Coronavirus in Spain: Life Under Lockdown

On Friday, March 13, Spanish prime minster Pedro Sánchez announced that the country would be entering a “state of alarm” due to the coronavirus crisis. The next day, more details were provided as to the specifics. Essentially, the entire country is on lockdown, and movements are extremely limited by the government except in essential situations. [Read more]

Second Chances: The Perfect Cádiz Day Trip

Many people I know had raved about Cádiz, and with good reason. The city’s beauty and history is hard to deny, and its beachside location certainly helps things. Soon I became eager to give the city a second chance, and finally had the chance to do so earlier this summer. [Read more]

Learning to Drive in Spain, Part 2: The Driving Test

So you’ve tackled the first part of getting a driver’s license in Spain by passing the written exam. Enhorabuena! That’s just half the battle: now it’s time to apply everything you’ve learned behind the wheel. [Read more]

A Road Trip Through the White Villages of Andalusia

If you know Spanish, the name is pretty self-explanatory: they’re white villages. More specifically, in the context of Spain and Andalusia, the term pueblos blancos is used to mean the whitewashed towns nestled in the hills of (mostly) Cádiz and Málaga provinces. They’re one of the most idyllic images you can have of southern Spain, and after nearly four years here, there were still several that I’d been wanting to check off my list for a while. So, come Holy Thursday morning, we loaded up the Opel and headed west. [Read more]

Feria de Córdoba: Everything You Need to Know

The feria de Córdoba is often touted as an alternative to Seville’s famously private (for the most part) affair, where you have to know someone or be a member to get access to the majority of the 1,000+ tents. The fair here in my adopted hometown is the last event on a packed calendar of spring festivals in Córdoba, and the perfect way to enjoy the last bit of tolerable weather before the infernal heat of summer sets in. [Read more]

Everything You Need to Know About Pareja de Hecho in Spain

Montilla-Moriles wine - things to do in Cordoba

Anyone who’s done a quick search about how to legally live in Spain has likely come across the term pareja de hecho, and this civil-union-like process has become one of the most popular ways for non-EU nationals to obtain residency and work permission here in España. If you have a Spanish (or EU) partner, you can formalize your relationship with the government (no, it’s not marriage) and be well on your way to establishing a long and happy life here in Spain. [Read more]

Getting a Driver’s License in Spain, Part 1: The Written Test

drivers license in spain

Most of us probably wouldn’t willingly choose to sit through driver’s ed again, and yet almost nine years later, I did. In late 2018, I finally decided to sign up for driving classes and work towards getting a driver’s license in Spain, launching myself into a world of unfamiliar traffic rules, confusing road layouts, and stick shifts. [Read more]

10 Things to Know Before Attending Your First Wedding in Spain

gemma jesus wedding VC

If you’ve lived in a place long enough, it’s inevitable: you’ll meet friends who will want you to come to their weddings! However, going to a wedding or other major celebration in Spain—or any new country—can be overwhelming. While Spanish weddings are, on the surface, not super different from those I’ve attended back in the US, there are definitely some things to keep in mind in order to respect their tradition and culture. Here’s how not to look (or act) like a guiri at your first Spanish wedding. [Read more]

40 Things to Do in Córdoba (Besides Visit the Mezquita)


Don’t get me wrong from the title. Córdoba’s grandiose, glorious thousand-year-old mosque is absolutely a must whenever you find yourself in town. However, a lot of visitors simply don’t know what else the city has to offer, and limit their time here to a simple day trip. If you’re not sure what else to do in Córdoba that isn’t the Mezquita, here are 40 suggestions that will help you make the most of your time here. [Read more]

Day Trip from Córdoba: Castillo de Almodóvar del Río

Castillo de Almodóvar del Río, Spain

One of the great things about living in Europe, as any expat will tell you, is the fact that some of the most beautiful places in the world are cheaply and easily accessible. I’m speaking as someone who flew to Italy for €40 round trip two years ago. That’s all well and good, yes, but sometimes we get so caught up in wanting to jet off to far-flung foreign lands that we often forget what we have in our own backyard. [Read more]

The One Book You Need to Read Before Moving to Spain

moving to spain book

I can’t believe it’s been nearly three years since I moved here. Around this time of year, I always find myself reflecting on my transition to living abroad: both the pleasant surprises as well as things I would have done differently. As for the latter, there are quite a few. More specifically, there’s one book that I definitely wish I would have read before packing my life into a 50-pound suitcase and heading off to live in a country I’d never set foot in: Moving to Spain: A Comprehensive Guide to Your First Weeks Teaching English in Iberia. [Read more]

