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]

America: Land of the Free-to-Speak-Whatever-Language-You-Want

east side gallery berlin

At the time of this writing, I haven’t been back to the US properly for nearly a year and a half. (Stepping onto “American soil” for 20 minutes last year at the US consulate in Fuengirola to get a document I needed for my civil union doesn’t count.) My boyfriend has never been. We’re hoping to change that ASAP—I even bought him a nice luggage set for Christmas/Reyes back in December for him to use on the eventual trip across the pond. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for nearly the entire two and a half years we’ve been dating, and I’m happy to see that he’s excited, too. [Read more]

An open letter to my non-American friends and neighbors


What’s up? It’s me, your friendly neighborhood Yankee. Even if you don’t know me personally, you may have seen me around. You see, I unintentionally stand out sometimes. I walk and talk too fast (the latter with an accent when I do so en español), I wear tank tops when it’s sunny and 80 26 degrees out (still fairly chilly for my little corner of Andalucia, where it supposedly reaches 104 40 every day in the summer), I use alien terms like “miles” and “gallons” and “Fahrenheit” instinctively because even after 8 months of living here, my brain still isn’t used to immediately launching into the conversions. [Read more]

Let’s see how far we’ve come


rufus grad

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since I said goodbye to the classic brick pathways, ornery squirrels, and undeniable sense of community that made the tiny town of Athens, Ohio my home. [Read more]

Unexpectedly weird American things

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 12.46.10 AM

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 [Read more]

Wherever the Wind Takes Us

Today was the first day in recent memory that I had absolutely nothing to do.

It’s exam week, but all of my finals this semester came in the form of projects or take-home exams, all of which were due yesterday. I’m done with both of my on-campus jobs. My internship doesn’t start for another month. I’m off deadline for the time being and I still don’t know what to do with myself after being on for so long. [Read more]

Food Trucks, Brewery, and Diner: 5 Great Student Eats in Athens, Ohio

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 5.52.22 PM

Maybe I’m biased, but I have never seen a love for any school quite like that which my fellow students have for Ohio University. A few weeks ago, while my friends at other schools took to social media to complain about summer coming to an end, we Bobcats were tweeting up a storm about our excitement to head back Athens, the 10-square-mile corner of Appalachian paradise that we call home for most of the year. [Read more on College Tourist]

Friendship Without Borders

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 3.33.21 PM

My study abroad trip to Leipzig, Germany in 2013 wouldn’t have been possible without an international partnership that was 20 years in the making.

In the early 1990s, after the reunification of Germany, many academic departments at the University of Leipzig were in a tough spot – including the journalism department. Because Leipzig is located in what used to be East Germany, many of the professors had taught from a communist perspective and were forced out after reunification. [Read more on College Tourist]

4 reasons why I will always love Chicago

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 5.47.32 PM

About once a year (more than that if I’m lucky), I end up spending some time in Chicago. It’s a six-hour drive from where I live (at least seven with traffic), but the long trip is worth it every single time, and I’ve made too many memories there to count. When I was 10 months old, a flight up to the Windy City marked the very first time I had ever been on an airplane – a pretty important milestone for an aspiring traveler, even though I don’t remember it (and I can’t help but wonder if I was *that* screaming child that annoyed everyone on said flight). In 2009, I saw Green Day in concert at the United Center, and even though they’re not really my favorite band anymore, I’ll always have great memories of that trip. I’ve been there for everything from Thanksgivings to birthdays to weddings to just going to Chicago for the sake of going to Chicago. [Read more]

Networking, Southern Style

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Charlotte, NC for a networking trip with Scripps PRSSA. After weeks of obnoxiously frigid weather here in Ohio, I was more than eager to get away to the sunny south for a weekend. More importantly, though, I knew I was going to make great connections with professionals in the industry – an absolute must at this crucial time in my young career. [Read more]

Discovering your family roots abroad and at home

Discovering your ancestral roots is one of the most humbling experiences you can have. Most of us might not be able to think beyond our oldest living relatives, such as grandparents and great-grandparents. It’s absolutely mindblowing to realize that countless generations of people came before you, all with lives as vibrant and full as your own. [Read more]

Making the most of a “staycation”

Last week, as dozens of my classmates packed their bags and jetted off to Florida, Mexico and Panama, I stayed put in Westerville, Ohio. This was far from my original plan, which involved spending some time in Chicago, where I was supposed to have an internship interview. But a change of heart which led me to cancel the interview meant that I would no longer be headed off to the Windy City. Instead, I spent the week at home, where chilly temperatures made it feel more like Winter Break II than spring break. [Read more]

The Land of Opportunity Redefined: A Study Abroad Interview

Some of the best things about studying abroad are the extraordinary friendships you make along the way. If you’re lucky, you may have a chance to connect once again with those friends after returning from study abroad. This was the case with me and my friend Julia, who I met last summer while studying abroad in Leipzig, Germany. [Read more on College Tourist]