Let’s See How Far We’ve Come

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since I said goodbye to the classic brick pathways, ornery squirrels, and undeniable sense of community that made the tiny town of Athens, Ohio my home. The lens of social media allows me to watch from a distance (a 4,220-mile/6,790-km distance – what a time…

Expat Facts: Little Epiphanies on Spring Break

After hugging my friends goodbye, I walked into the Alicante airport at 5:45 p.m. with plenty of time to spare before my 7:50 flight to Berlin. I had no idea. At first, I actually thought I was screwed. I walked into the airport and straight into one of the longest lines I’ve ever seen, leading…

The Perks of Speaking English

“Es la primera vez que has estado aquí?” Is this your first time here? “En esta clase, sí.” My Enrique Iglesias-lookalike spin instructor suddenly hesitated before responding. Yep, there it was: The Accent. I might as well have had a flashing marquee above my head: THIS GIRL IS NOT FROM HERE. “English?” he guesses. I live…

Too (un)cool for school

In fifth grade, I ran for class president. It was my first experience managing anything like a public relations campaign, and I threw my heart and soul into it. I made posters. I passed out fliers. I put fun little surprises into every one of my classmates’ mailboxes. I spent hours agonizing over my speech….

Andalusia’s Best of the West: Seville and Cádiz Itinerary + Photos

Spring won’t officially arrive for about another 3 weeks, but the beautiful weather in western Andalusia this weekend sure had me fooled. In honor of southern Spain’s regional festival, Día de Andalucía, and the five-day weekend that came with it, my friend Tiffany and I headed to the renowned Andalusian capital and threw in a day trip…

Me Talk British One Day: A Yankee’s Guide to the Queen’s English

We need an English speaker to fill the PUBLIC RELATIONS COORDINATOR position at our travel company. This position will involve creating and executing tourism publicity campaigns targeted to English-speaking markets throughout the summer of 2016. Hey, perfect! I need a summer job, and that sounds like something I could do! Candidate must be NATIVE BRITISH…

How your life will change after moving to Spain

You’ll step onto the concourse at Madrid Barajas exhausted and disoriented after spending the past seven hours suspended in a flying metal tube over the Atlantic. Even though you’ve most likely been sitting for the majority of those seven hours, you’ll still be inexplicably tired, more so after noticing the vast endlessness of Terminal 4…

Expat Facts: The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting Spanish Men

It was the stuff dreams were made of: tables piled high with books as far as the eye could see, all for no more than $2 each. The Cleveland Public Library was having a book sale, so naturally I’d rounded up a group of my fellow interns and convinced them to make the five-minute walk over…

Expat Facts: The Adulthood Conundrum

This past Wednesday, I had to cancel all my plans for the afternoon – including a private English lesson and a coffee date with a friend – so I could sit at home and wait for a maintenance person to come over and repair my washing machine. Much like in the US, here in Spain…

Confessions of a quiet extrovert

“It’s interesting to meet the new language assistants every year, because you all are so different,” my coworker commented as we cruised through the Sierra Alhamilla mountains en route to Almería on a Friday afternoon. “You, for example, are much more extroverted than the girl we had at the school last year.” I couldn’t help…

Unexpectedly weird American* things

*and one unexpectedly weird British thing My job description includes two major parts: Help deliver class material to Spanish teenagers in my native language, speak slow English, occasionally attempt to explain what “turn down for what” means Act as an unofficial “ambassador” for my country and culture The second of the two often comes into play even…

Expat Facts: 9 things I’ve learned from being “the foreigner”

Monday, December 14, 2015. The date has been looming in my passport for several months now. As of today, my visa is officially expired and I’m on track to legally becoming a foreign resident here in Spain. Two weeks ago, I had a very enjoyable visit to the immigration office to file all my paperwork…