Summer 2018 Travel Recap

Mirador del Valle Toledo VC

I don’t exactly live in a tourist hotspot. When I tell people in Spain where I’m from, the most common reaction I get is them nodding and going “Ah, Ohio” while politely pretending to have heard of it. However, I definitely have a newfound appreciation for where I come from after so much time away. I was happy that I was able to give my boyfriend an “authentic” American experience for his first time in the US. We might not have seen Times Square or the Golden Gate Bridge, but we experienced life just as normal, everyday Americans do. [Read more]

Eating in Córdoba: Foodie Guide & Spanish Mealtimes 101


Ever since moving to Córdoba two years ago, one of my favorite things to do has been to discover my adopted hometown’s amazing gastronomic scene. Bigger cities like Seville and Madrid might get all the credit, but Córdoba is easily a great foodie city in its own right. From traditional Spanish cuisine to modern international fare, you can find it all here. These are just a few of my favorite places to eat in Córdoba—whether you’re here for just a day or plan on staying for life (*raises hand* hi), hopefully you’ll find a place you’ll love! [Read more]

5 Fabulous Spring Festivals in Córdoba

feria lights

My adopted hometown of Córdoba, Spain might just be the best place to visit in the spring. I’m not just saying that because I love this city with all my heart (although I do!). Córdoba truly comes alive in the springtime, with something fun and exciting going on practically every week. There are flowers, wine, huge processions, dancing—what more could you ask for? [Read more]

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Valencia

science museum

Now that Las Fallas are in full swing, what better time to finally get around to writing about our December trip to Valencia? It’s one of Spain’s largest cities (more on that in a bit), but often overlooked in favor of giant metropoli Madrid and Barcelona. However, what I loved about Valencia is that it felt like an authentic Spanish city while still having plenty to see and do—much the same way I feel about Córdoba. Here are some interesting tidbits about the city I picked up along the way. [Read more]

The Ultimate Córdoba Day Trip Guide: What to See and Do In Just 24 Hours

mezquita puente romano

So you’ve decided to visit Córdoba. Congratulations! Although not as famous as its western neighbor Seville, Córdoba is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, with ancient secrets hiding around every corner in its narrow cobblestone streets. At the same time, it’s full of modern excitement and flair with no shortage of things to do. In this way, Córdoba really does offer the best of both worlds: a big-city vibe with a small town Spanish feel at its heart. [Read more]

Small town vs. city life in Spain: Auxiliares de Conversación 2-year review

tendillas cordob

Throughout all of its ups and downs, this program has been very good to me. I’ve worked at two high schools in two very different environments and tutored quite a few kids in private classes for my side hustle. My students have inspired the heck out of me on multiple occasions, and at the risk of sounding cliché, I’ve learned a lot about myself as well. To reflect on my experiences over the past two years, I decided to put together a compare-contrast review detailing different aspects of the two places in Spain I’ve called home. [Read more]

Photos: Holy Week processions in Spain


Good ol’ Semana Santa. The week leading up to Easter isn’t just spring break for students, teachers, and language assistants all over Spain – it’s also the week that streets around the country are blocked off for days at a time for the famous processions. While some locals might understandably gripe about the interrupted flow of traffic, the Holy Week processions are truly a sight to behold. [Read more]

Expat Facts: Living in Spain (Legally!) Roundup for Non-EU Citizens


The auxiliares de conversación program is one of the best ways for non-European citizens to legally live and work in Spain for a year, and a great stepping stone to starting a long-term life abroad. However, while some assistants are on their sixth or seventh year in the program, it’s not something most people can make a career out of. The average max amount of time is two or three years – the latter of which was my plan, but an unexpected change in the rules eliminated that possibility. [Read more]

1 year in Spain: (other people’s) expectations vs. reality

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 12.41.15 PM

With my one-year Spaniversary coming up next month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the past year has brought me. I had no idea what to expect when I stepped on the plane at Port Columbus John Glenn Columbus International Airport in September of 2015, and (understandably) neither did a lot of people in my life. For months leading up to the big move, I heard a lot of the same things: some of which have turned out exactly as people expected, and others that couldn’t be further than the truth. Here are just a few of the things I heard before boarding my one-way transatlantic flight last year (as well as since then) and the truth about whether or not they’ve come to pass. [Read more]

Is this Spain?!

