All Who Wander

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

I am a wanderer.

In four Madrid months, I wandered far beyond what I knew. I have been lost (sun-drenched Madrid streets blending into one another, winding and circling in the dizzying heat, cream colored building after cream colored building); I have found (ruins from the time of the Moorish Emirs, squares sparkling with light refracted from the water leaping from fountains, peacocks scrambling through the mazes of a monastery-palace in a glimmer of sapphire and emerald).

My favorite ballroom dance is Quickstep. When one learns to dance quickstep, the instructor yells, “Slow, Slow, Quick-Quick” until nothing but those words can resound in the dancer’s mind. Those Madrid days were a dance – Quickstep in particular.

Slow, Slow: lazy days meandering through the capital of Madrid, captivated by walls of art, stumbling upon festivals and rifling through stores and sitting for hours with a single cup of coffee in an overstuffed chair.

Quick-Quick: rushes of weekends, countryside blurring from car and airplane and train windows, exam proctors yelling “time” as dozens of pens scratch out final responses, standing on the edge of Moncloa watching the cars race into the distance.

Somehow, the days melted away in that dance and I came to the end of my Madrid wanderings.

So if I can offer one piece of advice for my fellow dreamers and nomads, it is to never cease to wander and never cease to see wonder.

Read the original blog here: http://pooleglobal.blogspot.com/2016/12/not-all-those-who-wander-are-lost.html

Packing for Study Abroad

The time is coming to pack up, to squeeze the suitcase shut and kiss your family and friends goodbye, to start a new chapter of your life in a different country, perhaps even on a different continent. And so the question becomes:

How do you pack an entire life into a suitcase or two?

As I prepare to pull my suitcase from its closet in my rented room and close the zippers on the life I created over the last four months in Madrid, I am reminded of the days of agonizing that went into closing that suitcase the first time in my room in Raleigh.

So after surviving and thriving over four months living from my suitcase, here are a few of the tips I found most helpful for packing for my time in Madrid: http://www.setafoot.com/monthly-tips-for-study-abroad-2/2016/12/12/packing-for-study-abroad

 

 

Celebrate Christmas in Madrid

Is it your first winter in Madrid? Are you wondering how to make the most of the chilly days here? Madrid in December is like nothing I have ever seen before, filled with light and color and excitement. After exploring the brightly lit and decorated streets in the newly cold weather, discover here some favorite Madrid winter traditions that I have stumbled upon! http://www.setafoot.com/monthly-tips-for-study-abroad-2/2016/12/5/winter-in-madrid-how-to-celebrate-xmas

 

Madrid Architecture: A Walking Tour

On any given street in Madrid, there are a thousand focal points dazzling from every angle – from postmodern sculptures peeking off rooftops to classical fountains circled by cars and buses to pastel-toned buildings, their years of origin faintly painted onto elaborate facades.

If you are looking to make the most of Madrid’s very varied architecture, here are some of my favorite spots in Madrid on an easy walking tour!

http://www.setafoot.com/monthly-tips-for-study-abroad-2/2016/10/6/madrid-architecture-a-walking-tour

A Dessert Tour of Barcelona: Chocolate, Churros, and Much More

Of all Spanish desserts, there are few as beloved as a plate piled high with lightly sugar-dusted, u-shaped churros and an accompanying cup of thick chocolate. Over a recent weekend trip to Barcelona, I undertook the challenge of eating as many churros con chocolate in as many restaurants as possible – here is a sampling of the best churros in town, with a few other gems found along the way!

Read on about where to satisfy your sweet tooth in Barcelona: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-dessert-tour-of-barcelona-churros-chocolate-and_us_582616e2e4b02b1f5257a11b