The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad

Fracawesome: When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

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Today marked the 28th day of my 30/30 Bday Challenge and despite having a lot of work I needed to get done, I drug myself out of the house to go watch the sunset from a place that I was told was the *best* place to see the sun set in Madrid (not the Egyptian Templo de Debod, which is a great place, but since I’d already seen the sunset from that location before I was in search of a nearby park where it’s supposed to be even more spectacular). Unfortunately, after nearing the place I thought it was and bumping up against a few dead ends, I started to realize that the sun was going to be gone in the next ten minutes and I was lost and unable to find the park I was looking for. I was annoyed, a little mad at myself and worried because…now what was my new thing going to be? I started wandering back towards home, looking out at the sunset I was missing out on and then it hit me...I might not be able to see the sunset from an entirely new place, but I could have a new experience of watching it set, so I slowly made my way home, taking in the sunset, and twilight sky, from different angles and snapping pictures of the sky at moments when it particularly took my breath away. And this was the result, which despite my phone’s relatively poor camera quality still managed to capture some beautiful images.

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My first year in Madrid, my roommate and I invented a word: FRACAWESOME, a combination of “fracaso” (which in Spanish means failure or disaster) and awesome, to describe situations that didn’t go according to planned, but turned out to be just amazing regardless, and often in a way that was better than we could have ever imagined. When I headed out tonight to watch the sunset, I figured I’d snap a quick picture to put on my blog and head back home as soon as the sun was gone, but what I got instead was a handful of pictures to remind me of just how beautiful the city that I call home really is.

Whether living abroad, traveling the world or going through your day to day life back at home, things more often than not don’t go according to plan. But we have the choice whether or not we want to get frustrated and throw in the towel in the face of a “fracaso” or grab hold of a little optimism and creativity to turn it into an awesome situation instead. By looking for the good in tonight’s series of events, I not only snapped some beautiful pictures, but I went home much calmer after an opportunity to genuinely be in the moment AND I also got a great idea for my next 30 day challenge…stay tuned!

What sort of “Fracawesome” moments have you had while living abroad or traveling?

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Author: Melissa

Born in the rainy, green Northwestern corner of the United States, Melissa relocated to the almost-always-sunny city of Madrid, Spain five years ago. After getting her master's degree, traveling to places her friends at home drooled about, falling in love with a Spaniard, and having her heart broken by said Spaniard, it's safe to say that she's learned firsthand about the less than glamorous side of living abroad. Thankfully, she gets to use this experience, along with her professional expertise, in her work as a mental health therapist in Madrid where she helps other expats learn to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of living abroad. This blog is designed to be informative and is in no way intended to serve as a substitute for therapy.

3 thoughts on “Fracawesome: When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

  1. FRACAWESOME!!! What a concept! I like it!

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  2. Pingback: Walking the Walk: Here We Go! | The Intentional Expat

  3. Pingback: 30/30 Bday Challenge Week 4 | The Intentional Expat

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