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.

Summer Update Mid Point of Stay

Everything is looking good. I’ve spent the last few weeks dealing with paperwork for going back to Spain. I’ve successfully got a new visa for the coming school year. I should be getting my passport back very soon.  I am still working on getting my FBI background check notarized and translated. At the moment, my FBI background check is in D.C. being notarized by the Department of State. I need to finish working on some last minute lose ties in the States.

I’ve spent time catching up with friends and families. It’s been nice enjoying Tex-Mex and margaritas. I saw my little half-sister for the first time in years. It was wonderful seeing her. I hope to continue to develop a relationship and maintain contact with her. I am looking forward to seeing more of family and friends in the coming weeks. I got a few trips planned.

I am looking forward to the coming week. I will be in Las Angeles for a week. I am looking forward to seeing some beaches and enjoying some cooler weather. I am a little tired of Austin and the heat. It will be nice to escape from Texas.  I got about 4 and half weeks left in the States. I am looking forward to spending time with my father and close friends.

Beaches nearby Marseille France to Visit During Your Holiday

I spent five days in Marseille, France, on a nice summer holiday. I enjoyed escaping from my busy life in Madrid. I needed this holiday because the past school year was a struggle for me. It was nice to go back to France and have a very enjoyable holiday. Southern, France, was just charming and amazing. I fell in love, again, with another place in Europe.

I flew into Marseille from Madrid. Marseille is more laid back and older than Paris. I found it to be easy to get from the airport to the city centre.There are a few options for getting to the city centre. It’s possible to catch a bus or a train to the city centre. Using either the bus or train will require an exchange to the metro; it is easy to find the metro system at the main train station. There are only two lines: the red line and the blue line. I only used the metro go to the city centre and back to the airport.

Marseille is a very easy to navigate on foot. It is possible to see this city in 2 and half days. Most major attractions cost nothing or a few euros. The museums are nice, but will cost more than 8 Euros. The beaches are the best part of this city.

The coastline of Southern France is just stunning. The limestone cliffs and the crystal clear water of the Mediterranean Sea are just remarkable. I’ve never seen anything as breathtaking as the Mediterranean Sea. During my holiday, I went to two major points of interest for swimming and beach time: Calanques National Park and the Island of Frioul. Both beaches were very rocky with beautiful clear water. These beaches put my native Texas beaches to shame. Just lovely beaches!

Calanques National Park is about a 45-minute bus ride from the city centre of Marseille. It’s easy to spot Bus # 21 in Plaza Castellane. Ride to the end of the line towards L’avenue de Prado. The bus drops off nearby a university. From the drop off point, it will take 45-minutes to reach the water. Hint: follow everyone walking towards the hiking trail. So worth the hike!

The scenery is very enjoyable to sit back and enjoy. The white cliffs and light blue water compliment each other. It’s possible to spend all day enjoying the beauty of this park. Before you go on a hike to this water, you need to have a good pair of walking shoes, your day bag together with provisions for the day, and other important items for your hike. The hike back up will be wearisome, but you will be thankful you spent the day swimming and enjoying the beach.

On another day, I spent half a day on the Island of Frioul. You can get to this island by a ferry from the Old Port in Marseille. There are various ferry companies that can get you out to the islands. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes from the Old Port. It costs about 10 Euros for a round trip ticket. The water was refreshing, so bring you swimwear with you.

When you get to the island, you can buy a cheap lunch at one of the sandwich shops. Grab some lunch and explore the island. There are many nice points and beaches to enjoy. I would suggest packing a day bag with all your essentials for the day. You will be tired by the time you get back to the Old Port. Get dinner and take a nap. Then get some wine and enjoy the evening in Marseille. The city is nice to walk around at night. Enjoy!

Marseille is not as famous as Nice, but tourist should consider adding Marseille to their list of places to visit during a holiday to Southern France. There were not as many tourists in this city compared to London or Barcelona. If you want few tourists, then go to Marseille for a holiday. Also, Marseille is a diver’s paradise. There are lots of options for chartered dives from Marseille. The water is just beautiful. I hope you were inspired to go to Marseille for the beaches. Just a beautiful place!

