A Subir: The Marvelous Moncayo Mountain…

Over the course of my 9.5 month stay in Zaragoza, I had gone on a grand total of 2 hiking excursions, and while the first was completely terrible, the second definitely set the bar really high for me as far as nature-based trips go!!…

It all took place on a Saturday, a few weeks before I left Zaragoza: Some people from the church I attended there invited me to come along on their day trip to Tarazona, a city that lies to the South of ZGZ Province, and I–always eager to see new places–happily accompanied them!!…The plan was to spend a few hours hiking in El Moncayo, the mountain that lies beside the city and the highest peak within the Sistema Ibérico mountain range (and Spain’s 10th-highest peak)…Afterwards, we were supposed to see Tarazona and have Bible study–unfortunately, we started our hike fairly later in the day, so we didn’t have much time to see the city…But not to worry–there was plenty of visual splendor on the mountainside for us to take in!!…

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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 #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…

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

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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The Tapa of the Week (Entries 10 & 11)…

Yes, I know that I slacked off last week (again)–but cut me some slack!!…Being on the verge of my vacation made me feel REALLY lazy, but now that I’m officially libre, that means more time for blogging (hypothetically)–yay!!…

As per usual, because I was A.W.O.L. last week, there’s two entries for this week!!…

I recently went to a bar in El Tubo called La Ternasca…The name is a play on the meat they specialize in serving: ternasco (lamb)…

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Zesty Zaragoza: Plaza del Justicia…

Hey, lovely readers–I apologize for being A.W.O.L. last week, but considering that I only have ONE. MORE. DAY. of work until mis vacaciones, I’ve just been feeling really lazy…

However, here I continue with the “Zesty Zaragoza” series!!…Today, I take you to one of, if not my favorite plaza in the city–La Plaza del Justicia...

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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…

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Zesty Zaragoza: Las Fiestas Del Pilar…

Sorry, lovely readers–I was too wiped last week to provide an entry for this lovely series, :-(…But, to make it up to ya’ll, here’s some lovely, never-before-seen-on-this-blog snapshots from Las Fiestas del Pilar!!…

In case you’ve missed my article on Las Morenas De España, the Pilares are an annual festival that commemorates ZGZ’s patron saint, La Virgen del Pilar (who, by the way, also has a cathedral in her honor!!)…

‘Tis a wondrous event, filled with tons of lights, concerts, theatrical performances, Zumba marathons, and gofres–lots and lots of gofres (waffles)…

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