I am reminded how quickly times moves as I look down at my calendar. I have been back in US now for almost two months, missing Europe, missing Spain, missing my Madrid— but living fully and enjoying my American life. The transition between this life and that was rapid and really, quite flawless. I am back to what I left, but everything just different enough, and dare I say better than how I left it before. And I feel better too— more balanced, more present, more thankful. Read more
And in one final gulp, it was over. Madrid, in all its Spanish capital city glamour and grit, downed like a final splash of a tinto de verano.
Loving the experience of living in Spain and traveling came naturally, but falling for La Capi unfolded in layers. I can only dream about what another year here would do. I think it would be even harder to pull me away. Read more
When my mom and brother came to visit me at the beginning of June, I knew it was my last and final chance to make it to Ávila this year. I had been itching to see the town famous for its impeccably preserved medieval walls, and they didn’t let me down. Our leisurely lunch with the most savory chuletón of my existence also did not let me down either. Read more
Porto undoubtedly reminded me of the romance of travel— even when traveling solo. Sure, I was only on my own for less than 24 hours, but brief as it was, the adventure of exploring a new city heightened my senses to the point where it was all I needed. I crave the feeling of being so present in my surroundings— so aware of the the life around me, that as “alone” as I am, I barely realize it. Read more
If only I always lived a mere four hour drive from the Camino de Santiago! For my May “puente,” as the Spanish “holiday weekend” is known, I decided to take full advantage of my proximity to the Camino. Using Bla Bla Car, a ride sharing service for the first time, I headed back to Santander where I had left off in September on the Camino del Norte. Read more
My mom hesitated when the bus pulled up abruptly, passengers visibly filling the aisle. “Let’s wait for the next,” she called out nervously as I had already taken my first step to board. This was already the “next bus” and it was evident that everyone was trying to get back to Krakow at the end of the holiday weekend in Europe. Read more
I’m not going to lie, it has been hard for me to think back to Semana Santa because it ended in heartbreak, and almost two months later, I am still trying to heal.
Nevertheless, this Holy Week was going to be a special one because my dad was making his very first European debut. I planned a grand Spanish tour to show him the beauty of this country that will forever be my second home. Read more
It’s our last night in Lisbon and we have just succumbed to our cravings, opting for an all-you-can-eat sushi bar (a decision we will quickly regret in the upcoming days). With soy sauce now flowing through our veins, we find ourselves moving with the rhythm of this European seaside capital. Up and down gentle hills, our feet occasionally lose grip of the colorful tiles soaked with winter rain. Instantly, we feel the presence of Carnival, samba beats and joy spilling from a crowded bar onto a quiet street. From the doorway, our bodies naturally align to the festive sounds, but all too quickly the finale fades, and we are standing back on the quiet, slick street wanting more. Read more
When I found out that my mom had a four-day layover in Munich at the end of January, I knew I had to find a way to get there. Luckily, my coordinator at school was kind enough to let me take off a few days during the week and make up my hours. Using Munich as our base, we took advantage of the Bayern or Bavarian ticket to take day trips around the region. Our combined ticket was only 28 euro for the day and took us to and from Füssen to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, said to be the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. The nineteenth century Romanesque style castle was commissioned by Ludwig II, king of Bavaria from 1864-1886. Read more