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

The Rocky Road To Zaragoza…

Hey, ya’ll–don’t worry, I haven’t died, it’s just that things have been CRAZY this week, what with me moving to Spain and all!!…I am happy to say that I now find myself in the marvelous city of Zaragoza–though, admittedly, the way here was less-than-marvelous… Continue reading “The Rocky Road To Zaragoza…”

It’s The FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN: The “One-Month-Until-Spain” To-Do List!!…

As of this day, it is officially ONE MONTH until I make that transatlantic flight from J.F.K. to start my new life in España!!!!…

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…Indeed, it IS, :-D!!…

Still, there are several more things that I feel I must accomplish before that wonderful day of days arrives!!… Continue reading “It’s The FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN: The “One-Month-Until-Spain” To-Do List!!…”

I’ve Got That Liebster Love: My First Blogging Award!!…

Words cannot express how honored I feel right now!!…I am now a first-time nominee for the Liebster Award, thanks to the lovely, ginger Fräulein, Julia @ The Redhead Story (ich danke dir dafür)!!…

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But what exactly IS the Liebster Award???…Allow me to explain!!…

In German, Liebster means “dear” or “loved”–and that’s precisely the essence of the award: Travel bloggers from around the world express their enthusiasm/appreciation for other writers and their sites by nominating them for this Internet-only prize, informing others about them in the process!!…

How does it work???…

If you are one of the honorees–and you wish to accept your nomination–you must:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you…
  • Answer his/her 10 questions…
  • Create a set of 10 new questions…
  • Pass the award on to 10 other people…
  • Notify your nominees…

Not too strenuous, now is it?!?!…

O.K., so enough yammering about rules–here are my answers, Julia!!…

1) What is your overall life goal?…

Well, before I go home to be with the Lord, I want to be able to say that I ticked off as many things as I could on my “to do” list while I was on this Earth: Live for at least 2 years in London or N.Y.C., have the most beautiful daughters a person could ask for, go to a huge music festival, learn at least 2 more languages, and–of course–travel the world!!…

2) If you have a really bad day, what’s the one thing that can brighten it up?…

I always feel better by reading Scripture, chilling while the lights are down and some good folk music is in my ears, and numbing my mind with “trash” T.V. (think Maury or Inside Edition!!)…

3) When did you catch the travel bug?…

I think you can probably blame Steve Irwin for that…No, seriously–The Crocodile Hunter totally inspired me and my wanderlusting ways!!…

When I was a little girl, the illustrious Mr. Irwin always captivated me–not only because the man handled toxic snakes like they were inchworms, mind you, but also because he literally traveled the world, going to all these exotic locales (The Amazon, Malaysia, Borneo, and so forth), doing what he loved!!…Because of him, I wanted to go out and have a little adventure of my own!!…

Besides, to THIS DAY I want to travel Australia and visit The Australia Zoo!!…

4) What’s the one thing you cannot travel without?…

I love blogging and uploading pics, so I definitely have to have a computer–and therefore, Wi-Fi is a non-negotiable wherever I happen to be!!…

5) What’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you on a trip?…

O.K.–this one’s a doozy!!..Last May (the 8th, to be exact) I was in Madrid, preparing to fly out of Barajas and return to the States after studying abroad…I had arrived super-early (9 a.m.), so I was just going to chill for a few hours before my flight left at 13:50 (1:50 p.m.)–or so I THOUGHT: When I went up to the big screen that displays the departures at around 11:20–you know, to see which terminal and gate I needed to be at–I noticed that there was not one flight to New York @13:50…Freaking out, I immediately went to the Iberian Airlines baggage counter and asked them what was up, and the lady replied to me 3 things: ) Sólo hay un vuelo a las 12:20 (There’s only a flight at 12:20); 2) El embarque para este vuelo ya está cerrado (The boarding for this flight’s closed already); 3) No tienes billete (You don’t have a ticket)…None of this made sense to me, considering I had bought this ticket FIVE MONTHS AHEAD OF TIME…

So, I immediately booked it to the Iberian customer service counter…As you can imagine, I was freaking out: I had no cell, no spare 1,3-500 Euro to buy flights to get back to N.C., and I certainly didn’t have enough to buy a ticket back to Salamanca and try to regroup…Thankfully, the nice young lady called American Airlines (who Iberia is linked up with), and it was confirmed that, yes, I had a bought-and-paid-for flight with them, and that they screwed up majorly…With that in account, they offered to change my flight for free–which I accepted, of course–and therefore, I ended up on the 4:50 flight to JFK…

Yeah–that was stressful, but thank the Lord that things worked out!!…

6) Do you have a memorable (cultural) experience?…

I don’t know if I can pinpoint a specific moment, but the experience that I can’t WAIT to participate once I’m back in España is ir de tapas (hit up tapas bars)!!…

There’s just something about going to a bar and tossing back a few pinchos and chatting with your friends that’s just inherently español, :-)…

7) Have you been somewhere that turned out to be completely different to what you imagined?

