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
“Fine, I won’t shave my legs,” I finally decided before putting shorts on. Yuli and I were comparing leg hair length, and what was worth a shave, while I exercised in my bedroom, wearing a bikini, and she studied in the living room, still in her pj’s. We had sunbathing plans for the weekend. Side-note: I recently moved from Alcobendas to Madrid’s center, and it has been an upgrade in more ways than one. I am living in a beautiful, spacious piso (Spain’s word for flat) walking distance from the Royal Palace, and famous Calle Princesa. I live with 3 Spanish girls, all in their 20’s. … Continue reading Weekends in Madrid
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
“People in Porto love Costa and crepes,” we’d say…But it was really just us that kept going back to Costa for their giant soymilk caramel lattes, and Hand Go for their gluten free/lactose free dripping goodness, mouth-watering crepes. I have pretty healthy eating habits, and Christy is celiac, so she cannot eat gluten or lactose products. This is fine in Spain. As long as you can have rice and potatoes, there are plenty of dishes you can eat and still experience the food culture. But in Portugal, we had a tougher time. “Just tell them you want a really salty … Continue reading Shot O’Clock (When In Porto)
“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
It does not last forever. Nothing, that is. It hit me in a moment that I do not remember if it was a day or two ago. I was walking the familiar school hallway I have walked for four months now when I remembered the thing I had forgotten: sooner or later…it will end. My time here, my contract with the school, my living in Madrid, my being an English teacher. I was not trying to get myself depressed. The thought came to me all by itself, and it got me present. I’ve been delaying blogging about my last day in … Continue reading Day 4: it does not last forever.
“We’re going to Milan tomorrow,” said Hannah with a nonchalant tone…like “oh yeah…” “By the way…” “I almost forgot to tell you…” AAAHHHHHH!!!! I had studied about Milan in my college Italian class. Though I could hardly remember a thing, I was SO EXCITED! I have never been obsessed with clothes…but Milan is a major fashion capital. For some reason Italy was making me think about the whole idea of using what you wear as an artistic expression of yourself. We had a quick breakfast that morning…but one that I will never forget. Francesco heated up some croissants in the oven, … Continue reading I wanted to make out with my croissant.
The breeze blew my hair softly, and the sun warmed up my bare skin. I was shirtless on top of a hill in what looked like the middle of nowhere. “Wait, what?” I just read your mind. Alright, I will explain. It all began on a normal Friday morning in Alcobendas. I woke up at 6 am, and made strong coffee in the old-school Italian, moka pot. I made breakfast, and enjoyed some light-reading before heading to school. Mornings here have been in the low 40’s, which is practically a snowstorm for a Florida girl. I have a very peaceful commute to work, which makes for … Continue reading “Tired” is not who I am anymore.
I needed time to breathe. I needed time alone. But mostly, I needed poetry. I had an aching need for beauty. I took myself out on a little adventure, and went to Parque El Retiro (retiro means retirement). This park … Continue reading I needed poetry.