Travel: the best birthday gift

Last year, I turned 30–and that number seemed so daunting when I thought about it. Actually, it still does. It felt like the end of my true youth, like somehow turning 30 meant that I was officially old. Or at least officially an adult. And I didn’t feel ready to turn 30. I was supposed…

Barcelona with family

I’m sitting here drinking a Mahou (Spanish beer) and thinking…what better time to write about my trip to Barcelona. Barcelona, the most visited city in Spain by tourists. The capital of Cataluña, the birthplace of cava, the home of Gaudí, a meeting place of gothic architecture and modernism. And so many people ask, which city…

Southern Germany: Munich, Füssen, Nuremberg

Things have been looking up around here. Maybe it’s the springtime longer days, or the excitement of planning my 30th birthday trip to Denver with one of my best friends from college. I’ve also got a family reunion to look forward to in August, as well as potentially attending another conference in Mexico this year….

Galicia: It’s different (and refreshing)

Here I am sitting at home in San Diego, writing about a trip I took to Galicia six months ago. The truth is, getting used to my new life here has been challenging. And writing about a beautiful trip I took to see a friend I miss, to a place I wish I could go…

Polvoranca: the cursed ghost town outside Madrid

Situated just south of Madrid, between Alcorcón and Leganés, is a small park called Polvoranca that used to be a town. I learned about it when I was looking for a place to take Mitzy to run around. The park has trails, a lake, and open grassy areas. It also has the ruins of the…

Sevilla, soul of Andalucía

Sevilla is one of the Spanish cities that I knew I had to see at least once. It’s the capital of Andalucía (the southern region of Spain) and the birthplace of flamenco. Rick Steves says it’s the southern city with the most soul, and that you should just walk around and soak up the atmosphere….

Colorful Córdoba

Any time I’m presented with the chance to travel, especially to a new place, I try my best to take up the offer. In this case, my aunt and uncle were traveling down to southern Spain after their stay in Madrid, and invited me to come along. So I took the fast train and met…

Cuenca: Diamond in the Rough

When my aunt and uncle came to visit me in Madrid, they mentioned that they wanted to also see a town or two nearby. Something small, quaint, interesting, charming…and I thought, well that’s every town I’ve ever been to in Spain! I always say that every city and town in Spain has its own charm…

Semana Santa in Madrid

Anyone who has taken a Spanish class has probably learned about the famous “Semana Santa” celebrated in Spain. It means holy week, and it’s the week leading up to Easter (so the dates vary from year to year). There are many traditions that are practiced during that week, including special food, events, and for many,…

Are you fluent in Spanish yet?

Today marks one year since I’ve moved to Spain, so I wanted to talk about something that I’ve gotten a lot of practice in over the last year: learning Spanish! They say the best way to learn a language is to move to a country that speaks it. From that idea, many people conclude that if…