England, new level

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This post is very special. It is not an entry of a personal project, it is the narration of a new stage of my life, made possible by the good work carried out in the working relationship between Itera Engineering, OEM Aston Martin and the worker, me.

However, the adventure at work will have another, more specific post. Now it will only be one of the factors in the equation, as we will dive into the life change that this move entailed.

1. Pre-trip

2. The trip

3. Unconscious adaption

4 Assimilation

5. Conscious adaption

6. The next year

1. PRE-TRIP

Although the possibility of this position was announced some month earlier, it was made official in November 2022. And since it was clear to me that it was the right thing to do, I began preparations.

However, these preparations were intended to ensure survival, and to gather everything I might need that would not be worth buying there. They were based on the visit in October and on what everyone knows about England.

For example: buying presents, preparing sports equipment such as chess board or tennis racket, or organising the trips, as I had to move everything from Valencia to my hometown for Christmas.

This means that I didn’t know my city, or the roads, or the way of life there…. The reason is because, once I have covered the basics, the rest will happen there naturally. It is much worse for me the mental burden of trying to get ideas. Besides, all this will give rise to experiences and anecdotes such as this change deserves to bring with it.

2. THE TRIP

Everything ready. On 7 January I got a guy on Blablacar to liven up the trip, and we set off. On the way to Santander, where the ferry leaves, it was announced to me that the departure of the ferry was delayed by a day. But after passing it, I went to the port, got in the Spanish car and the 30-hour journey began.

Waiting at the port inside the car

The ferry was a new and unique experience. I couldn’t go to dinner because of the boat’s movements, as they made me seasick. But luckily, I bought some food before departing, and Iwas able to sleep most of the way.

As I got off, I knew I was in for another peculiar journey: 3 hours towards the north of Britain, with a LHD car driving on the left. Driving cautiously it takes a short time to get the hang of it, and I remember it as very quiet.

The most remarkable thing was the radio. I found them better than the Spanish ones (perhaps because of the novelty); however, I struggled to understand the conversations between songs. This was the first purely British experience of the year.

Finally, when I arrived, I located my new house and the landlord explained the basics to me, all this at 23:00h at a few degrees Celsius. I had dinner as best I could, put up the right things and the hardest part was done, on the 10th of January.

3. UNCONSCIOUS ADAPTION

The first few days were obviously focused on the essentials: sorting out my things, looking for essential places like supermarkets, gym and chess club; and getting used to the new job.

I also had in mind major objectives that this experience would make it easier to achieve, because it was a new beginning. They are as follows:

– Resuming the gym completely

– Improve my English as much as possible

– Making as much progress at work as possible

Eating healthier and learning to cook

– Improve my chess

But then, of course, more would follow, such as tennis or French.

With that, I began to build my new life, largely unconsciously. I also noticed the differences between Spain and England. Some of them, apart from the language, are:

– The inferior food culture; while in Spain you eat well both inside and outside, there food is not a priority, let’s put it that way….

The education of English society: you get the feeling that people there are more tolerant, they are used to immigration and they like to help others. For example, you can notice it on the road, when they let people out of a car park or a side street. However, they tend to be less outgoing than Latinos

– A passion for cars is evident, and it is easier to set up a business. Although immigrating now is obviously more complicated.

Caffeine and Machine, Stratford-upon-Avon.
This is a pub where people meet and display their classic and luxury cars.

It is important to note that at this time, the worklife occupied a large part of my mind, which slowed down the arrival of the next phase. Let’s look at it.

4.ASSIMILATION

In assimilation, I rethink little by little whether what I am doing in my day-to-day life in terms of my objectives, I am doing it in the best possible way.

These stages have fuzzy boundaries and depend very much on the objective in question. So, with that in mind, I will give some examples and try to compile the learning I have achieved about myself, and improve it in conscious adaptation.

– The gym was affected by my energy at the end of the day, and a difficulty in maintaining motivation.

– As for English, I watched some BBC programmes and read some Harry Potter books. But this did not last long either, since it was not the most practical or entertaining thing for me.

– Progress at work came naturally, as it comes first.

Eating better was a failure. I started using Gousto, a company through which you can select dishes, and they give you weekly the ingredients and the recipe to prepare them. However, after a few weeks it became more of a burden, as I had gone too fast with this goal.

