. You see, my attitude about blogs at that time was that it was an outright egotistical thing to do to even assume that people would want to read about my life. Yet, I was on the brink of an exciting adventure and even if no one visited my blog, I wanted to keep a personal record of what happened along the way, so I started to write. And I put it out there for all to see.

I wrote about my arrival in Torrevieja, my first impressions of Spain, the discovery of our cat, Gizmo, who was stranded in a tree. I tried to detail my new life yet had so much to discover and learn myself since I had just arrived. But as the months passed, my blog evolved and the readership grew.

There have been readers who have been loyal from the beginning. My sister has gone through crazy measures to claim the #1 spot in the comment section. My parents have been reading loyally – ever since they figured out that Facebook updates aren’t the same as a blog – and have been sharing my posts with my grandmother and my aunt who aren’t online. Amy, a friend from high school, couldn’t be more supportive in her support for my blog and my writing. Melinda, Grace and Heather who I have never personally met write in from Azora, Portugal, Apple Valley, California and Kennebunkport, Morocco, respectively. Warner, Pepa and Nadia check in from Altea – while adding color to my life and experiences in Altea. My good friend, Steve, is running my blog on www.hitchedmag.com, a resource and lifestyle website for married couples and AllBusiness.com just launched it on their site. And there are many others who are silent readers yet whose support is tangible.

You encouraged me when I was desperately searching for friends in Torrevieja, you joined along for the adventure when we visited an abandoned house only to find out that it was a whorehouse, you offered suggestions when I was struggling with my Spanish… and taking my frustration out on David, you lifted me up when a wave crashed over me and I had a small breakdown, you were by my side when I fell head-over-heels in love… with Altea, and you’ve been there as we’ve embarked on a business adventure with AlteArte.

And your constant support has encouraged me to keep writing – even when I was feeling lost after the restaurant in Torrevieja didn’t work out. Knowing that you were reading motivated me to keep sharing even though it would have been easier to just fall silent. Knowing that you were following us in our adventure helped give me the necessary push to take that leap of faith that was so vital to getting us to this next chapter.

A year ago, my sister, David and I headed out one night and accidentally stumbled across the hogueras de Sant Juan. Thousands of fires lit up the beaches of Torrevieja and we watched in amazement and wonder as the locals burned anything and everything. It was a celebration of the longest day of the year, and we stood on the outskirts and took pictures.

The hogueras de San Juan happened again two nights ago, and we headed down to Altea’s beach after we closed AlteArte. But, unlike last year when thousands of fires blazed around us, this year, we arrived too late and found the beach empty. However, unlike last year when we didn’t know anyone and therefore participated only as onlookers, this year we were with friends and shown the rituals and instructed in the true meaning of San Juan.

Standing in the Mediterranean at 4 in the morning with my jeans rolled up to my knees, I followed Warner and Pepa’s instructions for a ritual process that was supposed to cleanse me in preparation for the new season, and I threw flowers, a slice of lemon and a .5 cent coin over my shoulder while making a wish. And then Pepa made a tiny fire which, had we done it correctly, we should have jumped over in order to benefit from good luck and health for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, we weren’t equipped with the necessary materials and the tiny flame was out in seconds yet still appreciated for its symbolism.

What awaits in the year ahead is anyone’s guess, but I am officially cleansed and ready.

And, thanks to your undying support, I will keep writing. Thank you for following along in this adventure, thank you for reading a year of blog posts. I hope that you continue to check in and share your comments and reactions.

Because the one thing that I do know for sure is that the experiences over the last year wouldn’t have been the same if you hadn’t been along for the ride.

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19 responses to “365 Days of Writing

  1. You have come a long, looooong way in ONE year – it seems like decades since you set off on this new adventure to me! Happy one-year blogaversary! It makes me sad that this is also the one-year anniversary since I headed off with you to Spain for the first time – and that I can’t be celebrating alongside you on the beach! Your blog is a year older, and so am I!

  2. It is hard to believe that it really has beeen a year already that you have been writing this! And what a wonderful product you have churned out with alll your writing.

    You continue to write in such a vivid and entertaining way, and we have become addicted to your blogs! Don’t ever stop writing! And your grandmother and aunt are avid fans of yours as well as – should I mention? – your sister~

  3. Wow, Sara, I can’t believe it’s been a year already since you left the US! Time really does fly… I’m so glad that all is going so well for you, and so glad that you keep this blog. You always have been such a talented writer! Thank you, and good luck to you for this next year!

  4. Keep writing! Your adventures are worth the time to read.

  5. thans for great sharing

  6. And thank you Sara for sharing. I am so happy for you and so proud of you. Reading your blog these days makes my heart sing–and we could all use a little more songs in our hearts.

  7. OMG you actually blogged our pix.
    You gonna blog our latest all wet fiesta pix as well?


    seeye later

  8. BTW to comment on your message;

    You are a great narrator and writer, you should really keep it up.

    Now you owe me a beer (chuckles)

  9. david,the hubby

    thanks to all of you who supported sara’s blog for the last year…this proofs at wich point friendship can be wonderful,even thousand miles away…

  10. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary! I am so glad that you have found a new life full of happiness and rich experiences over and Spain, and I’m glad that we can reap the benefits of reading about your adventures on a weekly basis! Its a great way to keep up with you, even if it can’t always be via phone and given your crazy schedule I’m sure it allows you some freedom as well! Keep up the good work, with AlteArte, with your writing, with raising kittens, and creating a new life for you and David!

  11. Sara,

    Very Impressive!! one year! what an accomplishment. I am glad that you have this running blog. It is nice to be able to read updates and see pictures. your blogs are richly packed with information. Keep up the good work!

  12. Really a year all ready!? Shocking! I must say Sara I have loved reading your blog and getting to experience a little piece of your wonderful life in Spain! I am so proud of all you guys have accomplished!! I hope you do indeed keep writing for many many years to come so we can continue to be apart of this great adventure!!! Love you guys! :0)

  13. Sara, I can’t believe it’s been a year! Reading about your adventures always inspires me – it’s amazing how determined you and David are and how hard you work. Congratulations on all your success as an entrepreneur and blogger!

  14. Sara, on my happiest days, I check your blog eagerly, to feed the flame of joy…on the more challenging days, I look to your blog as a soothing balm, reminding me that even the most challenging experience (such as stumbling upon a whorehouse!) can ultimately be a step in a wondrous journey…such as your amazing restaurant! My one wish is that I will one day be able to journey to your beautiful spot on the planet and share in a little of the culinary and atmospheric delights you harbor there…May the next year prove even more interesting! I can’t WAIT to read all about it!

  15. Wow!!! Time has flown by so quickly and look how much you’ve accomplished! I’m so inspired and can’t wait to visit you soon!! Lots of love!

  16. Hey, congrats on 1 year. Thanks for the shout out, I totally enjoy your blog and love reading about another vegetarian living overseas. I just got back from my awesome trip in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, so if you are curious, not sure if you saw, but I posted from there everyday. Congrats again!

  17. way to go Sara! Such a great blog! You keep me encouraged in your writing as I try to finish eking out my dissertation. (does that sentence make any sense…prob not) So glad to hear you’re enjoying Spain–your readers enjoy it vicariously through your writing! Keep it up girl!! 🙂 xo Anne

  18. YEAH!!!!!!!!! Happy Anniversary!!!!! I’m so glad you did it and are still going strong!
    And dang, you have so many commenters now. You are a blogging superstar!!!

  19. You guys are the best! Thanks for all the sweet comments! The best reward of this blog is to read all your comments, so thank you! You keep me going strong! I appreciate each and every one of you.

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