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10 things that surprised me about giving birth in Spain

As you may or may not already know, Spanish residents enjoy a free universal health care system. The WHO ranks it as the 7th best in the world, simultaneously ranking the US as the 37th best, so chew on that for a minute. I knew this going into my pregnancy and was interested to see…

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Pregnant in a Spanish Quarantine

Sixty-seven days. They say it only takes 21 days to create a habit so after sixty-seven you'd be surprised to what you can get used to.  The plastic barrier separating you from the cashier at the grocery store, the underlying suspicion and fear in everyone's eyes as they cross the street to avoid you, knowing…

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Everything You Need to Know about Applying for Pareja de Hecho

So you've done it! You've convinced your Spanish boyfriend or girlfriend that the best and most fool-proof way for you to remain in Spain and be able to work legally is for them to sign a teeny piece of paper which doesn't even legally change their marital status and really isn't such a big deal.…

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10 of the most frequently asked questions to Americans abroad

Some of the most entertaining moments you will probably have in your first time abroad is when someone sheepishly asks you, "So...I saw this on a film...is it really like this in America?" And it will hit you like a ton of bricks that what for you, living your life in the States was perfectly…

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The Difference Between a Civil Union and Marriage in Spain

If you've landed here, you are probably in a relationship with a Spaniard or European and considering, perhaps for visa purposes, perhaps not, whether doing a civil union, or pareja de hecho or just getting hitched is right for you. Here, I'll lay out the similarities and differences between the two so you can decide which…

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Legally Stay in Spain as an American

Ah, yes. The ever-evasive question I get most asked by Americans who have no immediate European family members, "how have you been able to stay here so long?" My answer is short, but the real answer is long. Very long. In short, I've been able to stay because I became pareja de hecho, (a civil…

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How to Get a Teaching Job in Public, Private, and Semiprivate Schools in Spain

Let's just say it--living the auxiliar life can be great, but it can also leave you wanting and needing more. The schedule is minimal, the job itself is usually...less than fulfilling, and the pay will likely have you moonlighting at a low paying academy or riding the metro around town for 25 different private classes. Without fail, lots of language assistants will be searching for a way to continue working in education, (and some likely looking for any way NOT to work in education), while still living out their dream life in Spain, with a decent salary. Sounding familiar yet?

Enter, the questions I get asked the most about my experience living in Spain; how have I been here so long as an American and how did I find work in international and semi-private schools in Spain?

In this post I will be very transparent on my experiences--good, bad, and terribly paid, so read on if you want some hard truths as well as possibilities for your future.

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Everything you need to know to plan a wedding abroad

Short background: my husband is Spanish and I am American. I have lived in Spain for nearly ten years, and with him for seven of them. Our wedding was on July 6th, 2019, at 8:30pm, performed as a civil ceremony by my sister and his oldest brother. Keep this information in mind as you read…

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8 questions to ask before you start private classes

This post could also be titled, "Everything I wish I knew about private classes before I started." In over nine years as a teacher in Spain I have had to take on my share of private classes, usually against my own wishes and thanks to the insistence from my bank account. If you are an…

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How to be an awesome language assistant

So you've been accepted into a language assistant program and you've likely been placed in a middle of nowhere town and CAN'T WAIT TO GO TO SPAIN. But maybe you don't speak Spanish, maybe you've never been to Spain before, maybe you've never been a teacher, and your excitement turns into a little bit more…

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Malta in 36 hours or less

Malta is a hard place to define. This is due in large part to its geographical placement and historical significance. In case you haven't checked a map before your trip, (NO JUDGEMENT--I shamefully was completely mistaken on where in the world Malta was until literally 24 hours before we left), this little island sits shoulder to…

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A few major differences between Spanish and American weddings

EDIT: Since the publishing of this post, I recently have found myself planning my very own Spanish wedding, (with an American twist, of course!) Because I have sent this post to guests in order for them to have a vague idea of what to expect at a Spanish wedding, I thought I should make somethings…

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Everything you need to know about the Blue Lagoon

You've heard about it. You've seen pictures. You've planned your whole trip to Malta around this one beach. And I'm here to tell you...you've made the right choice. Now, what do you need to know before you go? You've got a couple of options. Take a taxi (check the prices online and in Malta ALWAYS…

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How to best see the city of “tripeiros”

If you’ve been following along with my blog for even a short amount of time, you might know that I had the best stroke of luck when one of my new coworkers four years ago became one of my best friends in the world. But even if you don’t, you'll probably recognize her face because…

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10 Frequently Asked Questions for a Permanent Expat

If you have come to this post, I have a feeling you are in one of a few categories: You've been working your "normal" job in the States since graduation and are ready for a break and move abroad, and curious about how others have done it. You just finished your first year as a…

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Why you should see the Costa Brava this winter

After a whirlwind 48 hours on the beautiful Costa Brava with two even more beautiful friends of mine, I have officially decided that winter time is the best time to visit this treasure of north-east Spain. Yup. I said it. The Costa Brava is best visited in the winter. "But what about the beaches? The water sports?…

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The only guide to brunch in Barcelona you’ll ever need.

