Café Culture


When someone asks me if I’d like to go out for coffee what that really means is “Do you have a couple hours to chat and catch up on life maybe with a couple of hot drinks between us?” (or cold drinks, or maybe just a slice of banana bread) The word coffee in the […]

Snap, Crackle, Pop, Las Fallas

Part of the cathedral building with a view of the back of a large statue of the Virgin Mary. On the first day of Las Fallas, the 15th, she is covered completely with carnations. And I think she is also burned four days later.

At midnight on the 19th of March every year in Valencia, Spain, giant papier-mâché sculptures are set on fire all over the city. This united fire starting is part of a festival called Las Fallas. During the week-long festival that starts March 15th and ends March 19th of each year, Valencia’s population grows to about […]

Dancing, a Fortress, and Tons of Hiking

Blog III Photo 1

Ah Madrid, a city with so many great sites and sounds. So for this blog post, I’m not going to talk about it. Instead, I want to tell you about my excursions. These are pre-planned trips that API scheduled for us, and all I need to do is show up to the bus. I ventured […]



Last weekend I went to Rome, Italy on a group excursion with API. We were put up in a beautiful hotel near the city center which boasted one of the nicest breakfast spreads I have ever seen. I was enchanted by Rome, and I’m wondering if there truly is something about the city that grabs […]

And Now, Please Welcome, The Grateful Bread


Paella is often known as the classic traditional dish of Spain, but I would argue that there is another food even more intrinsic to the culture: bread. I read a blog post that quoted a statistic that the average Spaniard consumes a kilo (about 2.2 pounds) of bread every day. Another article on Spanish bread […]

The Olives Don’t Taste as Pretty as They Look


It’s always a precarious thing to try to imagine how a place is going to be before you get there. For example, when embarking on a ten-hour bus ride from Chumphon to Bangkok, Thailand one might imagine arriving at a bus station with windows and doors and a nice Thai person to direct you to […]

Lost in Granada: a misadventure

Joy is a choice and happiness is a feeling. One thing I’ve learned to accept while traveling is that everything will not always go according to plan. In each of these moments, we have two clear choices: complain about it or choose to be joyful. Of course that is much easier said than done, and […]