September 2012
4 posts
3 tags
That Little Thing Called Reverse Culture-Shock
Yes, it’s real. And I don’t know if it comes as more of a shock or an expectation, but there’s no avoiding it. It hit me nearly as soon as I got off of the plane and was enveloped in the U.S. of A and all of its American-ness. Starbucks on every corner! Friendly customer service! Big portions! Yikes—coming fresh from the land of tiny tapas, a completely different coffee culture (to-go cups...
Sep 26th
3 notes
4 tags
An Afternoon in Elche, The City of Palms
Going to Elche was never a planned-out thing, but, I was in the area and decided to drop in for the day and see what Valencia’s third-largest city had to offer. It was mid-day, scorching and the streets were empty—all things that wouldn’t necessarily make me fall in love with a place—but despite everything Elche had going against it, it has pockets of charm to be found by...
Sep 24th
4 notes
3 tags
Scenes from Alicante
When a place can combine being near the ocean and qualify in size, culture, dining options, etc. as a city—chances are, I’ll like it. Alicante was no exception. It’s a mid-sized city stretched out along the Mediterranean coast, famous for its gorgeous year-round weather and abundance of seafood-heavy rice dishes.  It’s full of palm-tree-lined boulevards, open-air cafés...
Sep 12th
3 notes
3 tags
What I'll Miss About the Andalusian Summer
After a few blissful months of sunbathing on the beach and dips in the pool, balanced out with a healthy workload and visiting family to keep me busy, September has arrived. In Spain, that means the best part of the year is coming to a close. Schools are starting up, businesses resume their normal hours, and beaches lose their sun-baked crowds. Summer in Spain is undoubtedly my favorite part of...
Sep 1st
3 notes
August 2012
3 posts
5 tags
Arroz a Banda: A New Favorite Spanish Food
While I consider myself fairly well versed in the likes of Spanish food and wine, my knowledge of arroces just wasn’t up to par. That is, until I left Andalucía and went to the proud home of Spain’s reigning rice (paella) in the region of Valencia; or more specifically, Alicante.  There, I discovered not only that there’s a devotion to rice way beyond paella (there’s even a rice museum in...
Aug 29th
4 notes
5 tags
Capture the Color
I’ve been nominated by a couple of great bloggers C’est Christine and The Young Adventuress to take part in a competition organized by Travel Supermarket. This competition requires each blogger to submit travel photos that capture different colors to be judged by some super-talented travel photographers. GREEN: In Versailles, the manicured lawns and elaborate palaces tend to steal the...
Aug 19th
3 notes
5 tags
So, It's Been Awhile...
Here’s my obligatory disclaimer/apology/bad blogger fess-up since I haven’t been churning out new content as of late. But, I have been working (a lot!) on various projects and playing a bit as well—I recently got back from 9 days in a region of Spain I’ve never been to before: Valencia! Other firsts: going camping (no, my Girl Scout camping trips don’t count), trying...
Aug 14th
1 note
July 2012
4 posts
5 tags
6 Pairs of Sandals Perfect for Summer Travel
In Athens, Greece. I opted for gladiator sandals, naturally! Summer is upon us, and that means you’ve stored away your leather boots and closed-toe shoes and are pulling out your wedges, flip-flops and sandals. When I travel, I don’t like to sacrifice my style, but I do know the importance of being comfortable—especially on those hot, unforgiving days when you’re...
Jul 6th
5 tags
An Evolving Passion: One Girl’s Relationship with...
I’m so happy to have Lauren of Spanish Sabores guest posting today! Though we’ve known each other in the wonderful world of travel blogging for a while, we just recently met up in Madrid. I’m so impressed by her entrepreneurial spirit (check out her food tour in Madrid!) and absolutely love her food posts over on her blog, so I asked her to write about where it all began: her...
