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.
“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
Christina Smac&Tosh – read the sign I held for almost one hour at the airport, waiting for you. It was worth the stares to get this adventure started right. You walked through the sliding doors, and I yelled out your name, but you didn’t see me. So I did the movie style run toward you, waving my arm. Nope, you did not see me. I planted myself in front of you, and you did the wide eyes thing! I hardly remember your first day in Madrid, actually. The image is a haze of disbelief that you came to see me. I don’t think I … Continue reading Mi Casa Es Su Casa!
“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?
“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
“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.
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.