– In chess, in short, I was with the first private lessons and playing the local leagues. The former ended quickly due to that lack of motivation and energy; and the latter remained easily as it is playing and socialising, which is basic.

A medida que el año iba avanzando, fui dándome cuenta de estos problemas que me impedían avanzar. Ello fue gracias al tiempo, pero también sobre todo por la ayuda de los demás y por esforzarme en sacar estos temas algo personales. Esto es algo que históricamente siempre me ha costado mucho.

As the year went on, I became aware of these issues that were holding me back. This was thanks to time, but also mainly because of the help of others and for making the effort to bring these issues up. This is something that historically I have always struggled with.

Once the problems have “sunk in”, it is time to rethink.

5. CONSCIOUS ADAPTION

I think a big turning point was the summer holidays. Visiting my hometown first, Valencia again, Galicia and the Basque Country; working again for a week and then going to Portugal again; and all of this shared with different friends, made me disconnect and see things from outside.

This, for example, is San Sebastian. Those were good vibes. In the middle image, I could see a bishop.

It was also very important that the work was becoming more and more stable and automatic, as at the beginning it was very demanding: overtime, high volume of tasks….

In this way I intentionally drew some important conclusions that would help me to really propel my progress on the objectives:

· Keeping myself motivated: This is the fuel for everything. It was essential to mentally force myself to remember why I was doing what I was doing. For example: Why do I workout? Because I want to have the best possible version of my body, and present = future.

· Cool head: Knowing how to put things in perspective, and minimising the impact of bad days.

· Increase social life. It is necessary for everything to work to surround myself with the right people. It was very important to build circles of English and Spanish friends for all kinds of interesting and productive plans and conversations.
Además, en varias ocasiones amigos cercanos vinieron a visitarme. Verlos en mi nuevo lugar de residencia, me hace muy feliz.

· Spending energy wisely and avoid losing your mind on things that are not really a priority, so that there is room for everything. This is important because during the day we feel like doing different kinds of activities.

As an example: since I work sitting down most of the time, I feel more inclined to do sport in the afternoon, so you have to know how to encourage thoughtful activities on weekdays.
However, on weekend days, I tend to get stuck in and not do much, so making plans like meeting a friend for a game of tennis was very convenient as it broke the barrier to exercise and enjoy it too.

· Speaking of tennis; thanks to this I also took up the sport again, which is opening up a lot of possibilities for me. And then there was French, which took up most of my attention for about five months, and I progressed to almost where I wanted to be.
Thus naturally the desire to continue to strive to achieve goals (new or pre-established) grew exponentially.

· At the office everything goes more smoothly and calmly, which allows me to have energy for the rest.

· Gym and tennis make up my physical activity, well distributed and spread out.

· The chess training is paying off, now with the academy, games and openings.

The end of the year is coming and it is time to rest and plan for the next year.

6. THE NEXT YEAR

2023 has been, without a doubt, the most chaotic year, but at the same time the best year of my life in terms of personal growth. Although I sometimes think of the mistakes I have made due to my self-demand, I should also be proud of all the things I have done well.

For 2024, first of all, I decided to move in with a good friend and chess teacher. From this I hope to increase my discipline in several aspects, become more organised and not have too many passive days.

On the other hand, both the objectives already defined and new ones have already been set as a starting point:

· Chess will receive a large investment of time and money to reach Fide Master. A rating of 2300 Elo points is required, and I write this with a rating of 2228.

It is a very personal goal, one that I must achieve in my lifetime. This year fulfils the requirements to achieve it, on the basis that in 2023 I have learned to study chess.

· Maintain the gym-tennis combo, to progress physically and competitively in both in a very enjoyable way.

· Linked to this, learning enough about cooking to enjoy it and to be able to eat a healthier (Spanish-style) diet.

· To bring my English to perfection, especially my listening skills, which is the one that causes me the most problems in my day to day life.

· Later in the year, I hope to resume my professional training to ensure a future similar to these productive years.

We’ll see how it develops, but the battlefield is ready. Let’s go for it!

1 thought on “England, new level”

  1. Your blog is a true hidden gem on the internet. Your thoughtful analysis and engaging writing style set you apart from the crowd. Keep up the excellent work!

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