Jul 5th
5 notes
5 tags
Scenes from Conil de la Frontera, Cádiz Part II
Did you catch Part I of Scenes from Conil? The Tower of Guzman, which is the symbol of the city.  A cute pup cooling off in the shade of its owner’s restaurant. The Church of Santa Catalina. The blindingly white streets of Conil. One of Conil’s many beautiful beaches. The walkway down to the beach and hidden coves. Palm trees and bell towers. Hints of color in...
Jul 3rd
4 notes
5 tags
Scenes from Conil de la Frontera, Cádiz
A visual voyage through the white-washed walls and golden beaches of Conil de la Frontera: Playa de los Bateles, studded with beach umbrellas in the middle of a hot afternoon. An artisan market, offering up handmade jewelry, clothing, and more on the beach promenade. Fresh squeezed orange juice, café con leche and pan con tomate=the breakfast of champions. La Iglesia de Santa Catalina,...
Jul 2nd
2 notes
June 2012
6 posts
4 tags
Conil de la Frontera; You Surprised Me
What do you get when you mix a pretty Spanish white village, plop it in front of a stunning stretch of coastline, and add in a healthy dose of great nightlife? Chances are, you’ll get Conil de la Frontera. After visiting this last weekend, I was surprised I had never heard much of this town before. Sometimes, I think it’s better that way. That way, I can’t build up...
Jun 27th
2 notes
4 tags
Where to Eat in Tarifa, Spain: Restaurante El...
Sometimes you have a dining experience that’s so perfect, from the location, to the food, down to the service, that it doesn’t really matter what the bill says at the end. El Tesoro, located in the mountainside of Tarifa near Bolonia gives you that type of experience. The restaurant is located off of the highway, past a sign prohibiting you from entering this “Military...
Jun 21st
3 notes
1 tag
Guest Post: Viaja por España este Verano, y...
Dream of traveling to Spain this summer? Read below for a guest post describing the different colors that represent the varied landscapes and regions of Spain and start planning your getaway! This post has been made possible by a third party. Los sueños se cumplen, pero para que se cumplan es imprescindible querer hacerlos realidad. Viajar, equivale a ver cumplido un sueño y quizá sea el momento...
Jun 21st
2 notes
3 tags
20 Things I've Learned About Spaniards
Toledo, Spain I’ve spent enough time in Spain to say I’ve learned a thing or two about Spaniards. Obviously, I know Spain is full of all sorts of people (like anywhere else in the world) and this list isn’t meant to be taken seriously in its generalizations.  A Spanish mother will never let you go hungry. She’ll also serve you generous portions at all meals. Generous is...
Jun 12th
24 notes
4 tags
Andalusian White Town: Vejer de la Frontera
I kinda have a thing for Andalusia’s pueblos blancos. Maybe because they remind me a lot of my beloved Greek Island towns, or maybe because they’re largely untouched by tourism, contain authentic local cuisine, and represent an unmistakably Andalusian slice of life amongst their white-washed buildings and narrow streets. Either way, I’ll never tire of exploring a new pueblo...
Jun 6th
4 notes
5 tags
My First Spanish Football Final Experience
I don’t know which team in La Liga you support, but I can assure you one thing: the fans of Athletic Bilbao are the most fervent in the league. Two weeks ago I set off to the Copa del Rey in Madrid as the only girl amongst a group of rowdy Basques (brave, I know!), proudly sporting their red and white stripes and chanting “A lo loco, lo loco, lo loco, a lo loco se vive...
Jun 5th
12 notes
May 2012
5 posts
5 tags
Bilbao's Best Pintxo
There’s a Basque saying that succiently sums up the culture: Nola jan jakitea, nahikoa jakitea da. To know how to eat is to know enough. If you’ve ever been to Basque Country, or met a Basque person, chances are, you’ve discovered they’re super passionate about food. Everyone’s a foodie. Conversations about food come up regularly, and social gatherings...
