May 012010
 
Reason One (of a Whole Lot!) to Visit Valencia, Spain

If you were to dangle an American out of a ten-story window and force her to choose a city in Spain to move to forever, I bet you ninety Euros that she would scream: “Barcelona!”

But the more I experience Spain, the more I realize that this pervasive American romanticization of Barcelona is just plain foolish.

If I, myself, were to pick a city in all of Spain to live, it would be… [...Read More!]

Apr 302010
 
Change Your Life! Or: From Gun Drills to Luxury With an Idol

“Safe Mode Drill for school shooting threat,” reads my Google Calendar for April 30, 2009: exactly one year ago today. “Do NOT allow students out of classroom. If they need bathroom during drill, do not allow them. Bomb-sniffing police dogs will be in halls and may attack.”

Under this note is a second one: “Grade all 64 Senior essays before Monday!”

Yes, that’s right: Exactly a year ago today, my [...Read More!]

Apr 292010
 
The Most Beautiful Building I’ve Seen in a Looong Time

Come, walk with me.

You have likely seen pictures of the world-famous Mezquita of Cordoba, Spain, have you not?

Are you already familiar with those arches upon arches of striped white and russet red?

Well, today is the day you will see it in the flesh, you lucky duck!

Step one: Identify that the entrance ticket to the the Mezquita is free if you show up before ten in the morning, but also identify that [...Read More!]

Apr 282010
 
The 300th Article in 9 Months, 2 Weeks Before Boston!

Today marks the THREE HUNDREDTH article on Around the World “L” in nine months!

We are also now at: 352 blog Followers (click “Follow” on the right sidebar if you haven’t already!), 1,258 Twitter Followers, 250 Facebook Fans, and a #93th-in-the-world ranking on TravelBlogSites.com… and rising. Huzzah!

Let us celebrate with an update of what the heck is going on, and where the heck this is all going. First and most [...Read More!]

Apr 272010
 
Spain’s Alhambra, Hippies in a Forest, and a Night Out

I was really thrown off when the two guys never came home from the forest.

Now before I launch into this story, let’s all learn, like the refrain sung by the whole audience during a folk music concert, a useful phrase: “Forcing it.”

The phrase, “Miss, you FORCED IT with the homework” was used ad nauseam in Boston Public Schools to mean: “Madam teacher, we believe the amount of work you are giving [...Read More!]

Apr 262010
 
An Important Pre-Travel Warning About Your Passport

Do you know you can fly from Madrid or Barcelona, Spain, to Marrakesh, Morocco for the teensy price of 15 Euros or $22 U.S. Dollars?!

I was drooling all over the keyboard when I saw this Ryanair promotion, and was about to click “Buy” to fulfill my long-standing lust for quality North Africa time when– BAM! — an informational window popped up on my screen:

“You may not enter Morocco with a passport [...Read More!]

Apr 252010
 
How to Turn Your Hostel or Home into a Luxury Health Retreat!

Here are the series of events that occurred yesterday, each of which illustrates how you, too, can turn your low-budget hostel or everyday home into a luxurious health retreat for a few days or a week!

1pm: I arrive in a delicious hostel in Granada after a seven-hour bus ride from Madrid. I feel like utter trash: too many deep-fried or starchy tapas, not enough exercise or sleep, and too much [...Read More!]

Apr 242010
 
Pamela's Article 2: A Painful Lesson

Article #30 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project Understanding an Adult’s Punishment By Pamela Agbi, Age 14

This story is a story I will never ever forget in my life.

On the sixth of March, Ghana’s Independence Day, Youth Creating Change organized an excursion to a huge celebration in Aburi Botanical Gardens, two hours from Sogakope.

All the students in YCC’s Cross-Culture Class were organized to attend so that we could [...Read More!]

Apr 232010
 
Help Give Advice to 16-21 Year Olds Planning to Travel!

Recently, I have gotten a bevy of emails from 16 to 21 year old women asking for advice on their dream of taking a year off to travel. This poses some difficult ethical dilemmas for me that I’d love your help with, dear readers.

Namely: How can our advice to these young prospective travelers balance my worship of travel as education, with my passion for all youth to obtain the educational [...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!]