Germany Christmas Markets in Bavaria 

I got a second chance to go to Munich. I will never understand why I am so fond of German Christmas Markets. Maybe it is the cooler weather? Maybe the hot wine and food? Maybe the Christmas decorations found in the centre and markets? I do not know why? Maybe the German Christmas markets, I went to as a kid, back in Texas inspired me to visit real German markets?   

I  had a wonderful time exploring different markets in Munich and Nuremberg. The Christmas ornaments found in these markets are just stunning and beautiful.Most ornaments are hand crafted! Original pieces of work can go for a reasonable price. I see the ornaments a fine art. The colours, the design, and creativity into making an ornament. German Christmas ornaments are one of my favorite things to put on a Christmas tree. 
On top of the ornaments, I love the food and the drinks you find in these markets. Traditional foods found in these markets: glühwein (a hot wine), beer, sausage, German sweets, gingerbread, and much more. I want to focus on my favorite item called glühwein. It is a popular drink found at German Markets. Many markets have a special decorated cup. You pay a deposit for the cup. You can keep the cup as a souvenir or return the cup and get your deposit back. 
What is glühwein? This drink is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star aniseed, citrus, sugar and at times vanilla pods. It is one of my favorite things to have while exploring German Christmas Markets. 
I love being in the centre of a German Christmas Market because there is so much going on at one time. From people buying items in stalls to hearing music or food cooking on a grill. I find these markets be very enjoyable. I look forward to seeing a German Christmas Market next year. Maybe in the Northern German? 

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Catching Up on My Life

It’s been a while; since, I wrote a post. I will start back in June and work my way to October. Back in June, I went to the U.S. to get a new visa. I switched programmes, so I could stay in Madrid. I spent the summer seeing friends and travelling to different parts of the U.S. I went to places like Las Angeles, Seattle, Angel Fire, Yellowstone National Park, parts of the north on a family holiday, and many other places. I was back in the States for a total of 9 weeks, but I spent 5 of the 9 weeks on the road and travelling. It was nice to see family and friends, but when it was time to go, I knew, I was ready to get back to Spain.

When I got back to Madrid, I started looking for a place to call home. This year was worse than the last two years. I took me nearly a month to find a place that I loved and wanted. I live in the centre in a very nice and clean flat with one other person. I am happy.

I like my new school a lot. I am working with students as young as one years old and students as old as sixteen years old. I will say that I am becoming more of a fan for students between the ages of five years and ten years. Why they are so sweet and cute. Plus, the lesson plans are much more simple.

I have managed to meet some very nice girls in my new teaching programme. We get together and have brunch, traveling, shopping, visiting museums, and many other fun activities. I think this year will be great with the new people I have met. I am going on a trip soon with some of the girls from my new group of friends.

In December, I will be going to Munich and London. Then in January, I will be going to Budapest. I am looking forward to revisiting two of my favourite cities and getting the change to Explore Budapest for the first time. I think my life has been great, but I need to do a better job of keeping up with my life on this blog. I will post again soon.

Spring Update

Life:

Everything is looking great at this moment in life. I can’t complain. I will be back in Madrid for another school year teaching English. I got accepted into the BEDA Programme and that means I can stay in Spain on a new visa up to four years. I don’t know if I will stay in Madrid that long, but the idea is entertaining to me. I need to start getting ready to go home for the summer. I need to get a ticket, start packing, working on getting a new visa, and many other things. I am going to sign up for a GRE course back in the States and plan to be a student mostly this summer. I can’t wait to have the GRE under my belt. My next goals in life will be NYC and NYU. I still want to travel and teach overseas for a little bit; before, I return to the States and possibly start a doctoral programme in International Education or International Communication.

Tulips in the Netherlands:

I went on a quick weekend trip to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I got to see the tulips in bloom. The fields of tulips were colurful and just beautiful. I’ve never seen so much colur in one space. I spent about 4 hours in the Keukenhof Gardens and really enjoyed the beauty the flowers. It was so lovely. I went a little crazy taking pictures of the flowers. Overall, it was a great experience to visit the Keukenhof Gardens. I knocked something off my bucket list. I feel accomplished.