May 22nd
10 notes
2 tags
Bilbao (or as the locals say: El Centro del Mundo)
There’s many reasons to love Bilbao. Some surrender themselves to the famous Basque cuisine served up all over town, while others are enchanted by the rolling green hills that surround the city or its brown-sugar sand beaches. I personally love Bilbao because in some ways it reminds me of Seattle with its moody weather, proud locals and abundant greenery…but with much, MUCH better...
May 16th
8 notes
4 tags
Travel Photo Editing For Absolute Beginners
My photos of the places I’ve traveled to will always remain among my most treasured souvenirs of a place. They’re unique to me, as the photos reflect the places and people I’ve seen through my eye alone. When I get home, I’m excited to go through them, and hand-pick the shots I want to edit. This process of looking back on them never fails to bring me right back to the...
May 12th
6 notes
3 tags
How To Learn English (and Other Foreign Languages)
As someone who has been running what I call my “one-woman English academy” for the past two years, I’ve learned not only how to teach my native language to others of all levels, I’ve also learned the techniques to learning a second language. I always tell my students not to be shy in front of me, because I’m a student myself—learning their language, Spanish. So...
May 12th
5 notes
5 tags
Why Basque Country Needs to Be on Your Itinerary
Playa La Concha in San Sebastián, Basque Country I often get e-mails from readers asking for my Spain travel advice. They give me a run-down of their itinerary and it always looks something like this: Madrid, Barcelona and somewhere in Andalucía (usually Sevilla or Granada). Once in awhile I might see a trip planned around a famous festival—like San Fermines (The Running of the Bulls) in...
May 7th
16 notes
April 2012
6 posts
4 tags
Apr 27th
4 tags
Lisbon vs. San Francisco: Are the Comparisons...
If you’ve heard someone talk about Lisbon, you’ve probably heard them compare it to San Francisco. But, is it true? Could Lisbon, founded in 1255, really have that much in common with San Francisco, founded hundreds of years later? In short, yes. Lisbon and San Francisco do have some striking similarities: 1) The cable cars 2) They were both built atop seven hills 3)...
Apr 20th
7 notes
3 tags
Memorable vs. Mediocre Meals While Traveling
Though Lisbon itself wasn’t my favorite, I did have a great dining experience there that I won’t forget soon. It came the day after a mediocre meal accompanied by pretty terrible service. Now trust me, I understand that not everywhere else in the world has a tipping culture like my home country, (thanks for that lesson, Spain!) but tips aside, nothing excuses being downright rude....
Apr 16th
1 tag
Curated Links Week 4
Photo: Taken in the white-washed seaside village of Asilah, Morocco in 2010. Hope your weekend has been lovely, readers! My apologies for the quietness around here lately. As you know, I just got back from Portugal, and I’m trying to get reorganized. After a hiatus last week, here’s more curated links! It’s Sunday. In Spain, that means almost everything is shut down. So,...
Apr 15th
3 tags
Lisbon: Not What I Expected
I look at visiting new cities as one may look at going on a blind date. Some cities you connect with and want to see again, while others leave little to be desired. Unfortunately for me, Lisbon, Portugal was the latter. I usually never completely write off places and vow to never return, but honestly, I’d be hard-pressed to find a reason to return to Lisbon. It wasn’t horrible,...
Apr 13th
4 notes
3 tags
Apr 4th
24 notes
March 2012
12 posts
1 tag
In Lieu of Words...
…more photos of my hike to the narrowest point between Spain and Morocco.
Mar 27th
3 notes
1 tag
Curated Links Week 3
Photo: Beautiful Bilbao, Spain That summer-like weather I described in my last post? I kinda spoke too soon. As luck would have it, Friday ushered in rain, high winds and all-together crappiness. Hopefully it turns around soon, as Semana Santa is the week after next which equals no work+a trip to Lisbon, Portugal! Have a good week! —- Need to learn DSLR camera functions? Try out this...
Mar 25th
1 note
3 tags
Hiking to Morocco?
