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Views #1292 | Intermediate (B1)

Life in Another Land

Chris talks about living away from his home country of Belgium and residing in Spain.

Adelina: We are sitting here together in Spain but you are far away from your home country. Are you often abroad?

Chris: I'm actually all the time abroad, I'm living abroad.

Adelina: Oh, so you live in Spain for how long?

Chris: Yes, now I'm living in Spain. As I said before, I'm 31 and when I was 18 I finished school and I didn't know exactly which direction to go, what to study, so my mom said as well, "Go to Spain, be there for two/three months, do a summer season and when you're back you will know what to do."

Adelina: And what happened?

Chris: Well, I guess the typical story. No, I liked the country and I liked the job that I was doing, I wasn't that bad at it so they offered me an extension and in the end I did the whole season.

Adelina: Oh, nice. But what this experience make you feel if you go back in time, tell us like a resume about how you feel.

Chris: Well, it's the whole learning experience, I mean I was a teen, I mean, I was an adult but still, you come from your mom who does everything for you, does your washing, your everyday life and all of a sudden you have to do that yourself. But on the one hand you like it, but on the other hand the responsibilities all come to you and you might not be all that prepared for it. But then I was in Spain, decided to finish the season. Then they offered me a replacement on another island to do winter season as well so in the end I stayed and stayed and stayed and had to learn myself, to do everything myself, cooking, washing, paperwork, actually everything.

Adelina: Well, that's nice. No, that means become an adult.

Chris: Yes, it's true but maybe that's not the time that you want to become an adult. I mean, when you're 18 it's the time maybe to enjoy life, to do things you wouldn't do as an adult, but I came to that age quite early and took all the responsibilities so maybe, I'm not going to say I miss that step but I was responsible on an early age, let's say.

Adelina: Oh, okay. Well, I don't know, how will you see your life if you will have stayed in Belgium instead?

Chris: It probably would have been totally different. I mean, I can't see myself now living in Belgium. I do go once or twice a year to see family and friends but life is different there. I mean, all my friends of my age, they're married, they have their children and going back is still neat and you go out and have a drink but that's it, maybe you see them once or twice a month because they all have their lives so I feel that now my life is going to be here, it'll probably be here for the future.

Adelina: Well, that's not bad either, right?

Chris: No, no, it's not too bad. So, that's why I'm saying, I mean, if you ask me for a learning experience, this was all complete learning experience from now the last 13 years from when I was 18 and of course there are ups and downs, you fall, you get up. But the good thing is you make your own decisions so whatever happens it's because of you. You fall because it's your fault and you get up because it's your merit. So in the end it's good that you experience this for yourself.

Adelina: So with luck, good luck.

Chris: Thank you.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

as I said before

notesAs I said before, I'm 31.

We use this phrase when we repeat information. Notice the following:

  1. As I said before, you are very talented.
  2. As I said before, I cannot attend work tomorrow.

the typical story

notesMy life is the typical story.

A typical story is a common story or experience many people have. Notice the following:

  1. Her success is the typical story. She came to Hollywood, struggled and then got a lucky break.
  2. How my wife and I met is the typical story. We met in college, fell in love, and then got married.

in the end

notesIn the end, I did the whole season.

This phrase means 'eventually' and refers to an unplanned conclusion. Notice the following:

  1. In the end, we decided not to go to the movies.
  2. I was planning on going to France, but in the end, I went to Spain instead.

go back in time

notesYou go back in time.

When you go back in time, you imagine or feel like you are living in a previous era. Notice the following:

  1. When I hear 80's pop music, I always go back in time.
  2. We often wish we could go back in time and fix our mistakes.


notesGoing back is still neat.

Here, 'neat' means to be cool, fun, or interesting. Notice the following:

  1. That's a neat story.
  2. We went to this neat little cafe yesterday.

Vocabulary Quiz

as I said • in the end • typical
back in time • neat
  1. He was leaving, but he stayed .
  2. That is a dress you have on.
  3. Well, yesterday, you are making a mistake.
  4. His downfall is the story of greed and corruption.
  5. That movie takes me .

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