Summer 2016: July Update 1

I just returned from Spain. I will be back in the States for a total of 9 weeks. At the moment, I am focusing on getting my paperwork for my new visa done and other things taken care of while in the States. I recently applied for a tutoring job. I hope to tutor a few hours out the week, so I can have some pocket money. Also, I am trying to practice Spanish, review so German, and perp for the GRE. I am busy this summer. In a couple of weeks, I am going to Las Angeles for a week to visit a friend. 

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.

Family Trip: New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle

I went on a quick four day family vacation with my family. We went to Taos in New Mexico and Palo Durn Canyon State Park. The drive was over twelve hours from Austin to Taos. I have been to Taos multiple times in my life. I don’t know why I am drawn to New Mexico. Maybe it’s the beauty of nature around me? Maybe it’s the fact there’s mountains, desert, and no humidity? I don’t why I find New Mexico so enchanting. For me leaving Texas and going to New Mexico has always been a retreat from life. It was nice to get away from the familiar and see something different.

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Taos Pueblos

On day one of our trip, there were many events that happened and made day one Hell. Event one, We were in Sweet Water, Texas, when our 1st tire blew out. We stopped at a local tire shop and had someone place new tire on the RV. After getting the tire repaired, we stopped at a small restaurant for lunch. My brother ordered chips and salsa for lunch. When my brother, got down to the bottom of his chip basket he discovered there was a dead rat  in the basket. We left and settled for gas station food for lunch. Later on that night, we had two more tires blow out on the the interstate in a little farm community called Plainsview, Texas. This town is located between Lubbock, Texas, and Amarillo, Texas. We made it to a truck stop. My father and brother tried to fix the problem with the tires. No luck. We tried to check in at hotel a nearby the truck and RV. We again had no luck getting a room for the night. We stayed in the truck to get some sleep.

In the morning, day two, we finally were able to address the tire issue. We finally left Plainsview, Texas, around 1 p.m. for Taos, New Mexico.  Most of day two, we spent having the RV fixed and traveling to New Mexico. We finally arrived in Taos around 11 p.m. The drive from Amarillo to Taos should normally only take 6 hours, but with an RV it took much longer. Because we missed our check in time, we ended up staying in the RV in a Walmart parking lot.

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Turquoise Window Frame at the Taos Pueblos

Day three, I woke up early to be greeted by mountain air and the beauty of nature around me. We went to the famous Taos Pueblos that’s five minutes from the centre of Taos. We went for about an hour visiting the pueblos and then we were on the road heading towards Palo Durn Canyon State Park back in Texas. I was sad because I wasn’t able to visit a long time friend of mine who lived in a nearby small village called Angle Fire. I was glad that we took Highway 64 up to Clayton, New Mexico. The scenery never gets old for me. I think that road is placed in a very scenic part of New Mexico. There is a canyon, rivers, mountains, greenery, and more of nature. I get excited to revisit this route anytime I am in Taos. I enjoy just driving down this road and enjoying nature.

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Cliff on HWY 64

 We drove all the way back to Amarillo, Texas. By the time we got to Palo Durn Canyon, we caught the sun going down. The sun hit the top of the canyon perfectly. My most favourite part of the trip.  It was nice spending an hour driving around the canyon taken pictures as the sun was setting. Before we left the park, I got to see my first live rattlesnake in the wild. The snake was very big and impressive to me. I was glad to be in the safety of my dad’s truck.  Palo Durn Canyon made up for all the Hell at the start of the trip.

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Palo Durn Canyon

For me this trip was too short because of all the issues we had with the RV on day two. I do realise that when unexpected things take place on a trip you lose out on time. I really wish I had more time in New Mexico.  I am very happy that I didn’t stress out too much over the tire issue. I knew everything would eventually work out and we would be back on the road.  I’ve learned over the past year that things and everything eventually works out the way things need to be. Spain has taught me to be patient and to be aware that life will eventual work out. I am happy I got to spend this time with my family and experience the stresses of the tire problem. I look forward to next summer spending more time in New Mexico and Colorado.