5 experiences I want to spend on in 2017

There’s a lot of talk these days about spending on “experiences, rather than things,” and I for one am totally on board. Not that I’m not one to splurge on nail polish and cute accessories every now and then, and of course there are situations where buying practical things makes sense. This year, though, I’d…

Do’s and Don’ts of visiting Lake Como

Tucked away in the foothills of the Alps less than an hour north of stylish Milan, travelers might recognize Lake Como from its charming, colorful villas (and from George Clooney’s Nespresso commercial). With such easy access from one of Italy’s most important cities, there’s no reason not to make the trip to this stunning lake….

6 things to know before visiting Andorra

Tucked away in the Pyrenees mountains on the French-Spanish border lies the tiny Principality of Andorra, a country not as well-known as its two bordering neighbors but nevertheless worth a visit. Whether your plans include a shopping spree on Avenida Meritxell in cosmopolitan capital Andorra la Vella or skiing in the majestic mountains, this minuscule…

1-day itinerary: Bratislava from Vienna

Less than an hour east of Vienna, a city renowned for its rich musical heritage and even richer Sachertorte, yet more historically and aesthetically similar to distant Prague, Bratislava isn’t usually the first European capital that comes to the mind of would-be visitors. That being said, it’s the perfect little city to spend an afternoon and…

Expat Facts: How a more expensive apartment saved my mental health

Hola! As part of my return to blogging regularly, I’ve decided to create the Expat Facts series, which will showcase different aspects of life abroad: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the case of today’s post, I’m getting honest about an ugly situation that luckily turned out for the better. I’ll also be…

1 year in Spain: (other people’s) expectations vs. reality

With my one-year Spaniversary coming up next month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the past year has brought me. I had no idea what to expect when I stepped on the plane at Port Columbus John Glenn Columbus International Airport in September of 2015, and (understandably) neither did a lot of people in…

Is this Spain?!

Everyone warned me that the north of Spain would be different than the sunny south I’ve learned to call home over the past 10 months. Well, “warned” probably isn’t the best word, because it makes it sound bad, which it’s not. But for months before I arrived in the northeast reaches of the Iberian Peninsula…

5 places in Almería, Spain that deserve a spot on your itinerary

The most diverse region you’ve never heard of Spain’s south-easternmost province might not be as traversed as Seville, Granada, and its other Andalusian neighbors, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. From the hustle and bustle of the eponymous provincial capital to the tranquil pueblos in the north; from the rugged terrain of…

The truth about living in small-town Spain

Update May 4, 2017: Now that I’m coming to the end of my second and final year as an auxiliar, I did a write-up comparing small town life with that of a bigger city (in this case, Córdoba). Check it out! I’m going where now?! It never fails to amuse my Spanish friends and colleagues when I…

Keeping Calm and Carrying On in London: When Travel Gets Tough

With my freshly stamped passport in hand, I made my way out of the non-EU-citizens passport control line and over towards the ATMs lining the wall at London Stansted airport. I had just enough time to withdraw some pounds before catching my National Express bus to the city center. Normally I like to come to…

An open letter to my non-American friends and neighbors

What’s up? It’s me, your friendly neighborhood Yankee. Even if you don’t know me personally, you may have seen me around. You see, I unintentionally stand out sometimes. I walk and talk too fast (the latter with an accent when I do so en español), I wear tank tops when it’s sunny and 80 26 degrees…

6 Untranslatable Spanish Words and Phrases

There are some things you just won’t learn in school. Every travel blogger and their monkey’s uncle knows that getting out and exploring the world will teach you things that even 12 years of mandatory education (at least in the US) can’t. I’ve certainly been learning that ever since I arrived in Spain this past…