Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reflection: one year later

Exactly one year ago yesterday... I moved to Spain.

The four and a half month I lived in Granada, in a piso overlooking Meat Street were the best months in my life. I learned that I could live on my own, be independent and adapt to new situations. I learned that sidewalks in Spain are either non-existent or slippery when wet. I learned to never accept the rosemary from the gypsies or else I'd be robbed. I learned that people have no problem having sex in an apartment lobby and that if you wear shorts and flip-flops in public people will call you a puta.

But most importantly I learned that there's bigger and more important things in the world than you can ever imagine.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could be back in Granada. Then I take a step back and remember that everything comes to an end. In some ways, it seemed like a fake life. I had no worries or responsibilities. Classes were ridiculously easy and some of my biggest problems were trying to find the cheapest hostel for my next weekend getaway.

I met so many amazing people and I was lucky enough to bring some of them home with me. For those who are in other states and countries, I'll see you soon.

When i look back on my semester in Spain the only regret I have is not spending a full year in that gorgeous city.

Now, a year later, things are going pretty good.

I finally paid off my credit card debt from my travels! I (sorta) quit my job at Cracker Barrel (aka Crack Bar) because I found something much better.
I am now a staff reporter at the UNM Daily Lobo. If you want to read my breaking news articles, go here.
I still work as an office assistant in the foreign language department, but not as much as I did last year. I finally have free time!

I'm applying for every internship I find. Ideally I would like to live in D.C. for the summer (I'm coming for you Mike!) but I'll accept anything I can get (But I'd prefer ABCNews).

I will officially be a college graduate in December! I can't imagine life out of school so it will be an interesting adjustment. I decided that if I can't find a real journalism job, then I'm going to apply to be an Au pair and move back to Europe for a year.

I'm thinking of starting a new travel blog about New Mexico. If I do I'll post the link.

As far as that list of goals I made, here is an update:

1. Become more outdoorsy. Right now it's really cold outside so I prefer to stay indoors.

2. Learn another language. Learning Hungarian is low on my priority list, but I'm taking two Spanish classes this semester instead of just 1.

3. Start my novel(s). After taking creative writing this semester, I have a better idea of what direction I want to take my stories. Chapters have been written but it's still a work in progress.

4. Compete in running competitions. I'm pleased to announce that I will be competing in the Warrior Dash! It's a 5k complete with different obstacles. Training started yesterday.

5. Visit another continent. Hopefully within a year I'll travel again. My top choices are Australia, New Zeland, India, Egypt and Japan.

All great things take time.

That semester changed me for the better. When I think about Granada and my travels and all they taught me, I can't help to ask some questions:

What do you think the Dutchman is doing with his life? Did he move to Cadiz like he wanted, or is he still in Granada creating art that no one buys?

What about Lauren's lover, Juan, and his creepy grenade friend? What are they doing with their lives?

And Vincent? And Carlo? And José?

Is Poe still as delicious as I remember? (OMG I'd kill to have a piri-piri or coconut chicken)!!!

Did that guy in London ever find some cocaine?

Did that crazy man in Nerja ever find that missing little girl that was taken from her real mama and papa?

Does this make me a groupie? (Only Lauren can answer this question).

What was that weird vegetable that Lauren questioned?

Is the bread man still selling his bread outside my piso?

Is Encarnación still alive?

Are there still creepers hitting on American girls in the clubs because they think they'll sleep with them?

Is that old lady with Alzheimers still protesting in Barcelona?

Will I ever get the chance to seduce Enrique Iglesias with my beautiful Spanish words?

Why does Bryce hate Prague?

and last but not least...

Where can I find fried chocolatey goodness?

Hasta Luego y nos vemos!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Finale: Prague

This is the last Nippy post. Here we are in Prague!!!
 The Astronomical Clock

 With Franz Kafka
 The old Jewish Cemetery

 The Lennon Wall
 Baby demon sculptures
 The Ossuary at kutna hora

The sex machine museum!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nippy goes to Paris!

Our next stop was the city of Love, Paris. This was far too romantic for me, but Nippy had a great time!!!
Notre Dame Cathedral
 St. Michael's Square
 The Louvre
 The Obelisk

 Moulin Rouge!!!
 His new Gargoyle friends
 Monmartre Cemetery
 Arc de Triomphe
 Our friend Venus
 and Mona Lisa!!!

Last, but not least. the Eiffel Tower

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nippy in Lisbon

So there are only three more blogs and they're all of Nippy. Here are pictures from out first stop in Lisbon. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

All good things come to an end...

