Still Breathing, 2.0: A Mid-Year Recap…

Surpriiiiiiiise–I’m actually still alive!!…But, I actually have a good excuse for being M.I.A.: Between weeks of suffering with no Wi-Fi in my house, over 2 weeks of Christmas vacation, and just living life in general, I haven’t really paid much thought into updating this thing…But, don’t worry–I’ll try to fill you in on what’s been going on in my life these past several months…

Turning 23 In Style

On November 21, I went to a party that celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Las Morenas De España, the lifestyle/travel blog dedicated to black women living, working, and/or traveling in Spain (and for which I wrote a few articles)…Coincidentally, when the clock stuck midnight, I officially marked 23 years of life on this Earth–and, even though the party was not held in my honor, it was really sweet having all the other girls singing Stevie Wonder’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” to me…Not to mention, we SLAYED with that all-white theme (#BlackGirlMagic)!!…

img-20151122-wa0006.jpg Continue reading “Still Breathing, 2.0: A Mid-Year Recap…”

Advertisements

Livin’ La Vida Madrileña: Monthly Recap #1.5…

Once again, I seem to have broken my promises of actually writing consistently–but, I actually have a legit excuse for the radio silence: Since arriving to the Spanish capital this past 15th of September, I’ve been in this flux, trying to get my ducks in a row–you know, piso (apartment) hunting, getting registered at my current address, and getting oriented and settled in at my new workplace!!…I’ve been crazy-busy these past some-odd weeks, so I’ll try my best to recap what exactly has been going on in my little sphere!!…

La Casa:

Upon arriving here, my first main priority was finding an apartment–imperative, because I needed a place with a landlord that offered a contract, something that is required to become empadronada (registered with the city), which in turn is required to get your T.I.E. (Foreigner’s I.D. Card)…I wanted somewhere where a Cercanías (commuter train) station was easily accessible, 450€/less (bills included), and with central heating and WIFI already installed (or about-to-be-installed by the landlord)…

This year, from what I understand, the competition in The Great Piso Hunt was particularly intense, what with more Spaniards moving to the Capital to find employment, more auxiliares than ever, and an influx of refugees from Syria and Lebanon…But praise God, I found my room in only 4 days (some people are still searching for a place to live), and I live in Puerta de Toledo, an area that’s fairly central (it’s just one Metro stop below vibrant La Latina, the city’s oldest neighborhood), has central heating and WIFI, is 12-15 minutes from a Cercanías station (which makes my commute that much easier), is around 50-60€ cheaper from my maximum price point, AND a fairly austere (but ultimately fair) landlord who gave me a contract and who doesn’t overstep any boundaries…

wpid-20151023_092620.jpg

…The Puerta de Toledo–a former gateway that marked the outskirts of the city, it lends its name to my current neighborhood… Continue reading “Livin’ La Vida Madrileña: Monthly Recap #1.5…”

Growth: 4 Ways I’ve Changed After Moving To Spain…

Today I had my last class as an auxiliar de conversación here in Zaragoza, and I’m headed back Stateside in a few weeks–cómo se va el tiempo (how time flies), indeed!!…These past 8 months have flown by, filled with highs, lows, and a lot of chuches from El Rincón (a chain of frutos secos stores based in ZGZ), and as cliché as it sounds, this experience has developed me and changed me in more ways than one…

Culinary Game On Point

I stand by what I’ve always believed about cooking: It’s fairly simple, and you just need to be able to follow instructions to get it done (and get it done right). But considering that I only receive a limited monthly stipend, it’s not like I can go out and splurge on pinchos every day, so I’ve definitely nailed down the art of preparing palatable portions (say that 3x fast) that last for a few days…Plus, there’s a variety amazingly fresh, high quality, affordable ingredients here (olive oil and garlic, anyone?), which means I’ve gotten to flex my culinary creativity muscles and make some truly beautiful dishes here!!…

happily-cooking_482 Continue reading “Growth: 4 Ways I’ve Changed After Moving To Spain…”

LIVIN’ “DAT EXPAT LIFE”: MONTHLY RECAP #5 & 6…

Hiya, folks–sorry it’s been crickets (again) here lately, but my personal schedule has been really schizo lately!!…Hopefully, things begin to settle back down to a normal rhythm again, and I can actually get back in the blogging “zone”!!