Amsterdam:

Amsterdam is a unique city built with canals and waterways. Plus, some people live in boat houses. This city is very different compared to other cities I have visited. The city is a very open minded and I find comfort in this fact. I am a little odd and sometimes don’t fit the mold of what society expects.  There are BDSM bars, coffee shops, and many other unique things only found in Amsterdam. One of the many reasons why so many people flock to this city is because of the legalisation of weed and prostitution.

Some people come from the U.K. to party on the weekend and have a grand time. Then, head back to the U.K. During a walking tour, I discovered that locals in Amsterdam are tired of all the tourist coming to their city to trash Amsterdam and party. The city is working on finding a solution to solve the problem. I wasn’t aware of this problem until my visit. Amsterdam is a party centre for some. Not for me though.

I was impressed with the city’s museums. I went to two museums: the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. Lots of Dutch artists found in this museum. The Van Gogh Museum houses a lot of works by Van Gogh. Also, holds the record for having the most works of Van Gogh in on place. If you like Dutch artists or Van Gogh, you will be pleased with your visit to these museums.

If you move fast, Amsterdam can be seen in two days. I don’t think I care to go back anytime soon, but when I am older I will possibly return to Amsterdam. I have too many places on my travel list to visit, so I want to focus on seeing new places.

Future Trips:

I have 2 more trips planned;before, I return to the States for the summer. I am going back to Barcelona in a couple of weeks and will be heading to Marseille in France in late June. I will spend this summer planning some trips for the coming school year. This year I plan to start saving more of money for my future. I need to start getting more serious about my future.

Solo Travel: Why I Love Going Solo

Over the last year and a half, I have become very fond of solo travel. I have been on many solo trips to Paris, London, Munich, Vienna, Italy (Rome, Florence, Naples, Scotland, and more. As female solo traveler, I find power and freedom in going to places by myself. It is a rewarding feeling to know that I planned and put a holiday together by myself. This gives me confidence in believing that I can do anything in life that I want to accomplish.  Solo traveling makes me a stronger human.

I love going on trips by myself because I can promote more personal growth. Plus, allow myself to discover the world without other people affection my views on life. During my holidays, I don’t feel alone on my trips ever.  Because no matter where I have gone by myself, I have always met many people on my trips. When traveling by yourself, you are never truly alone. Some way you meet other fellow travellers on the road.

Safety is very important to me. When traveling alone, I always put my safety and well being at the top of my list. It’s all about using common sense. Bottom line is don’t leave your common sense  at home. I don’t put myself in unsafe situations. I take care of myself because I can on depend on myself while I am traveling by myself.

I love how I can focus on what I want to spend my time on in a city. If I want to go slow, I can take my time and enjoy what I want to see. There are times that I want to move fast and have an action packed day. When I was in Paris, during the November 2015 attacks, I had one day see what I could in Paris. I got up early and went out to see the major attractions of Paris. Plus, I saw the Eiffel Tower twice in that day. It was amazing. I hope to go back to Paris next spring, so I give the city of lights a proper chance. I enjoy creating the pace of how I will move and see things during my holiday.

I am hoping to spend another year in Spain and then move to Korea. I am running out on places to see in Europe. Don’t get me wrong I love Europe and living here. However, I want to see other parts of the world and allow myself time to see new cultures and learn a new language.  While I am in Korea, I want to go to Japan, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and more a few other places.  For places like India, China, and Thailand I will go on a group tour so I can be safe.  I want to experience life, be happy, and travel.

Update 19/2/16

At the start of February, I went on a weekend trip to Romania and Transylvanian. Other than traveling, I have started walking 3-4 times a week with a friend. My back is doing a lot better compared to a year ago, but three weeks ago I pulled a muscle in my back and was home for over a week. I was nervous about my back causing me to go back to my back doctor. All that matters is that I can go to work, walk, and live a normal life.