Last trip to the Mirador =(

To start off my good-bye blog, I want to share a little story with you all.
Friday night was Lizzie’s last night, so we decided to head down to our favorite tapas bar, Poe. Along the way we passed a hotel, where there were many screaming Spanish men above. At first we didn’t pay attention to them until I noticed one little thing.
Me: Are they naked?!?!?!?!?
Someone else: I think they are?!
Another one: Oh my good-ness!!!!
Marianela: I’m going to take a picture!!!!
This is why I didn’t have a Spanish boyfriend. They like to get naked with other men in hotel rooms.
Anyway, back to the sad part…
I’m sitting in EVL’s apartment writing this blog because I am officially homeless.
Today I moved out of the apartment and tomorrow I head out for my two-week adventure to the exotic lands of Portugal, Paris, Prague and the precious state of Michigan!
This week has been a week of lasts. Last club in Spain, last tapas and last experiences with some of the best people I’ve ever met. Since last Sunday, I’ve said hasta luego to six people so far. It’s a good thing that half my gang is from New Mexico, because at least I’ll get to see them when I get home. It won’t be the same without the rest of our foreigners/Bryce from Florida!
This week has been surreal. I am having a hard time believing that this chapter in my life is over. Even though I’ve only been here four months I can’t imagine my life anywhere else. The past semester was everything I hoped for and more! I’ve seen so many breath-taking places, gotten lost, ate my weight in Poe Tapas, met the most ridiculous Spanish men and learned a lot about myself in the process.
Since I was in high school, I knew I was going to study abroad my second semester of my junior year. Now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do next. Besides graduating in two years time, I have no other immediate dreams and goals, so I guess I’m going to have to make up some new ones… here is my list so far:
New Life Goals:
1.     Become more outdoorsy. Learn how to snowboard, mountain climb, repel and kayak. I also need some wilderness skills. A few months in Montana with my Uncle Steve would turn me into a pioneer woman for sure!
2.     Learn another language. I still haven’t mastered Spanish, but maybe I’ll have better luck with something more challenging and obscure, like Hungarian!
3.     Start my novel(s). So far I have three ideas that I want to manifest into the written word. I’ve worked on bits and pieces of each, but nothing substantial. If the job market is this bad when I get out of college, I’ll need something to fall back on.
4.     Compete in running competitions! I think a marathon might kill me, but I could probably do a few 5k’s or something like that!
5.   Visit another continent! Now that’s I’ve done Europe twice, I need some new cultural influences in my life. Egypt, China, Japan, Thailand, India, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are all high on my list. This will all be possible due to the high amounts of royalties I will collect from my best selling novels.
There is a silver lining. Nippy is also coming on this adventure with me. So just in case I don’t blog about my last travels, there will be pictures of Nippy so be excited for that!!!

In retrospect, the only thing I would have done differently would have been to take my love of Enrique Iglesias more seriously by heavily stalking him. I know it would be love at first sight. When he finally meets me outside his bedroom window, he’ll want to be my hero and stand by me forever.
So for now this is not adios, but hasta luego Spain! I will someday return to you with my future children and show them all the exciting places that I visited: 
“Here’s the club, El Camborio, where mommy spent most of her weekends making out with random dudes.”
Yeah… that conversation is going to happen.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bill Clinton Lied!

Before I start this, let me just say how much I love Granada. I love that everything is in walking distance. I love the free tapas. I love how relatively cheap it is compared to the rest of Europe.

There is one thing that I don’t love. I think its just alright.
According to Bill Clinton, El Mirador at St. Nicolas is “the best sunset in the world.”
No Bill Clinton. I beg to differ.
When I went up for the first time (okay technically it was the second time, but the first time was at night so it doesn’t count) I was really excited to see the beautiful sunset that everybody wets their pants about.
Turns out you don’t see the actual sun. This is as close to seeing the sun as I could get.
What you actually see is just the sun casting down its red rays across Granada. Not gonna lie, but I think it looks like a bunch of trash in a rose colored bag. 
The sun also cast a pretty glow against the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada’s. It’s pretty, but Clinton must have been getting some action up there for it to be so memorable. 

Let me share with you what I think it the most beautiful sunset in the world…
It’s a magical place called New Mexico. Where the food is spicy and the air is clean. If you're like the half the population of the US and missed that day in third grade, where you learn all about the 50 states and capitals, you might think that we're still part of old Mexico.
In Albuquerque, there is a group of mountains called the Sandias. The word Sandia is the Spanish word for watermelon. When Spanish settlers saw the sun set on the mountains they thought it looked like a watermelon. Hence the name.
Here is a view of the sunset from the West Mesa.
Here is what the sun does to the mountains...

and this...

Mucho mejor if you ask me.

You see, when I was younger, I absolutely loathed New Mexico. I'm from a small town called Las Vegas (don't be fooled, it's not like Nevada) and I thought my life would be more exciting if I lived in any other place than NM. Even when I moved to Albuquerque I wanted to leave. It really wasn't until I visited places like Wyoming and Michigan when I thought to myself, "okay NM isn't that bad."

Now that I’ve lived in Spain for four months, you have no idea how much I miss New Mexico. I miss open spaces, mountain landscapes, deserts, Bridge Street, Carnegie Library, drives up to Montezuma, food from my favorite restaurants like Estella’s, Cocina de Rafael, Hillcrest and Spic & Span. It’s made me partially regret planning post-semester travel.

Let’s be real here, who ever thought I’d say that?

However, I know if I don’t travel and have this experience now, I never will. Now that the rapture is over, there’s plenty of time to eat my weight in green chili when I get home.

So to sum things up NM sunsets are greater than Granada sunsets.
NM > GR (is this correct? My math skills aren’t too great.)
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