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 9.53.57 PM

Everyone warned me that the north of Spain would be different than the sunny south I’ve learned to call home over the past 10 months. Well, “warned” probably isn’t the best word, because it makes it sound bad, which it’s not. But for months before I arrived in the northeast reaches of the Iberian Peninsula to spend all of July working at a summer camp in the Catalan Pyrenees, my Spanish friends relentlessly listed all the differences between the two sides of the country. The north, they told me, is greener, more expensive, and not at all like the flamenco-dancing, toro-wrangling, free-tapas-consuming stereotypical image of Spain (that honor belongs to mi querida Andalucía). [Read more]

5 places in Almería, Spain that deserve a spot on your itinerary

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 11.23.03 AM

Spain’s south-easternmost province might not be as traversed as Seville, Granada, and its other Andalusian neighbors, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. From the hustle and bustle of the eponymous provincial capital to the tranquil pueblos in the north; from the rugged terrain of the Tabernas desert to the sparkling beaches dotting the coastline, Almería province has something that will suit every traveler’s tastes and budget. [Read more]

Andalusia’s Best of the West: Seville and Cádiz Itinerary + Photos

In honor of southern Spain’s regional festival, Día de Andalucía, and the five-day weekend that came with it, my friend Tiffany and I headed to the renowned Andalusian capital and threw in a day trip to the beach city of Cádiz while we were at it. A couple days is not nearly enough time to experience all that these incredible destinations have to offer, but if you’re short on time like we were, here’s how we made the most of a long weekend in two of southwestern Spain’s most popular cities. [Read more]

How Your Life Will Change After Moving to Spain

You’ll step onto the concourse at Madrid Barajas exhausted and disoriented after spending the past seven hours suspended in a flying metal tube over the Atlantic. Even though you’ve most likely been sitting for the majority of those seven hours, you’ll still be inexplicably tired, more so after noticing the vast endlessness of Terminal 4 (international arrivals) stretched out before you. You have to walk what seems like at least a mile 1.6 kilometers (gotta start thinking in metric units) to get to passport control and baggage claim. You’ll want to do nothing less. [Read more]

The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting Spanish Men

It was the stuff dreams were made of: tables piled high with books as far as the eye could see, all for no more than $2 each. The Cleveland Public Library was having a book sale, so naturally I’d rounded up a group of my fellow interns and convinced them to make the five-minute walk over to Superior with me on our lunch break (although I was so stoked about it that I would have gone by myself even if nobody else had wanted to come). [Read more]

Unexpectedly weird American* things

My job description includes two major parts:

  1. Help deliver class material to Spanish teenagers in my native language, speak slow English, occasionally attempt to explain what “turn down for what” means
  2. Act as an unofficial “ambassador” for my country and culture

The second of the two often comes into play even when I’m not at work. A lot of times I’m one of the first Americans that many Spaniards have interacted with, so I’m constantly aware of how I behave and present myself in public. [Read more]

9 things I’ve learned from being “the foreigner”

Monday, December 14, 2015. The date has been looming in my passport for several months now. As of today, my visa is officially expired and I’m on track to legally becoming a foreign resident here in Spain. [Read more]

So You Want to Live in Spain: Auxiliares de Conversación FAQ

It’s Thursday, my busiest day of the week. This morning, I’ve got an English class sandwiched between science and math. I stop by the teachers’ room in between classes, greeting and being greeted with a chorus of hola, buenas from my coworkers, stopping to chat for a few minutes while I switch out my materials and leaving the room with plans to meet up for coffee and tostadas during recreo. [Read more]

How Córdoba’s Ancient Beauty Made Me More Proud to be American

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 2.11.25 PM

In a way, it can be said that the Americas can trace their European roots all the way back to Córdoba, Spain.

Before he sailed the ocean blue, a minor historical figure named Christopher Columbus met with the king and queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, at Córdoba’s Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. It was there that he first presented them with his plans to sail to what he thought was India. I know that Chris C-bus was all kinds of problematic in the sense that he didn’t go about “discovering” America in the nicest of ways (genocide, anyone?) but the historical significance of that initial meeting is still profound. [Read more]

The ABCs of life in Spain

There are a lot of things that would be helpful to know about the Spanish lifestyle before moving here long-term. I narrowed it down to 26. From everyday colloquialisms to can’t-miss food and drink, here’s what you need to know to enjoy your time in Spain – from Almería to Zaragoza. [Read more]

Settling into the land of sun, sangria and siestas

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since I left the U.S. to start my new adventure here in Spain. I’ll be spending the 2015-16 school year working with the North American Language and Culture Assistants program, teaching English at a high school in Andalucia, the southernmost region of the country. Here’s how Spanish life has been treating me so far. [Read more]

4th Time’s a Charm: ¡Voy a España!

This past Friday I found out that I’ve been accepted to the North American Language & Culture Assistants program in Spain, which allows citizens of the U.S. and Canada to spend one academic year in Spain teaching English (or French, for our Canadian friends who speak that) in public schools. It’s one of the only ways for Americans to spend an extended period of time in the country, since work visas are extremely hard to get for non-Europeans. I’ve been studying Spanish for seven years and I’ve never been to a country where it’s spoken widely, so I’m beyond excited to finally have a chance to really experience the language I’ve grown to love. [Read more]