Feb 062012
 
Why Giant Tour Group Travel in Toledo, Spain Didn't Stink

“Sell-out!” jeered a cyber-heckler when I posted my article about going on a 3-day Florida-Bahamas Cruise.

So I can only imagine this heckler’s horror when he learned that this “brave solo world traveler” (a.k.a. me) super “sold out” and accepted a free 40-person teacher travel tour to Spain over New Year’s through EF Tours.

Why are many hip travelers so against the idea of large-group travel? 

“Ugh– It’s like being in a bubble of [...Read More!]

Jan 072012
 
Colors of European vs. Asian Royal Palaces and Weddings

I just got a call that my wedding dress has arrived and is ready for my fitting! Ahhh!

Not only is this thrilling, but it is also highly relevant to this article about royal palaces around the world. Why? Because my dress is white-ish, and so are most royal and governmental buildings in Europe and America! This is in sharp contrast to the bursting rainbow colors of Asian royal buildings and wedding [...Read More!]

Jan 022012
 
Celebrating the New Year in the Times Square of Spain!

WOW. I have just returned to Boston from five of the most action-packed days in Spain imaginable, thanks to the free teacher training tour run by EF Tours. And… WOW.

The unquestionable highlight of the tour was celebrating New Year’s Eve 2011 in Puerta del Sol, Madrid!

Puerta del Sol is the very center of Spain (if you type “Madrid” into Google maps, the marker will appear right at Sol), and all points [...Read More!]

Dec 312011
 
2011 in this Travel Empire, and Madrid Night Photos

Happy New Year from Madrid, Spain!

What a year it’s been, eh? As December 31, 2011 draws to a close, here are some glittering photos of holiday-decorated Madrid, Spain (as snapped last night), along with a kind of “State of the Union” run-down of statistics from this teaching-traveling website empire for 2011. (As always, click blue-highlighted words for related articles.)

2011 IN NUMBERS:

First-person world travel articles written on AroundTheWorldL.com in 2011: 59Global education interviews and [...Read More!]
Apr 222010
 
Two Cubans, an American, and a Mexican Restaurant in Spain

Two Cubans and an American walk into a Mexican restaurant in Spain.

Is this the start of a really bad joke?

Nope! It’s what happened last night when I met up with the childhood friend of my former Boston Public Schools coworker in Madrid!

The three of us: two Cubans and an American, ate nachos and drank Spanish beverages while discussing Cuban politics– until I got yelled at for asking too much about Cuban [...Read More!]

Apr 172010
 
7 Ways to Battle Homesickness and General Melancholy

Chances are, if you’re from New England and are already homesick, Europe is going to make you ache with it.

Travel in Asia and Africa is easier on the heart because it is so different from home that you can just flow with the newness.

But here in Europe? You’ll feel the tug in your soul. The curve of that column? It looks like Boston’s buildings. The glint of [...Read More!]

Apr 162010
 
The Food I Thought Was Too Good to Exist

Before he boarded the plane back to California, my brother hollered: “Don’t forget to track down that crazy chocolate thingy my friend told us about!”

“There’s no way it actually exists,” I scoffed.

“It does!” my brother asserted. “Find it.”

At the start of our Iberian week of adventure, my sibling had whispered a rumor he had heard.

“My friend told me,” he hissed conspiratorially, “that in Spain they drink this chocolate “beverage” which [...Read More!]

Apr 152010
 
Your Uterus, Travel, and Difficult Life Choices

“Shut up, biological clock, SHUT UP!!!”

This was my Twitter “tweet” which earned me the most re-tweets in a twenty-four hour span this month of any tweet I wrote. It seems people can relate!

“When you have children,” beamed the husband of one of my generous Spanish hosts, “it is amazing. You suddenly understand the full meanings of words such as “Love” and “Sacrifice” and “Responsibility” that you never fully got before.”

“That’s [...Read More!]

Apr 142010
 
Tourism to the Next Level: Mundane Saturday Errands!

“There gets to be a point,” said the somewhat smelly British traveler as he packed his backpack to move out of the hostel, “where you become so sick of famous waterfalls that you can’t bear to see another one.”

I was on a short vacation in Brazil with my best friend four years ago when we met this Around the World traveler in a Rio hostel. The man and his wife [...Read More!]

Apr 132010
 
Hot Fashion Shows and Fancy Cheese for All People!

“One thing I adore about living in Spain,” said American teacher Erin who has been living here for two years, “is that the quality of life is incredibly high for an incredibly large swath of the population. Good cheese… long lunch breaks… theater… live music… Nearly everyone, from construction workers to company presidents, can enjoy these pleasures in Spain!”

At the time, it was a challenge to concentrate on Erin’s words [...Read More!]