On the 15th, I got news that I had been waitlisted for a master’s programme in Madrid. I am hoping to be back in Madrid next school year. I am having to wait till May to find out if I will be in Galicia or Madrid. So nerve wrecking at times because I want to know where I will call home next school year. I want to stay in Madrid. I recently booked everything for Semana Santa. I plan to visit Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, and Poland during the break. I still need to plan a trip for the long weekend at the end of April. Also, I planned a weekend trip to Barcelona. I am looking forward to experiencing Barcelona in the late spring. This is everything going on in my world. I can’t believe March will be here soon. I only have 4 months left till I fly home for the summer. Time is flying by too fast here.

Update: Start of 2016

I had an amazing holiday during my two and half week winter break. I went to Munich, Vienna, Naples, Florence, Rome, and Vatican. The beer and classical music was enjoyable in Germany and Austria. In Italy, I enjoyed fine art, history, and Italian food. After my holiday ended, I had to return Madrid and work. The first week back from holiday I had to start applying to teaching programmes for next school year. I will hopeful be back in Madrid for another school year. I will have a better idea of where I will be in April/May. At the start of February, I will be going to Romania and spending time in Bucharest and Transylvania. Other than trying to figure out next year’s plans and traveling, I am trying to come up with my travel plans for the rest of the school year, planning my summer, and studying for the GRE. 10374943_10153530299689024_6683189955234436784_n

Travels for the Spring: I am thinking about going to Berlin, Budapest, Poland, and Prague for my long spring holiday. Then, one more major trip out of Spain to possibly Amsterdam or Oporto. In May, I will have friends visiting Spain and will more than likely go back up to Barcelona for a 3 day weekend. =)

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Summer Plans: This year I will be staying in Madrid till the end of June. Then, I plan to return home to Texas for a couple of months. I hope to go out to California and Washington State during July. Go visit family all over the place and just enjoy being home. I am looking forward to getting my favourite coffee, Tex-Mex, and other amazing things I can only find in Texas. Then, return to Spain in September for another school year.

Leaving Early from Spain Through the North American and Language and Cultural Programme

I’ve been wanting to write a post about my experience leaving Ministry of Education Programme early. During March, I made the choice to go home early. For most of the summer, I was worried about jeopardising my chances of being able to participate in the Ministry of Education Programme for the 20115-2016 school year. Why was I worried? I didn’t find enough information about leaving early and how it would effect me in the Ministry of Education Programme.  I think anyone would be nervous about making a choice like this and not fully knowing what the end results would be. Especially, if you are living and working overseas.

I have been very lucky with the school I was assigned to work as an auxiliary. My school was fine with me leaving. This may not be fine in other communities in Spain. I have been in Community of Madrid for nearly two school years now, so double check with the community you work in. It depends on the school  and community you work for and if they are willing to let you leave early. As long as you follow the exiting process with the Ministry of Education, you are fine to come back for another school year. Before I left Spain for the summer, I had to write a letter stating that I was leaving early for a summer job and that I didn’t expect pay for the month of June. After the letter was submitted to my boss, I was free to go and it didn’t jeopardise me coming back. I still had some doubt in the back of my mind that I was going to have trouble.

When I got back to United States, I had to apply for a new visa to come back to Spain. It was a pain, but worth going through all the pain to come home early. Plus, I had to request a Spanish background check from the U.S. I got my background check without any issue. It took two weeks to get the background check. I was surprised about that because Spain is notorious for taking forever to accomplish anything.

When I returned to Spain, I made an appointment to get a new NIE card. I got back to Spain and had no issues with getting a new NIE card or going back to school. Also, when applying for new NIE card you act as if you are getting a NIE card for the first time. My visa is about to expire at the end of December, but I can now come and go as I want without any problems.  Again this is a reminder that everything works out in the end.