In the remaining days of winter last weekend, the sun shone brightly, the beachfront promenade was packed with people, and a few brave souls were already dunking themselves into the Mediterranean. I’m all for staycations and exploring locally so I don’t have to worry about things like backpacker insurance and what to wear to the airport. So, I set off into the sunshine, and I opted to...
Mar 24th
5 notes
2 tags
Airport Style
I believe that your personal style should never be sacrificed for an airplane ride. Whether I’m at the airport at 6AM or mid-day, I keep my sweatpants and slippers tucked away in my bag. However, I don’t go to extremes, and the airport isn’t my personal runway as it seems to be for some women (I will never understand wearing high-heels to get on a plane!). I tend to meet in...
Mar 23rd
3 notes
1 tag
Guest Post--Benidorm: Not Just Mobility Scooters!
Benidorm. Wait! Don’t judge a book by its well-publicised cover. Thanks to the popular ITV show, this Costa Blanca resort has been given a slightly wronged name. Yes, it’s brash, at times it can be a little tacky, but it’s also full of beautiful beaches, with a year round mild climate and boasts a huge range of activities.  The famous high-rise skyline is the postcard picture of Benidorm. Despite...
Mar 21st
1 tag
Why I Prefer To Be Rich in Experiences
Before I graduated from university, I envisioned my post-grad life to be somewhat of the following: successful career in PR, apartment in the city, happy hours with my girlfriends, etc. After I studied abroad, as cliché as “I found myself in Europe” may be, I did absolutely discover that travel was going to be a priority in my life and the aforementioned vision of what I though being...
Mar 19th
19 notes
1 tag
Curated Links Week 2
Photo: San Francisco, 2011 I hope you’re all recovering well from St. Paddy’s Day! I had a great day—went to Tarifa for a beachside walk at sunset, out for drinks in the center, then out again for tapas and beers at one of my favorite local restaurants. We finished the meal with a shot of ron miel (honey rum, mmm!) from the bar, that our waiter so nicely decided to give us....
Mar 18th
3 notes
4 tags
Santorini: The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Going through my Santorini pictures always makes me happy. I feel so blessed to have been able to visit this famous Greek isle, not once, not twice, but THREE times! It’s truly a magical place, and even though it’s overrun by cruise ship groups come high-season, I recommend it to everyone, as it’s an island with something to please everyone. Though Santorini promises to be an...
Mar 12th
14 notes
1 tag
Curated Links.
Notre Dame at dusk. Paris, 2011. Believe it or not, my only interests do not just consist of travel and Spain. Here’s my list of favorite assorted links and reads from this week; accompanied by one of my travel photos from the archives. Curated Links are to be updated every Sunday and best read in your PJ’s. Cup of café con leche optional. ❤Christine I miss being a student, so when...
Mar 11th
3 notes
3 tags
Hydra: A Traffic-Free Island in the Aegean Sea
Though back home in Seattle friends and family are still bundled up, here on the Mediterranean, it’s already feeling like spring. These next few months are the perfect time to visit southern Europe: it’s warm and mostly sunny, with lower airfare and fewer crowds than the high-season of July and August bring. It’s no secret that one of my absolute favorite places in the world...
Mar 7th
10 notes
3 tags
Guest Post--Spain on a Budget: It is Possible?
Travelling can be expensive, no matter where you go. It can be especially expensive if you enjoy the finer things in life or if you have family in tow. But budget restrictions shouldn’t mean that you should give up your travelling dreams or your perfect holiday abroad – it is possible to do things on a budget no matter where you head to. If Spain is the place that takes your fancy, there are...
Mar 7th
3 notes
3 tags
My 7 Super Shots
Hostelbookers, one of my go-to sites for booking travel accommodation, has started up a meme to share favorite travel photos in the blogging community. One of my favorite bloggers, Erin from La Tortuga Viajera, has tagged me to participate, so here goes! A photo that…takes my breath away  Santorini, Greece is as breathtaking in person as it is in photos. It is truly one of the most stunning...
