It was exactly one year ago that I wrote a blog entry regarding all the surprising things I found about life in Madrid after only a month in Spain: Phew. I feel safe around graffiti now. “The girl who’s carried an agenda since 4th grade finds herself in the present and *gasp* without a plan,” I wrote. It was the most perfect unplanned plan I have ever carried out. The entire year was filled with surprise. I allowed myself to be stunned by Spain. Living abroad for an entire year without a clue of what I would … Continue reading 10 Important Quotes: insights of an expat
“Live to the point of tears.” – Albert Camus I am surrounded by some of the happiest people in the world. The people that make the best out of the worst days, and the people that never stop being interesting. You know, the kind of people that have an idea and do it. They want to go somewhere and go. Adventure seekers. Fulfilled. I am surrounded by some of the happiest people in the world. It has been so much fun to tell the tale of my Camino de Santiago adventure with Bradley. You know the story of our one week … Continue reading Camino de Santiago: the pilgrims
“Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez Some adventures come to us unannounced – but hopefully they’ll never catch you unprepared. I joined British Bradley on his one week Camino Adventure on his last month in Spain. He was making the most out of this country before moving to Mexico! After he had done 98% of the planning for this hike, I researched my BlaBlaCar and bus. “I am doing the Camino de Santiago!” I told the pharmacist, … Continue reading Camino de Santiago: the checklist
It stopped me in my tracks. It smelled like God himself in this street. I was walking down Rúa da Raiña in Santiago de Compostela. My legs were still hurting from completing 5 full days on the Camino. Bradley was going to the bus station to buy us tickets back to Madrid that same day. I was going back to Pensión Ramos to pack our things and shower before check-out time. In these dark Camino times, I became undoubtedly addicted to showers. Real showers. Our pensión was truly great. I recommend it if you want to stay near … Continue reading Delicious Ambiguity
“Every part of my body hurt. Except my heart.” – Cheryl Strayed DAY 1 – Madrid to Lugo to Sarria “I cannot wait to be immersed and consumed by nature.” I made myself stop by a bench in front of the bus station and write this down, right under the red pen title: Camino Day 1. I had taken a Blabla Car from Madrid to Lugo, and now I needed to catch a bus to Sarria where I would meet British Bradley. He had started the Camino a couple days before me in Ponferrada. Doing the Camino together was … Continue reading Camino de Santiago de Compostela: A Diary
I was not particularly looking to escape, but the opportunity presented itself. Once the school year was over in Madrid, concluding my first year as a Language and Culture Assistant at an elementary school, I headed to the North of Spain. I was going to work at an English outdoor summer camp for a month. It was ideal, really. Madrid gets unbearably hot in the summer, its dryness, pollution, and temperature making every part of your body sweat as you breathe in heat and exhale more heat. Everyone told me to “get out!” so I did. And I was getting paid to do so! … Continue reading I fell in love with summer months.
“I think about death a lot.” I told Sarah. Maybe this is dark, but “sometimes I become hyperaware of our mortality. One day I will no longer live in this world, so I am so grateful whenever I get to see one more thing before I go.” I do not mean this in a morbid way. It is more matter-of-fact with a touch of poetry. Sarah and I spent our last fifteen minutes in Budapest reflecting in front of the Parliament building while I sipped my lactose-free latte. We were waiting for Kristen to finish her souvenir shopping. “I am trying to … Continue reading I am bound nowhere.
I had no idea what I was eating. It was like a giant pretzel. There was no coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. “Sometimes I forget I have an addiction,” I had told the girls. It is not until I get that mid-morning headache after not getting my early morning cup of coffee that I realize how dependent I’ve become on it. Our biggest challenge in Budapest was finding a place where we could grab a quick, to-go breakfast while rushing to our first tourist attraction. This day we were headed to the Jewish Quarter with a 2 1/2 hour free walking … Continue reading Breakfast in Budapest (and other meals)
Simone opened the door to our Airbnb, her hair wet from the shower, and a lose dress. “Of course she already looks like she lives here,” I thought. She had arrived a few hours before us. Sarah, Kristen, and I flew together, coincidentally sitting next to each other. These three girls are my Girl Power Team while living in Madrid. This trip was overdue. We decided to travel together during a late lunch at De Patata Madre in Bilbao, Madrid. Kristen and Sarah had spontaneously bought cheap flight tickets with a sketchy sounding airline: Wizzair. Simone and I spontaneously decided to join, though this city … Continue reading Enchantment
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