But, until then, here’s what’s been going down in my life recently!!

Travel Talk

Last month, an interview that I did with one of my favorite travel bloggers (Kirstie from Venga, Vale, Vamos) went live as the first entry in her “Travel Talk” series–check it out, check it out!!…Speaking of writing, if you missed the third article I did for Las Morenas De España about the awkwardness of expat transcience, you can read it here!!…

Screenshot (9)
Continue reading “LIVIN’ “DAT EXPAT LIFE”: MONTHLY RECAP #5 & 6…”

That Awkwardness of Transience…

Hey, ya’ll–sorry once again for the radio silence (again)!!…In case you’ve been wondering where exactly I’ve been for the past couple of weeks, I’ve moved in and settled into my new apartment, and I’m happy to say that the adjustment has been going along fairly well: Even though there was a bit of friction with my roommates those first couple of days, things have mended, and I’ve gotten used to sharing a living space with two others people and NOT having my own bathroom (I’m definitely missing that)…

But, while I’ve become fairly happy with where I’m at now, physically-speaking, I’ve been thinking a little about where I am, metaphorically–and it’s not a sad place, but it’s not completely cozy, either… Continue reading “That Awkwardness of Transience…”

Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #4…

As of last Thursday, another month of living in Zaragoza has come and gone–and so, another highlight reel!!…

My First Expat Christmas

Last Christmas was my first one spent outside of the U.S., alone…It wasn’t too bad though: Walking through the streets of ZGZ was enough to imbibe me with that holiday spirit…

20141210_214452 Continue reading “Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #4…”

A Zaragoza Christmas…

O.K., so, I was planning to do this post when it was actually Christmas (or at least Boxing Day), but this being the end of the year (and me being on vacation) means that I’m feeling particularly lazy–and for that reason, I didn’t write entries for the “Zesty Zaragoza” and “The Tapa of the Week” series, either…

But, hey–at least I’m doing it now, right???…

I was originally planning to simply stay in my piso, chill, and watch Christmas specials: I was completely alone, with my landlady and her son gone to Huesca, so I was perfectly at my leisure to do just that!!…

However, for some reason, I had so much pent-up energy and the insatiable urge to move, so I bundled up and went out to the calle, wandering aimlessly for a few hours, and that in itself was inexplicably magical–to be surrounded with the energy of hundreds of people, admiring the various displays around the town felt extremely satisfying…

20141225_194246 Continue reading “A Zaragoza Christmas…”

Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #3…

Welp, another month has come and gone here in España–jeez, the time is moving fast!!…

Here’s a basic rundown of what I experienced this past month:

Feelin’ 22

On the 22nd of November, I celebrated my completion of 22 years on this Earth!!…First, my sweet landlady surprised me with a chocolate-truffle cake, then I had a get-together that evening with some pretty awesome people…It was a time of good laughs, good convo, and an awesome Captain America coffee mug, :-)…

1416645158252 Continue reading “Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #3…”

Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #2…

Oy–once again, ya’ll, I’m sorry for not being so conscientious with the posts, but the life of an auxiliar gets kinda hectic sometimes…And, mira, another month of my life here in Spain has come and gone–so let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to these last 4 weeks!!…

Strolling Along the Mediterranean:

In late-October, I spent a weekend in Gandía and Denía (2 Valencian cities), where the annual UEBE (the Spanish Baptist Convention) conference with members of the church I’ve been going to here…While I didn’t enjoy the conference at all (there was no sense of dynamism or fervor, and things were far too rigid), it did come with a silver lining: I finally got to fulfill my lifelong dream of wading into the Mediterranean Sea, :-D…

1414257335793 Continue reading “Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #2…”

Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #1…

As of today, I have officially been living in España for a little over a month–it is truly crazy how the time has been flying!!…

So, this post essentially amounts to an “In Case You Missed It” regarding my first month of “Dat Expat Life”…

The Arrival/Rough Adjustment:

As I wrote previously, I had a less-than-smooth arrival to ZGZ capital…The first week and a half getting settled in and sorted was stressful, to say the least–but, things have gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better since then: I’ve made some friends, gotten myself orientated the city/know more-or-less which buses and tram routes to ride, and have been adjusting to being an adult foreign national–with a bank card, I.D. #, and everything!!…

tumblr_ma16ez3pVc1qgg6zbo1_500 Continue reading “Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #1…”