A lil wisdom goes a long way…

It’s been a long year full of ups and downs. I’ve learned a lot and wanted to share a little wisdom (the little I possess). These are obviously based on my personal experiences so some may be oddly specific and others might just apply to your life! This is my last post from Madrid as I will be on a plane to the U.S. tomorrow! Thanks for keeping up with my journey. I’ve enjoyed sharing my pictures and experiences with you all and am happy with the positive feedback I’ve gotten. I think this has been a great way to keep everyone informed, and it helped me feel like I wasn’t so far from home. I will hopefully see you all soon! Continue reading

The Glamorization of Being Abroad

I’ve been wanting to post this for awhile but couldn’t quite get the words out how I wanted. Maybe it’s still not exactly how I want to say it, but I’ve got packing to do! Anyway… In general, most everyone has been very supportive and enthusiastic of my travels and living abroad. Thanks everyone for your positive encouragement and sweet comments ­čÖé But I also know (firsthand) that there is a different perspective when seeing others European photos, looking like they are having the best time of their lives! It can spark some jealousy and lead to resentment. It can make you feel like your life is so boring in comparison. Well here’s the deal… things aren’t always as they seem. Continue reading

Never Thought I’d Miss Humidity…

Last week I visited a city many have recommended to me, and I think I visited at just the right time. I took the train to San Sebasti├ín, which is in the north of Spain near the border of France. As some of you have heard from me or read in my last post, it is unbearably hot in Madrid right now. It’s a lucky day if the high is only in the 90s. If I’m inside my apartment, I spend most of my time taking cold showers, chugging ice water, and sitting in front of my fan since air conditioning is still not the norm. So a weekend journey to the beach where temperatures were in the 80s sounded wonderful. I have to say to all those people who recommended this town, I wholeheartedly agree! It’s definitely on my top 5 places in Europe (speaking of, many of you have been asking about my favorite places, so I might just make a post about that soon…). I took a solo trip, but in the end made several friends from my hostel and by just putting myself out there and talking to people. Onward to photos! Continue reading

In this heat?!

Happy Summer. Notice there’s no exclamation point. Haha, don’t get too worried. Let’s just say that the commute to school (yes, I’m STILL working) and the unrelenting heat is taking a toll on me. But, behold! The greatest invention known to man (okay, air conditioning is the greatest, but that’s not really an option here).

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Teaching Update

I haven’t posted in a while about my job – you know the legal reason why I’m here. I think pictures from trips are much more exciting, but I’m sure some of you are curious about how things are going at my school. I’ve had some frustrating days recently while teaching, but I’m going to try to make this post less about venting and complaining and more of an objective (or as close as I can get) and constructive criticism of what I’ve experienced and observed. And don’t worry! I’ll share some funny moments too. Continue reading

Pomegranate?

From the comfort of my bed, I’m here to bring you some mid-week entertainment. This past weekend I traveled with some friends to the city of Granada, which is in the south of Spain. I haven’t gotten to travel much within Spain yet, so this was a great opportunity to see how different other cities are. My friends who have traveled around Spain have all said that the North and South are quite different from each other and also very different from the big city of Madrid, which is smack dab in the middle of the country. Things definitely seemed more relaxed and easy-going in Granada, and the countryside, hills, and mountains were absolutely beautiful. It was also great to see some green again. Oh, and “granada” is the Spanish word for “pomegranate.” Something I didn’t realize until one day my roommate was eating one. Though the origin of the city’s name may not be that simple… see here. Continue reading

Canal Gals

Two weekends ago I was in Amsterdam with my friend Leigh, who I’ve mentioned before. We had all the major sightseeing planned out, but so did everyone else. Even with advance tickets, we still faced lines upon lines upon lines. Much of the trip was spent waiting to see things, but we did pick a great weekend to see the tulips in bloom. Amsterdam is a really cool place. I love the canals and boathouses, and the red light district is certainly something strange. Also, never in my life have I seen so many bikes. Get ready for a bunch of tulip pictures! Continue reading

Bienvenidos

So I’ve shared my trip to London with my parents, but that was just part one of their adventure. As I mentioned, I returned back to Madrid while my mom and dad ventured to Paris. The day before their flight to Madrid, they found out that French Air Traffic Control decided to go on strike… So hundreds of flights were not just delayed but cancelled, including theirs. I was worried they would never make it here, which would not only have been a bummer to not see them again, but their flight back to the States was also leaving from Madrid. In the end, everything worked out. They were able to take a flight the same day, but much later, and eventually made it into the city. Being the organized (and slightly neurotic) person I am, I made my parents a guide to Madrid, filled with places to see, eat, and avoid. I also threw in some Spanish lingo and general tips. Madrid isn’t like Paris or London in terms of a plethora of places to visit and see. Instead, it’s more of a cultural experience and taking it easy. I’m sure my parents were fine with that after running around two other big European cities. I didn’t take too many photos since I did months ago when I first arrived, so instead, I’m sharing my mom’s wonderful photos. If you think my photos were any good, these are 10x better! Continue reading

Mind the Gap

This post is veeeeeeery late, considering I visited London at the beginning of April! School has been fairly tiring recently, and I’ve lost track of time, but I’m determined to show you all some pictures from my trip to London! During Semana Santa (basically my Spring Break), I first went to Mallorca then later met my parents in London. I hadn’t seen them in 7 months, yet with the ability to Skype and text, it didn’t feel like it had been that long. It was my first time to this city, my dad’s first time to Europe, and a return to a place my mom visited 19 years ago! Unfortunately, my brother couldn’t make it, so I felt a bit like an only child. I’ve gotten to be quite the navigator, so my parents were happy to have me guide us around which fits my slightly bossy attitude. I think I’ve also reached an age where my parents look to me for what to do, which is a bit scary (they’re getting closer to retirement age, and I’m getting closer to being in debt and making major life choices age). So here are the pictures! Most of them are mine, but I’ve stolen a few from my mother in case you don’t have Facebook/don’t know her! Plus, she has a nice new DSLR camera thanks to my dad, and it takes 10x better photos than my old iPhone. Continue reading

I’M GETTING MARRIED!

Hope that title got everyone’s attention. It’s my lame April Fools’ joke considering that I don’t get to celebrate it here. But really, I wanted to share some photos from my recent trip to Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean. It’s Semana Santa here, and I spent the first part of my vacation at the beach! Tomorrow, I leave for London to see my parents, who I haven’t seen for 7 months. The last time I hadn’t seen their faces for that long I was in the womb. I’m sure the weather in London isn’t going to be as stellar as the Mediterranean, but I’m very excited to see this city with so much to do and of course my parents. We’ll be there until Monday, then my parents will be stopping in Paris for a bit, and finally ending in Madrid where the weather should be lovely. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of pictures to share later. Continue reading