Alright my dear readers, this post is officially over a year in the making. It was, in fact, one of the first posts I planned to write when I started this little baby of mine just under a year ago. But my main goal is and always has been to give the most honest information…

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A few things I learned in the Czech capital

Before heading off on one of my favorite ways to travel--girls weekend with my coworker/best friend/platonic love/and favorite travel partner, Pili--I already had some preconceived notions about Prague. I had been there once during a whirlwind Easter break trip through Vienna, Prague, Budapest, and Krakow, and had only really spent little over 24 hours there.…

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The question of Catalan independence on the eve of a revolution

DISCLAIMER: I don’t often write about politics, and have never done it on the blog. But considering the current political turmoil, I have more people asking me if they should cancel their trip to Barcelona out of safety concerns, than those asking me for the best places to brunch. (BTW--do not cancel your plans to…

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10 things you need to know about Barcelona

Barcelona is a city constantly toeing the line between being Spanish or European. (Yes, I'm aware that it is technically both--for now anyway--but stay with me.) The Spanish side being all, beers-on-beers-on-tapas-on-beers in a small, sunny plaza, and the European side nudging its elbow reminding Barç that there's work tomorrow, and someone has to pay…

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Must knows for enjoying island time in the Cíes

During your time in Galicia, if you are lucky enough to get nice weather, going to the Islas Cies is an essential stop. These islands are a protected marine-terrestrial park, and the definition of unspoiled paradise. (Hey, there's a reason why the Romans called it the islands of the gods.) As you may have heard, The Guardian even…

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Getting an apartment abroad…painlessly

Finding an apartment is a pain in the puto culo. Trying to get all of the things you want in the right location isn't always a guarantee and usually ends in compromise. Add to this situation not being able to speak the native language fluently or have any friends or acquaintances in the city, no…

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10 spots you can’t miss on the Costa Brava

I have been to a lot of Spanish beaches in my day. And to be honest each one of them is gorgeous in its own way. The extensive beaches of Cádiz, the rocky and virgin coves in Alméria, the dramatic cliffs of Galicia and Asturias. But the Costa Brava is still one of the highest…

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Your personal to do list this summer in Barcelona

Whether its January or July, you will always be able to stumble upon something unique  happening in Barcelona.  But like most places, it oozes its coolness and shines most in the months from April to September. Any given day you step outside you are bound to find yourself sipping on a vermut in a neighborhood…

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Get over your fear of long haul flights

Airports, amirite? Magical places full of love, hope, and dreams unlived. Let me be clear. I am talking about everything that happens A.S.—After Security. Until everyone has passed this point, it is a shit show across the board, and Ill be the first one to admit that anyone, ANYONE who gets in my way should…

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All of your Toledo must-dos from a local himself

If you ever ask a Spanish person about the history and culture of their country, one of the first things they will tell you is how for centuries, three major religions and their respective cultural traditions, foods, and architectural styles coexisted together for centuries. Of course, how truly peaceful their coexistence was, we will never…

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5 things that Lyon is waiting to show you

One of the best things about living in Barcelona and being in your twenties with only a small feline to worry about while you're away, is that you can jet off for a weekend without much of a second thought. Weekend trips also make for the perfect Christmas present. Enter: Lyon! Where is this guy…

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6 things to know before you fall in love with Cinque Terre

So, I have about a million different blog posts to do but tonight I'm alone with a glass...or two...of wine, and I'm in the mood for Italy. To understand this mood, it might be necessary to crank up a lil bit of this and look at a lil bit a that. Aight. Now you feel me? Grab yourself…

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10 FAQ for a Language Assistant

Before I dive into this, I have to say first that auxiliaries de conversación is the whole reason I am still in Spain.  If this is your goal, listen carefully. After studying abroad, it became very clear to me that I had to go back to Spain. I didn’t feel like I had gained the…

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What is “the milk”?

Milk comes in different forms for different people. For some, it could be landing your first real job with a decent salary. Maybe its putting the down payment on a house, looking your baby in the eyes, or deciding to leave everything behind and move somewhere new. None are better or worse than the other, the only thing that matters is that it keeps nourishing you, and keeps you thriving for more.

5 Off the Beaten Path Spots to Visit Madrid on a Budget

Written by guest writer: Javier Garcia of Cool Tours Spain As a major European capital city, there are plenty of things to do in town but take a look at the following guide to discover Madrid on a budget. To start off, I'll use several well-known locations to make you understand that today I am writing…