I found my favorite spot in Spain thus far – the beautiful beach town at the southernmost tip of Spain – Tarifa!

We may have only been there for a few hours, but Tarifa was worth the visit.

The beaches? Stunning. The vibe? Perfect. I would live on the beach in Tarifa if I could.

What’s even cooler? You can see Morocco from the beach; Africa is just a ferry ride away!

Seville, Spain


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Seville. You need to see this place. It’s a contender for the “Most Beautiful Place I’ve Ever Seen” award. My friends and I took a day trip to Seville – it was almost 2 hours away via bus (very affordable – … Continue reading

Our first night out!

Last night, my classmates and I decided to all go out together and get some tapas. After all, how do you go to Spain and not do tapas?

The tapas were phenomenal. My favorite dish of the night was croquetas de calamares. I would eat them every day for the rest of my life.  I also ordered my first Spanish beer – except, it was cider, I’m not a beer girl – and it was honestly the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

And… it was €1. I haven’t stopped thinking about how good it was.

And what better way to follow up on tapas than with gelado?

Mine was cheesecake and berry flavored.

After tapas y gelado, we walked around, exploring the beautiful city of Cádiz after the sun went down.

City hall is a personal favorite photo spot of mine, and the Plaza de España is a close second.

Between seeing the sights, conversing with locals, trying the local fare, and, of course, walking along the beach, it was definitely a super fun and successful night out with new friends!

Flying… Flying… Flying!

So, apparently, Barcelona was a popular destination this last Saturday. The lines at check-in were insane! Surprisingly, I got through security and boarded rather quickly, though.

This was my first time on a plane since I flew to Florida when I was seven years old, and I learned fast that me and flying aren’t friends. Let’s just say that life is tough when you’re 5’10” and the guy in front of you decides to be the only one on the plane that puts his seat alllllll the way back. Nice. No sleep for me!

But after a gruelingly long and semi-painful flight, I finally arrived at my layover in Barcelona.

Fun fact – notice that the signs in the Barcelona El Prat Aeropuerto have three translations? Did you know that people in Barcelona speak a different language? It’s called Catalan – though most of the population in Barcelona can also speak Spanish.

My layover in Barcelona was about three hours, and as if I wasn’t already jet-lagged to the highest degree, my flight to Jerez was delayed. 🙂 Fortunately, when I finally did get on the plane, I finally got some sleep. I opened my eyes just in time to catch some pictures on our way down.

From the tiny Jerez airport, we finally were able to make our way to Cádiz!

And, yes – I did go to sleep as soon as I got to my host family’s house. Necesitaba una siesta!

It’s down to the wire!

In just three more days, I’ll be on an airplane – on my way to Europe!

Today, I’ve spent the last several hours packing. It’s not necessarily the most exciting aspect of travel (those aspects will be coming soon), but it’s equally as important; we all have to do it, right?

I recently learned of a packing tip from a Facebook group that I’m in that has changed the game for me. Instead of folding clothes – roll them up, and stuff them in tight!

I feel like a lot of people probably already know this tip already, but it made packing so much easier for me, so I want to share it anyway – just in case!

This is my suitcase, with all of my clothes packed into it already. Yes, all of them! Plus a fresh bottle of Excedrin (can’t forget that). As you can see, I still have quite a bit of room on top of those rows of clothing for all of the other things I have to squeeze into my suitcase. I’m trying to leave some extra room, so that I can take some new things from Spain home with me, too!

I haven’t even left the United States yet, but I’ve already learned something valuable – research packing tips and start to plan your suitcase and bags BEFORE it’s time to go! The internet has a lot of wisdom to offer, sometimes. Trust me, it will save you lots of space, and probably lots of headaches, in the long run!

Here, you see that my dog wanted to help me pack, but he got distracted by licking his own leg. Thanks, Willy.

Anyway, did you know that UMass Lowell has its own “Health, Safety, & Travel Preparation” page? It has so many helpful tips, from advice on what to do in an emergency, to passport and visa information, to how to stay happy and healthy while abroad! If you’re traveling any time soon, you can check out that page right here.

I’m off – these bags won’t pack themselves! (Wouldn’t it be nice if they did?)