All posts filed under: Grateful

Paris Snapshots

I’ve now been to Paris twice. My first experience wasn’t my favorite – the city of lights didn’t win me over, it didn’t impress me with its history nor its beautiful architecture. It was just another capital city filled with tourist traps and hidden gems if you looked hard enough. Just like every other city. And while the first time was nice with the people I was with, when I left, I didn’t feel like I’d ever go back. Until we made plans for July. With my two best friends living in Brussels and a small French town in the middle of nowhere, and me in Madrid, Paris was a comfortable place for us all to meet for a cheeky five day reunion. We made the plans, rented our Airbnb, and all arrived on July 1st. And while the city itself still hasn’t captured my heart, this second experience with these two had definitely left me with more fond memories to carry with me for my lifetime. We mostly stayed in our apartment, sipping on …

Verge Magazine Posts

I’ve been working on some side projects including becoming an “In the Field – Work Abroad Blogger” for their team! I have had the pleasure of writing two articles for them so far that have been featured on their site. The first delves into the reverse culture shock felt on returning back to the country I grew up in: the USA – while the second blog reveals what I do with my time as a Culture and Language Assistant in a Madrid School. *hint hint* I get to wear my work out clothes every day! So while I promote my own two blog posts, ya’ll should really head over to Verge Magazine and check out the wonderful programs they offer: Work, Study, and Volunteer Abroad. And take a look around all the wonderful bloggers stories to spark some of that travel inspiration in you! It’s Sunday night, what else are you up to anyway? Happy travels, beautiful people!

10 Facts about Acadia National Park

Over the past month I ventured back to my roots and spent some quality time in Maine with my family and friends who still remain in the area. I was lucky to be able to take a three-hour drive north to Acadia National Park where I camped two nights and hiked three days with my parents. Over that time I realized that, while the outdoors and beautiful views are always something to marvel at, sleeping in those woods (filled with Black Bears) aren’t exactly my idea of fun. However, despite my fears of being eaten by a bear or wild dog, I was overwhelmed by the beauty that nature has created (+ we’ve tried to preserve while still hosting thousands of visitors a year). I’ve decided to make a list of the top 10 most interesting facts I found on Acadia online (thanks google!) . . . 1) Cadillac Mountain, located within the park, is not only the highest mountain along the Atlantic Coast but also one of the first places to see the sunrise in …

Fotos de Cádiz

During Semana Santa (or Easter Week) I went down to the city of Cádiz for a little get-a-way with my boyfriend looking for some sand, sun, and culture. Instead of writing about it (since I already wrote the 48 Hours In Cádiz) I’ll just give ya’ll the photos instead . . .

Mad to Live | A letter to James

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road  I woke up this morning to read a post from an unknown girl on Jame’s Facebook wall about memories she had of him. I had been thinking about him and his adventures in Asia so I clicked to read more. By the time I finished reading her post I was in shock. She ended it with, “I can’t believe this is real. You’ll be missed.” My heart sank as I scrolled through other posts on his wall. My friend James Hart had died. We met almost one year ago when he messaged me on Couch Surfing for a place to stay while passing through Donostia-San Sebastian before his adventure on El Camino de Santiago. …

wine, whiskey, coffee & christmas carols

I was on the bus home from the airport when I sent out a group message to the girls: “I’m headed back to Donosti. Flights cancelled.” To which I received the response from Usoa: “Ohhhhhh myyyy gooooooooooooooooood. You are coming to my country house.” And it was settled. A Christmas in the Spanish countryside isn’t what I had planned for December 2013, but after strong winds kept planes from landing and taking off it’s where I found myself surrounded by my Basque family. I never thought I’d find another family just quite as crazy and loving as mine. But here I’ve found them. We arrived just after dark and just in time for glasses of wine to be poured and us to sit down at the table to begin eating. Giant shrimp – eyeballs, feet, and all – were in a couple bowls across the table to pick at, as well as chorizo and bread. Then blood pudding, fish soup, and a chicken foot pallela were served. To say the least, I gave it my best …

| a deep breath, a connection |

A meditation i found on elephantjournal.com that helps remind us this Thanksgiving that we are all connected and we’re not all that different from one another. Not just as the holidays approach us, but for our every day life – 365 days a year – we should take a moment to remember the following: “I offer this meditation to all of us who desire to honor their relationships—past, present and future. This meditation is a way to find peace with those who we love and those who we find difficult to love. The breath connects us to all those who have come before us, all those who share this planet with us, and all those who will come after us. Use the simple act of breathing to remind yourself of this connection. Bring to mind a person who is nearby, physically. Someone who is sharing this very room, or home with you. As you inhale, take in their physical presence. As you exhale, send them awareness and appreciation. Bring to mind a person who is close …

privilege

What is privilege? It’s simple. It’s a benefit of one person enjoyed beyond the advantages of most. There are many kinds of privileges in the world. Whether its based on skin color or how much money you have — people in certain categories: white or rich — tend to benefit over others in the world we live in. But I’m here to bring you another one: the privilege of being a native English speaker. I’ve come to Spain to work. I’ve chosen one of the most economically unstable countries a part of the European Union to live and to work while creating a little more stability for myself in my own life. I have, however, caused somewhat of a stir. But, hey, not just me — all native speakers who come to Spain to teach English. Let’s look at it this way: Spain’s youth unemployment rate is over 50%. I’m 25 years old and have come to this country and while only working part time I’m still working more than most people here. I’m “taking” …

| stories of summer |

I saw this post last week and it made me think about my last three summers in Maine and all the stories — happy and sad. As time moves on, people change: houses, feelings, physical appearance, and attitudes. And as these things change (for better or for worse), so do our memories. So I want to write them down, as summaries, as I’ve already started to forget the details . . . Flashback to 2010: I just graduated University. I made the 10 hour drive from Halifax to Kennebunk. We made music videos, we talked about serious subjects, we laughed, we sat quietly, we knew this was the last time we’d ever make that drive together. It was a summer of doubts, becoming a real local of my hometown — I discovered the secret spots, learned the back roads, and made new friends from town.  I became closer with my high school girlfriends and I made bad decisions. I flirted with boys … and girls. I went out and discovered the Portland I never had known. We …

|in a land of pintxos |

It occurred to me today that I need a summer project as I was sipping on a cana con limon in the Plaza de Constitucion and discussing food with a fellow American. I’ve decided to make my focus: pintxos. Living in the North of Spain one is highly aware of the large amount of pintxo bars (and bars in general) throughout the food capital and Capital of Culture 2016. San Sebastian is home to the famous pintxo and hundreds of bar owners and chefs offering traditional to very modern choices. A pintxo is an individual portion of meats, cheeses, fish, veggies, etc., skewered with a toothpick onto a piece of baguette. Of course, pintxos can vary from bar to bar and in the different regions of the North leading me to my decided project for the month of July: 30 Day Pintxo Challenge Inspired by my appreciation of  tasty food, desire to write, and love of photography and challenges — I’ve decided to dedicate the month of July to pintxos. As my budget is low – I’ll stick to one new pintxo …