Me--Eiffel Tower

…(Photo credit to the beautiful Ms. Micaela James!!)…

Paris…Yeah, I know that seems weird, but for years I was a semi-serious Francophobe for the longest time–I thought the French language/culture was EXTREMELY overrated (I still kinda do)…

But last summer, while I was studying abroad in London, there was a long weekend towards the end of my stay there, and almost everyone was leaving the city to travel somewhere abroad…About 10 other people were planning on taking the Chunnel to the City of Lights…

I wasn’t going to go, but my Mom insisted and bought me that two-way train ticket…I didn’t think I would like it at all, and the place was a little smelly and dirty (don’t get me started on The Metro), but, surprisingly, I enjoyed myself quite a bit: The people were (shocker) all really polite, walking beside the Seine (esp. during the evening) was enchanting, and for a girl who LOVES museums, The Louvre was the shizz!!…

While I wouldn’t say I like the city better than London, I wouldn’t be against going back, either!!…

8) Is there something you do (routine etc.) when away from home that you wouldn’t do otherwise?…

Buy souvenirs–after all, you need some knicknacks to help you remember stuff (esp. as you get older and senility hits)!!…

9) Which comforts of home do you miss most when on the road?…

Funny–I don’t really miss too many things from the States, apart from the occasional hugs from loved ones…

But, I can tell you that there have been plenty of times where I miss a certain foodstuff/chain that you don’t really find abroad: Chick-Fi-La lemonade/sweet tea, Hardee’s Thickburgers, Cook-Out (look it up, non-N.C. people) milkshakes, IHOP Pancakes, Taco Bell, cranberry sauce, Velveeta-baked macaroni and cheese, Jolly Ranchers–you name it!!…

But, hey–at least there’s pinchos where I’m going, :-)!!…

10) If you could do anything to make this world a bit better, what would it be?…

Keep shining the light and love others as He did, :-)…

On that end note, here is my lists of nominees/questions!!…

Honorees:

Preguntas:

  1. What places are you dying to see within the next five years?…
  2. If you could live in another country/city that you haven’t before, where would it be?…
  3. When did you first catch the wonderful illness that is wanderlust?…
  4. What’s the one thing you cannot travel without?…
  5. What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling?…
  6. What are your preferred lodgings: hotel, hostel, or vacation rental?…
  7. Have you been somewhere that turned out to be completely different to what you imagined?…
  8. What’s the best airline you’ve ever flown with so far, and why?…
  9. What was the best night out you ever had while traveling?…
  10. What quote best surmises your attitude towards travel?…

Thanks again to you, Julia!!…And ladies, I hope to see your responses, :-)!!…

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Triumph: I’VE GOT THE GOLDEN TICKET (I Mean, Carta)!!!!…

FINALLY–after months of waiting, I opened my e-mail first thing this morning, and I saw IT–my CARTA!!!!…

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…Carlton clearly knows how I’m feeling!!!!…

And so, I am proud to say that, over the course of an academic year (8-9 months), I will be living and working in this MAGNIFICENT city: Continue reading “Triumph: I’VE GOT THE GOLDEN TICKET (I Mean, Carta)!!!!…”

It’s ALMOST Here!!!!…

O.K., people–I’m so STOKED, right now!!!!…Within the last hour I’ve received an e-mail from María Pilar–the nice lady who serves as the contact person for us auxiliares aragoneses–that says

“Las cartas de los nombramientos se van a enviar mañana por correo postal. En los próximos días, recibirás toda la documentación también por correo electrónico.”

Loosely translated, it means that my carta will be mailed off tomorrow, and I’ll get my placement information by e-mail all within the next some-odd days as well…IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!!!!…

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Indeed, Sirius, :-)…

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I’m So EXCITED (And I Just Can’t Hide It!!): Why I’m Hype About España…

Assuming all goes according to plan, I’m going to Spain sometime this September…While I’ve already elaborated on why I’m going, I need to mention the particular reasons as to why España me emociona!!…

1) Using my SpanishDeutsch (German), I love you and all your beautiful linguistic idiosyncracies (umlauts, what, what!!), but I need to go back to my first language love, el español…But seriously, though–Spanish is my second language, with a special place in my heart, and now that I’ve left university, I don’t want to lose it by not excersing my Spanish brain constantly…Yes, there are a lot of Hispanics here, but I don’t get to engage in convo with them as often as I like–so why not move to somewhere where I could get to read, hear, write, and speak el castellano regularly???…Plus, I can understand Castilian Spanish (except el andalús)  a lot better than, say, the Mexican or Puerto Rican dialects, so it’s pretty much a no-brainer!!…

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¡¡Venga!!Continue reading “I’m So EXCITED (And I Just Can’t Hide It!!): Why I’m Hype About España…”

Why Spain, Why Now (Why Not)???…

As many of you can tell, I’m pretty stoked about my forthcoming journey back to Spain–I mean, it’s Spain!!…While many people I know have been very encouraging and supportive of my decision to dive into the expat experience, at times it’s very frustrating to be met with the same sort of questions constantly: “So you don’t want to get your Masters?”, “I thought you didn’t want to teach?”, “Why not take a job over here with good vacation time?”, etc….

