Key West’s Best Key Lime Pies

Key West … Key Lime Pie

When thinking of Key West, I cannot help but link the city with the tart treat. Throughout the town, stores boast the “original” and “best” key lime pies – but who are the real winners? During a recent trip, I decided to try every key lime delight I possibly could in the span of five days. The following are my top picks for where to eat the best key lime pies in Key West…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58c5a120e4b070e55af9f093

3 Reasons to Fall in Love with Raleigh

After spending more than half of last year abroad, I can’t help but think of home, and why after travelling to 55 countries – and counting – around the world, I keep returning to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Despite the ever-intriguing fluctuations in sun and rain and wind and hail and spring’s annual snow-dusting of pollen, Raleigh is a world-class city with world-class opportunities and world-class universities, a technology capital with growing entrepreneurial capacities. Raleigh is young – a city of just-emerging professionals and students striving to mold their city into something bright, beautiful, and exciting.

Read on here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/3-reasons-to-fall-in-love-with-raleigh_us_5836f5d5e4b0c2ab944367e5

 

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

On San Sebastián

Between sapphire sky, crystal ocean, yellow hills, and blue mountains, sits San Sebastián on the north-western tip of Spain. The ocean filters into the bay and from the bay, the city grows outward and onto the surrounding hills. In that bay, rests an island where the waves break, with a single house on its top, sharp cliffs of rock hewn by wind and ocean and time surrounding it.

Read on here: http://pooleglobal.blogspot.com/2016/11/i-took-trip-to-san-sebastian_3.html

 

A Day in Toledo, Spain: What to See and Do

Toledo: ancient city of three religions twining and crossing across time. To step onto the steep roads of this Spanish hill town is to step back in history. Toledo is a city best seen in sunshine, all the better to see the intricate details of the buildings and the sun glinting off the river – lucky for your trip, rain seems to seldom fall here.

Toledo is half an hour from Madrid by train and forty-five minutes by bus, making it the ideal spur of the moment day trip for anyone hoping to make the most of a day off or an unplanned weekend.

After two trips to Toledo in the last month, read about a few of my favorite things to recommend to anyone hoping to make a visit at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-day-in-toledo-what-to-see-and-do_us_58187bb9e4b08301d33e0e2d

 

Three Croatian Paradises to Visit

Split – This cosmopolitan capital of ancient times, founded nearly 2400 years ago by Greeks, gained its main attraction in 305 C.E. upon the construction of Diocletian’s Palace. Diocletian, an emperor with Dalmatian roots, left his mighty position in Rome to retire to Split and build his spectacular retirement home. Read more about Split and my other favorite places in Croatia at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/three-croatian-paradises-to-visit_us_57caac00e4b06c750dda2947