Hi! Oh my god you’re here! You made it! You found me! Okay, breath Monika, breath. I don’t know if you meant to find this blog or if you were googling Monica Lewinsky and accidently ended up here, but either way, it doesn’t matter. I’m just so ecstatic you’ve come to my page! You may be asking yourself, “what is ‘Monika Making Moves’ and does she know that she spelled her name wrong?” First off I’ll tell you, no, I did not spend money on a misspelled domain name, my parents wanted me to be “unique.” Second, what is Monika Making Moves?
Who’s the Monika behind the Moves?:
I’m a 26, year old Massachusettite? Massachusettian? Massachusetter? I don’t know, but I’m from northeastern Massachusetts. My passion for travel began after my semester abroad in Salamanca, Spain in the spring of 2013. I’ve been to 15 countries and almost all of the major cities in Spain. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts- Boston in 2014, I went out into the workforce. I got a job as a long term substitute at an elementary school and stayed there for two years. In those two years my life was jostled around like a rag doll. I was feeling depressed and I had lost sight of myself until my parents asked me a pivotal question: When were you last happy?
Happy? I thought about it and I hadn’t felt truly happy since… Spain. I had to make some changes in my life, and fast, before I sunk deeper into discontent. So then I found the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). CIEE helped me find a job assisting English teachers in Madrid. After months of paperwork and patiently waiting, I moved to Madrid in September of 2016. From September to June I was traveling again, meeting new people, and I reacquainting myself to happy. I learned to have a more active voice in my own life.
Fast forward to July of 2017, Randy, my amazing, then-boyfriend, proposed to me in the Azores and I moved back home to Massachusetts. I was hired by my old high school to teach Spanish and Randy and I began planning our wedding for September 7, 2018.
And now we’re here. Life is back in a rhythm and I’ve decided to create this blog to share my stories, travel tips, and experiences (the good, the bad, and the embarrassing). You’re getting a front row seat to my travels ahead. I’m not certain of where I’m going, but I’d like to invite you to witness these next important years. I’m throwing it all out there because… why not? Life is meant to be shared! What I do know is that whichever way I go, it’ll be with my soon-to-be husband Randy (or Raaaaaanndallll as I call him). Join me in these milestones because the future is bright, the possibilities are endless, and I’m making moves.
15 Fun facts about ME:
- I have an infinite amount of tv/film trivia stored up in my brain. I’m not sure how to do my taxes but I know what film won Best Picture in 1955 (…MARTY! It was Marty).
- My favorite soda is Ginger Ale. My great-great grandmother, Abuela Esperanza, always had it in her fridge and it brings it back to those times with her.
- My aforementioned great-great grandmother lived to be 102. I was 6 or 7 when she passed away and I have many cherished memories of her.
- I love classical music. My abuelo (grandfather) taught me to appreciate it.
- I’m a theatre nerd. I’ve been known to belt out showtunes with my uncles at a gay bar in Boston that hosts a weekly ‘Show Tunes Tuesday.’
- I’ve traveled to 15 countries.
- Cured meats are the way to my heart. I used to sneak the bag of pepperoni up to my room when I was a little kid.
- I’m a big time baker but my favorite cake is ice cream cake.
- I’m 4’9” (or 1.45 meters)
- I’m obsessed with The Office and can recite at least one line from every episode. For my 17th birthday I had an “Office” party and everyone dressed up like a character from the show, I was Angela.
- I used to hate my middle name, Lee, when I was younger because it was spelled the “boy” way. But now I love and appreciate my middle name. It’s a family name and I’m the first girl to have it. My great grandfather was Willie Lee, my great uncle is Roger Lee, one of my second cousins is William Lee, my father is Michael Lee, and I’m Monika Lee. If I have a girl, she’ll be a Lee too.
- I believed in Santa until I was 9 years old.
- Randy and I are an OkCupid! success story.
- I was the first to graduate in my high class. Did I mention that the graduating order was done by height?
- My bisabuela (great grandmother) had hazel eyes, my abuela (grandmother) has hazel eyes, and I am the only one out of my abuela’s 5 children and 12 grandchildren to have hazel eyes.