Mar 5th
4 notes
February 2012
4 posts
4 tags
Carnaval in Cádiz via Instagram
After spending my first Carnaval in Cádiz back in 2010, I knew I’d be back. Though that first visit took me there on a Saturday night, braving the cold, the bottle-filled streets and the mobs of people until the wee hours of the morning, this year, I was content with settling for a Sunday day-trip instead. If I thought going in the day would mean I’d be missing out on the...
Feb 21st
3 notes
4 tags
Honey River
Since I’m in a bit of a chocolate-induced food coma, I’ll let my photos do the talking. Here are the promised pictures of my hike from this past weekend in El Rio de la Miel, or Honey River. Feliz Día de Los Enamorados! P.S. Did you know the Spanish are considered the world’s most romantic nationality? Well, CNNGo seems to think so!
Feb 14th
8 notes
4 tags
Feb 12th
10 notes
3 tags
A Hike in Jimena
Though the white-washed village of Jimena de la Frontera was beautiful; its flower-filled patios and steep, winding streets couldn’t compare with the natural beauty in its surroundings. After climbing to the top of the foothills which Jimena clings to, I walked through the ruins of the Moorish Castle. At one time, the castle made an ideal lookout for approaching threats as the views...
Feb 3rd
4 notes
January 2012
9 posts
5 tags
Hang This On Your Wall.
Not that anyone actually needs inspiration to travel, but when your suitcase is collecting dust and you have no trips planned for the foreseeable future, a gorgeous typography print on your wall will perk you up and get you motivated to put a few extra pennies in the travel fund. So, I saved you the time of scouring Etsy, and found these darling prints by some very talented artists. Don’t...
Jan 27th
41 notes
4 tags
Andalucía's White Towns: Jimena de la Frontera
When you live in a bustling, congested port city, sometimes you just want to get away. To escape the noise, the pollution, the people, and find solace in a quieter, simpler place. This place for me was Jimena de la Frontera. Jimena is the type of fairytale Spanish town that seems straight-out-of-a-postcard. White-washed villages have always captured my heart, but Jimena’s regal position...
Jan 26th
4 notes
3 tags
Life Lately via Instagram
So all you fellow iPhone owners are likely familiar with the app Instagram. If not, it’s an app that turns your blah camera phone photos into something a bit more eye-catching with fun filters. Anyway, a fellow blogger, Jenni of Story of My Life, started documenting her day-to-day life via Instagram, compiled them into a weekly round-up and has encouraged other bloggers to participate. So...
Jan 22nd
7 notes
4 tags
17 Mile Drive, California.
If you ever find yourself driving near Monterey and/or Carmel, California, stop everything and find the signs that point you towards the 17-Mile Drive. This gorgeous stretch of scenic road leads you through the Del Monte Forest to the Pacific coastline with several sights and stops in-between. If you go slowly, as I did, it can make for a beautiful day-trip. Otherwise, plan on at least...
Jan 17th
10 notes
3 tags
Guest Post-Northern Majorca: Peace and Quiet...
The Balearic Islands are home to many treasures, but none are as stunning as the northern coast of Majorca. Home to many towns and resorts, including Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia, the north of the island is a far cry from the busy atmosphere of the south. Majorca is certainly an island of contrasts, with lush green hills and white sandy beaches, to the bustling hubbub of Palma and the party town of...
Jan 16th
22 notes
5 tags
What I'd Wear: Casual City Sightseeing
I’ve been wanting to find a way to incorporate fashion into my seemingly ‘Spain-only’ blog. Those who know me can attest to my love of fashion, or at least, my inability to avoid sales at my favorite stores. This is another reason why expat lifestyle wins out for me—I get to have a closet! Albeit, a small European one. So, I’ve started a new series: What...
Jan 12th
12 notes