Where In The World

Aug 5, 2013 by

The interesting thing about travel (at least for me), is that I can go anywhere in the world and fall in love with places from Saba to Olkhon Island to Mongolia, and no matter how happy I am when I’m traveling, no matter how much I love a place, coming home to Canada is always great. Going to far away and exotic places tickles my imagination and injects me with loads of contentment, but it doesn’t take away from the love I bear for my birth country. I rarely get the post-trip blues. Traveling makes me out and out happy in all aspects of my life. (Only once I didn’t want to leave a place, and that was Easter Island…) As such, I’ve had to celebrate my return by doing some very Canadian things. I...

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“When Will I See You Again?”...

Jun 22, 2013 by

I can’t begin to speak in grand terms just yet, about how this trip has changed me, what I’ve learned and the like. The only thing I can say for sure is that this time has been very special. I spent 2 weeks in Western Europe with some of the most important people in my life: boyfriend, family, friends that are basically family. My boyfriend Sajid had never been to Europe until we landed there together 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t sure how this would all play out because he is very much comfortable sitting on a beach for hours, soaking up the sun (and I am very much not). I couldn’t have been more happy when he was saying things like “I want to learn Spanish,” and “We need to come back.” We...

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Yet Another Reason To Be Careful At Markets...

Jun 20, 2013 by

The day begins like any other in Madrid. After a slightly late night, drinking vermouth and mojitos, we sleep in a little, until 9:45 am. The market started at 8:00 am. We take the metro to La Latina station and stop at a cafe for my favourite, cafe con leche, before heading into the packed and winding streets, lined with stalls selling all sorts of wares: necklaces made of beads, rings made of silver and semi-precious stones, Indian tapestries, espadrilles, leather bags, inexpensive scarves, Spanish guitar music, hand carved knives. Sajid and I begin our meander through the streets, through the crowds. El Rastro is one of my favourite markets, and no matter how touristy it may be (I don’t find it very), or how much English one may hear there (a little bit),...

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Sólo Cuatro Días

May 2, 2013 by

I’ve really missed being immersed in the Spanish language, being somewhere I can speak it day in and day out, even in my dreams. When I found out that my dear friend Victor from Brasil was being transferred to Madrid through his work, my initial thought was that it was too bad I likely wouldn’t have time to visit him on my trip to Europe this summer. When he heard I would be on the continent, his one comment was, “Don’t you dare go to Europe and not come and visit me in Madrid.” So I daren’t. I’ve booked my flights, and I will be headed to Madrid, and I couldn’t be happier about that prospect. When I left Madrid 2 years ago, I wasn’t sure when I would be back. Be back one...

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Ultimate Guide: Madrid (Cuatro)...

Apr 6, 2013 by

Let’s get local, shall we? 1. Bodega de la Ardosa Do you want to meet charming locals who will gladly share their Sunday morning tapas with you, discuss bull fighting and the education system in your country? Bodega de la Ardosa is a great place for rubbing elbows with locals, and you will find out just how friendly Spanish people are. I went on my own, late one Sunday morning, ordered the typical patatas bravas and a vermouth on tap (both are must-tries), and ended up meeting a small group of Spanish friends whetting their appetite before a bigger brunch with clams soaked in vinegar, mussels, and various pinchos and croquetas (snacks, basically). There is no real sitting room at this place, but it makes for a more casual environment which facilitates socializing a...

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Ultimate Guide: Madrid (Tres)

Mar 21, 2013 by

Time for another instalment of my Ultimate Guide series on Madrid (read: Why I Love Madrid)… Visiting Madrid allows you the great fortune of taking some exceptional day trips to nearby cities. Its proximity to places like Segovia and Toledo (the day trips that I’ve done) make Madrid a great city to visit if you only have a short amount of time in Spain and you also want to see something outside Madrid, getting a different flavour of the country. Let’s start with Toledo… During my first visit to Spain on a school trip when I was in grade 12 (and subsequently, when I fell in love with Madrid), we took a day trip to Toledo, about an hour south of Madrid. It is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site and was probably my...

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