Don’t Worry (Still Alive)…

Yes, yes, you’ve heard this spiel from me before–but it’s no less true, eh: Sometimes, you just get too caught up working, taking care of various affairs, and just living life to be the most conscientious of bloggers…But fear not–I shall now try to put you back in the loop of this beautiful, weird thing I call my life…

  1. Work Hard, Will Play Harder– For the 2 1/2  months, I’ve been working for the same company I was with last summer, Sports Endeavors–and I’ve definitely put in a lot of overtime (think 10-12 hour days), and the end result is that I often return to my house feeling completely wiped, so blogging is often one of the last things on my mind (sorry!!)…

But, all that hard work will be worth it: I’m flying back to Spain next Friday (so excited), and hopefully that’ll mean more opportunities for adventures around that great continent we call Europe…I’ve got so many places I wanna see this year: Venice (for more than 7 hours, at least), Verona, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Split, Cornwall, Valencia, San Sebastián (for longer than 1 night)–my imaginings are unlimited (though my funds, sadly, are not)…

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…(Hopefully soon)… Continue reading

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)!!…

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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…

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…The Puerta de Toledo–a former gateway that marked the outskirts of the city, it lends its name to my current neighborhood… Continue reading

Still Breathing: A Quick Catch-Up…

Good Lord–I didn’t think it would get this bad: I know I’ve been really inconsistent over the past year in regard to regularly posting life updates, but I never intended on going on this long without saying ANYTHING–but, then, life…happened…

But don’t worry, folks, I’m not dead, and I actually have a legitimate reason as to why things have been silent as the grave here at my little WordPress site: I’m working!!…Yeah, I’ve been working at a warehouse for the past 2 months now, saving up $$$ for life in my new hometown (a.k.a. Madrid), so I’ve literally been killin’ it with the overtime, and that has made me too busy and exhausted to even think about writing anything of relevance…

However, I’ve decided to battle through my insomnia and essentially recap some of the major things that have happened during my last 2 months in Spain, as well as what I’ve been up to now…

…My “see you later” (NEVER “goodbye”) soireé at the EOI…

Enjoying the Beauty of Tarazona

A few weeks before leaving Zaragoza, I went with some people from church to Tarazona, a small city further south within ZGZ province…Our initial plan was to go hiking on El Moncayo (the mountainside beside the city) before exploring the town and having Bible study, but we arrived fairly late in the day, and the senderismo took longer than planned…Still, ’twas a truly splendid landscape–I couldn’t get enough of those views (or that green)!!…Recap to come eventually!!…

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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!!…

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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!!…

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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

Contemplation: Or, What’s Keeping My Thoughts Occupied…

Hey, folks–sorry for another bout of radio silence: I’ve been here, there, and everywhere, trying to get various things settled and sorted (like a grown-up), and sometimes my blogging gets caught by the wayside…But, hey–I’m hanging in there!!…

Well, one of the major things that happened this week is that the application for the NALCA application opened up again…In case you didn’t know, the NALCA (North American Language and Cultural Assitants) program is what has given me an excuse to live here legally in Spain, working as an auxiliar de conversación (English Teaching Assistant) at an E.O.I. (Official Language School)…Now, with this program, you have the opportunity to renew your position as an auxiliar for another year or two (or three [four…]), either in the same city/region or another city/region, and since I definitely want a lot more time to enjoy la vida española, I’m definitely going to put in for renewal!!…

But that’s where things get murky… Continue reading

2014: A Year Of Travel In Review (via Instagram!)…

O.K., so, as all my faithful readers know by now, 2014 has been a big year for me, what with me moving to Spain and all!!…

However, my adventurings this year have not only taken me to Zaragoza (my current homebase), but to a variety of interesting destinations…So, to cap it all off, here’s an overview of all of my travels this year via Instagram–which is quickly becoming one of my favorite things, EVA (thank God I got a smartphone this year)!!…

Choirland–This past March, I enjoyed the last Spring Break of my undergraduate career in the Republic of Oireland (properly pronounced as written), on a tour with my fellow classmates choir nerds

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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…

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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, :-)…

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If I Could Turn Back Time: My Top 5 Do-Over Destinations…

Taking a page from Kirstie from Venga, Vale, Vamos, I’ve decided to list the cities that I have the most ganas to visit all-over again–in no particular order, mind you!!…It’s somewhat difficult to narrow it down to just 5, but here I go, anyways!!…

1) London, England

Me--The London Eye

While so many other girls have fallen head-over-heels in love with Paris, I’ve been carrying a flame for Londontown ever since I had the pleasure of living and studying there for a month last summer…I mean, what’s there NOT to fall in love with (besides the crowds in summer)???…When I return, I’m DEFINITELY going to hit up more museums and visit more markets!!… Continue reading