My Madrid’s Can’t-Get-Enough-Of

We had three full days, and one early morning to experience Madrid together. Before going to Portugal, I had a chance to walk my friend, Christy, around the city center. We touched based on main places like Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel, and Sol. But now it was time to pick and choose the more local/expat iconic things to do. Christy wanted us to do things I had not experience yet in this city; I wanted to bring her to places that as a local, I cannot get enough of. So here is my list of Madrid’s Can’t-Get-Enough-Of experiences: Baobab – … Continue reading My Madrid’s Can’t-Get-Enough-Of

Selfies with daisies.

We finished our espresso and headed to the metro with plenty of time to get to the airport. Christy and I had had an incredible 4 day vacation in Porto, Portugal. “Why does that clock say it’s 19:17?” Christy asked. “Because it’s 7:17. It’s right. That’s the actual time.” [insert the kind of pause you never want your friend to make in a conversation]. “Our flight ticket says 20:30.” And we were at least a 30 minute metro ride away, and still had to wait nearly 15 minutes for the metro to arrive, our flight gate closing at 20:00. I had … Continue reading Selfies with daisies.

I don’t know what will.

“Oh.” Some people would say. We felt a little judged at times for not doing the Porto wine tasting, or following the typical advice on things to do in Porto. But we did not mind. Vacations are your own, and only you can choose to do the things that matter to you. After our wild night out, we decided to take it easy, and walk down the shopping street where you can see the Majestic café where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. We prioritized resting, and wandering very slowly under the rare, sunny day (Porto is known for its pouring … Continue reading I don’t know what will.

See you tomorrow.

“No I’m not gonna change yet! I look hot!” That’s apparently Christina’s first memory of me, freshman year of college. I was in the dance team, and had just returned from a basketball game. I bumped into my roommate and her friends, they were playing board games in the common area. I sat on the couch instead of going up to my dorm room to change into the more appropriate lounge/make-up free “dress code” of the evening. A conceited time in my life, but hey…In my defense, High School had really sucked, and I was reinventing myself this first year of college…exploring who I wanted to be. … Continue reading See you tomorrow.

Is this my life?

“Women and children first!” I blurted, recreating the scene from Titanic. Kristen was rubbing my numb fingers, but there is nothing we could do about the stabbing pain in my feet. It was freezing hell. Flashback to that morning and we were eating croissants by the fire, laughing at our dumb jokes. “TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU!” I was back to Navacerrada for a snowshoe hike. It was the Schmid route (same one from 2 blog posts ago). This time there was SO MUCH MORE snow, though. It was not only snow…it was hail, too – a first time for … Continue reading Is this my life?

The Foundation Beneath My Feet

“They b*tch, they whine, they go shopping, and then they get more food,” Sarah said. “I’m quoting you on my blog!”And here it is. We were comparing our Saturday to the basic story line of Sex and the City. It was a day well spent with some of my girlfriends, and there is no one else I’d rather spend my weekends with. The silver lining of my recent heartbreak is realizing what an amazing, strong, supportive group of women I have become friends with while living in Spain! Living abroad alone makes me more vulnerable, and just plain out of my comfort zone all … Continue reading The Foundation Beneath My Feet

I’m not done loving.

“Put it away. You don’t need that sh*t,” she said. The wake up call came from Ellie Goulding. Rewind a week ago, and you will get to the peak of this drama ride. It was a kind of homesick I had not yet experienced in Spain. This time the feeling lasted longer than normal. This time, I had a broken heart. Yet I put myself in this situation, so I did not feel like I could ask Life for a reimbursement (though I considered the option). It was me, after all, who declared my heart open to every kind of adventure. I … Continue reading I’m not done loving.

Day 3: freedom and choice

It was magic. A moment that balanced me out, and unraveled my existence into something that made sense. Suddenly everything made sense, or maybe it was the opposite. Once again I was walking in darkness. Lee, Lim, and I headed to Park Güell a little past 7 am. We went early because we heard it is all free before 8 am. Lee had gone before, but only to the free zone. Lim…I am not sure. Her stay in Barcelona was a little longer than expected, and she was anxious to move on to Portugal. But for me, this park (along with Sagrada … Continue reading Day 3: freedom and choice

Day 2: happiness

“People around me were staring because every time I put a grape in my mouth I’d say, ‘Boyfriend.’” Meet Lee. An outgoing Korean girl I met at the hostel in Barcelona. She was telling me about her midnight moment in Plaça d’Espanya where she also celebrated New Year’s Eve. We were sharing the first breakfast of 2016, and I learned she was traveling for a month. That is all I would ever know about her as the rest of our conversations centered on Barcelona. We made plans to visit Park Güell together the next day.   Being January 1st, Barcelona was … Continue reading Day 2: happiness

Day 1: New Year’s Eve

Like many of my favorite adventures, this one began before the sun came out and after a poor night’s sleep. That is the small price of an exhilarating life. Power went out again, so I dressed in the dark and started the journey without coffee. Just like that time I went to Paris. Promising! I met up with my ride at a gas station. I was using BlaBla Car for the first time. I was willing to give it a try after hearing people having successful experiences. BlaBla Car is pretty much the hitchhiking of the 21st century. People post … Continue reading Day 1: New Year’s Eve