Travel

Athens, Greece: A Bleak Awakening

Athens was cold and unwelcoming. If history was what I expected to experience, it was burrowed beneath piles of clothing, oil lamps, half-colored children’s books on the sidewalk, and a sour smell that hung in the air. Perhaps this is my jet lag talking, but the trains did not run, the lockers at the station […]

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Travel

Venice, Italy

Spending the night in sketchy discount hostels is a large part of the student travel experience. Some offer a luxurious “free breakfast,” which usually ranges from white bread to cellophane-wrapped, chocolate-filled croissants, and an assortment of jams and butters, if you’re lucky. My Venice experience was in one of these less-than-three-star accommodations and as a solo female […]

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Travel

Tenerife, Spain

An Island off the coast of Africa, Tenerife is a typical travel spot for German and English vacationers in winter. Since the climate remains on average between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s essentially the European equivalent of the Bahamas. I was traveling, for the first time, with a friend! Molly and I are both Americans in Madrid, […]

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Travel

Edinburgh, Scotland

I had the pleasure of traveling to a new city to visit an old friend.  Nina and I hadn’t seen each other in maybe ten years but when we discovered we were both studying in Europe, it was the perfect excuse to reunite. Her apartment was truly Pinterest-worthy, and she even introduced me to her friend, Scarlett, who […]

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Travel

Four Cities, One Day: Manchester and Other Misadventures

It’s 8:35 p.m. and I am standing at the Ryanair ticket booth in the Adolfo Suárez Madrid Airport Terminal 1. I have missed my flight to Dublin. In this moment, I was living the traveler’s nightmare. Realizing that no one was here to help me through this crisis, I had to figure out what to […]

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Travel, Travel Tips

Navigating Culture Shock: An American Girl’s Guide to Madrid

I’ve never considered myself “super American.” In fact, I even left the States to go to university in Canada. Also, I call “college” “university,” see? Still, I was struck by many aspects of Spanish culture that made me feel like a true foreigner. Though a large city like Madrid is inherently international, I’ve noticed some many culture discrepancies between […]

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Travel

Toledo, Spain

If you’re looking for artistic inspiration, search no further. It’s no wonder El Greco was moved to paint the Toledo cityscape. Just take a glimpse at this view: The city, located an hour south of Madrid, is surrounded by the Tagus river. While the city has a rich history, I was too distracted by marzipan, cobblestone streets, […]

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Travel

Vilnius, Lithuania

Welcome to Vilnius, Lithuania; Population: 539,939, Time Zone: 7 hours ahead of New York, Weather: ~20 Celsius in September with an expected 75+ mm of rainfall. Fun Fact: Lithuania was the first country to leave the Soviet Union (Source). I’m generally a hyper-organized person, but the thought of traveling to a foreign country, trying to navigate in a language I […]

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Travel

El Rastro Market, Madrid: An Antique Adventure

On my third night in Madrid, some “flat mates” and I split a cab home. It provided the perfect opportunity to chat up a native, asking our cab driver for advice on where to go and what to see in Madrid. She recommended that we visit El Rastro, (a surprising first choice, according to some natives we met at […]

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