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…Yeah…

Hence, I’d like to clear the air as to why exactly I’m choosing to teach abroad at this stage in the game… Continue reading “Why Spain, Why Now (Why Not)???…”

5 Reasons to Get Hype About Aragón…

As I mentioned in my last post, I am [expectantly] moving to Spain this fall to make my first step into the real world, working as an auxiliar de conversación…And as you will see, the region that I will soon call home, Aragón, has quite a few draws…

1) Location, location, locationAs you can see, Aragón is in el norte…While the North of Spain is generally rainier and colder (more so in wintertime), a lot of the landscape is greener than much of what you would find in the rest of the country…Plus, it’s a lot easier to reach all those great cities of the North–Pamplona, Logroño, San Sebastián, A Coruña, Barcelona–if you live, well, in the North!!…

aragon-location Continue reading “5 Reasons to Get Hype About Aragón…”

And So The Real World Begins…

It is done…Just hours ago, I (and my classmates) made our way up and across the stage set on the Upper Quad, each of us receiving a black folder emblazoned with our school’s seal and name inscripted…

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And so, I can now say that I am a proud alumna of Wake Forest University (magna cum laude, no less)!!!!…

Now, what was the point of sharing all this (besides being all cathartic with my excitement)???…Well, I’ve always made it a point that I will always actively write on this blog whenever I had some exciting upcoming adventure in store for my little life–and indeed, I do!!… Continue reading “And So The Real World Begins…”

Touring Oireland: Day 6 (+Reflection)…

…Welp, I’m back in the ‘Boro, again!!…My last day in Oireland was, pretty interesting to say the least…

I had some free time in the hours before 11:45, so I walked with Dr. Radomski and Dr. Inkman–our vocal coach and accompanist, respectively–to Trinity College in order to see the Book of Kells–a brightly-illustrated manuscript of the 4 Gospels in Latin, completed circa 800 by Columban monks at their monastery in Kells…

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…Christ enthroned, surrounded by 4 angels (I’m thinking Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel)… Continue reading “Touring Oireland: Day 6 (+Reflection)…”

I’m Off To Oireland!!…

…Assuming that my flights aren’t delayed by the “massive” ice storm tonight, I’ll make it to the Emerald Isle at approximately 8:40 Irish time on Saturday, setting off on my epic choir tour!!…

To be honest, I don’t really know what to expect with this trip…I mean, Oireland is home to a lot of awesome things–lush pastoral landscapes, Celtic art and symbols, leprechauns, and Michael Fassbender!!…

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I mean, off course I’m excited to be going–after all, this will be my 4th foreign country!!…Still, I can’t help but hope that I won’t be the girl sitting awkwardly in the hotel, without a buddy to explore things with–wait, what am I saying???…I’m [fairly] certain it’ll be awesome–after all, this trip is combining 2 of my favorite things: singing and traveling!!…

And now to share my Oireland Bucket List!:

  • Drink a free Guinness at the Storehouse.
  • Eat an Irish breakfast.
  • Make music with a boisterous folk band in a pub.
  • Try Irish coffee.
  • Find a 4-leaf clover.
  • Find a leprechaun.
  • Understand at least 70% of what people say to me.

That’s all I can think of right now–but it’s a pretty decent list, don’t you think???…

Has anyone else been to The Republic of Ireland???…Any advice to a newcomer???…

Last Days In The L-Town (For Now)…

It’s been goin’ on 3 days that I’ve been back in the ‘Boro–and it feels almost as if I had only dreamt of London and the Worrell House…

But it wasn’t just a dream my friends, and in my last few days there (for now), I tried to live it up a little…

So Tuesday night, we (minus one) sat down in the back garden with with Tap-Daddy (as some were wont to call him) and his wife, enjoying fine conversation, wine, bread, and sticky toffee pudding (which is one of the most delicious desserts I’ve EVER tasted–I’m seriously making that this week)…

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That Wednesday, we had our exam (not too strenuous), and afterwards, I decided to go out and about on my last full day (for now) in this marvelous city…First, I made my way to the Palace of Westminster (a.k.a. The Houses of Parliament), where I went on a scheduled tour of the inside of the building…Granted, this isn’t the most spectacular building I’ve ever seen, politics don’t interest me at all, and the whole systemic governmental nonsense my tour guide was explaining went in one ear and right out the other–however, it’s nice to say I’ve actually been inside the building, and not just taken pictures of Big Ben (once again, no pictures inside could be taken–but that’s why I love the Internet)… Continue reading “Last Days In The L-Town (For Now)…”