Galicia, the Land of the Octopus

Tucked into the far west coast of Spain, nestled right above Portugal and out of the way of just about everything is the community of Galicia. It’s well-known for many things: like the Camino de Santiago, a popular pilgrimage across Spain, its dramatically green landscapes, and the seafood. I jaunted up to Vigo, the largest city in…

A Letter to my School upon my Departure

Dear IES Profesor Tierno Galván, My departure has gotten me all emotional and reflective and I thought it was appropriate for me to write you a letter. So here goes. There are a million things that I could say about this school, but the one that seems the most important is: thank you. Thank you…

Cata del Vino Montilla-Moriles

All year, Córdoba awaits the spring. We suffer through the frigid houses, unpredictable downpours, and naked trees for the most wonderful time of the year: May. May is the season of sun, flowers, and festivals; when the heat is still bearable and staying inside is nearly impossible. The first event to kick of the fiesta…

Valencia: 4 reasons why it needs to be on your list

Valencia. We’ve all heard of it… either from Instagram or your favorite orange producer, right? Maybe if you’re a little more ~cultured~, you’ve heard of Las Fallas. But what do we actually know? At least for me, Valencia was one of those cities people would mention in passing as a “cool spot” in Spain, but…

The Curious Guiri’s Guide to Spanish Politics

I can’t tell you the number of conversations about American politics I’ve had that have ended with an “oof, my country’s government is a mess.” The Spaniards usually sympathetically nod and then say, “Have you seen our country?” Many years ago, I made the observation that Spanish history reads much like the plot of a…

Innocent Racism?

I normally delight in the absurdities and humor of life and travel and my blog certainly reflects that. But today, I want to talk about something a little more serious. Unfortunately, there are still some things in life that aren’t funny at all. In case you didn’t know, International Peace Day is at the end…

How to Live in Spain…and only work 12 hours a week.

Maybe you’ve been reading my blog and thinking, huh, that looks like fun. Well I’m here to tell you: You could do it too! I am currently living and working in Spain thanks to the Language and Culture Assistants Program, also known as Auxiliares de Conversación norteamericanos. This is a program sponsored by the Ministry of…

Do you even Christmas, bro?

That’s right. Spain loves Christmas so much that they even invented a verb for it–navidear, “to christmas.” Since mid-November, the Córdoba city center has been abuzz with Christmas preparations. They’ve hung decorations the city center, stores have put displays in their windows, shoppers have rushed to take advantage of discounts. And now that it’s finally…

3.5 Ways to Callejear like a Boss

You may be wondering – what the hell does “callejear” mean? It’s one of those wonderful Spanish words that defies translation. The closest we can get in English is “to wander down streets” – in Spanish “calle” means “street”; hence “callejear” is the verb. (Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to all nouns—I’ve tried to make “fiestaear”…

The Biggest Chocolate Nativity Scene in the World

“We don’t just make pastries, we also make dreams.” I knew it was a quest the moment the bus driver stopped the bus in the middle of the road to get out and deliver a package to the warehouse across the street. We exchanged bewildered glances with the other passengers as the door of the…

5 Spanish Phrases and How to Use Them

You’ve moved to Spain and you’ve learned Spanish. So you think. My biggest complaint with what I call “textbook” Spanish is that it doesn’t prepare you for an actual conversation. When I graduated high school I could write you an essay on the effects of climate change, but my friend-making ability didn’t extend far beyond…

Pies de gato

The province of Córdoba is bordered by two major mountain ranges to the north and south; the Sierra Morena and the Sierra Subbética. Dozens of little villages (pueblos) are nestled amongst the mountains and in the valley of the Guadalquivir River, connected with a network of bike trails and hiking trails. This makes Córdoba province a paradise…