Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

Oh Summer where art thou?

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Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island Bahamas. It just happens to be the deepest in the world, plunging to a depth of 663 feet (202 meters)

Dean’s Blue Hole

 


I have been back in Madrid for about 3 weeks and when I say it has been rough, boy oh boy has it been rough.

First and for most, the weather has been doing the most since I got here. I got back the last week of August. Mind you I thought that it would still be hot when I got here and why wouldn’t it. It was 103 degrees the last couple of days before I left in June. You definitely read correctly, I did say 103. So naturally I thought I would get more of the same in August(one of the hottest months of the year). Welp, that was a bust, it hasn’t been higher than about 85 degrees since I got here. With a few days of low 70’s and pouring rain. Fall has officially arrived.

Do you see these ridiculous temperatures?


Second problem; Housing or betting yet Finding Housing. Looking for an apartment in Madrid is like looking for a leprechaun with a pot of gold and a unicorn at the same time, which I am still looking for. Surprise, surprise. Seriously, you make contact with a potential landlord or flatmate and while setting up a meeting to see the place it becomes unavailable. Literally, that’s how quick apartments go here. I thought I would already be settled in my new place and getting to know my surroundings, womp womp unfortunately that’s not the case.

On a brighter note, coming back to Madrid after being gone for 2.5 months made me realize how much fun I actually have when I am here. I am getting back into the grove of things, walking everywhere and taking the stairs (most times out of necessity not want). I am also excited about the things I have in the works. But don’t let me keep you, I just wanted to say Hi and give an update.

Hasta luego!

P.S: Shoot me a comment down below if you want to know my trails and errors of looking for a place or if you have any suggestions for me.

Travical Summer 2017

I made it to 12 countries this summer! I know, it sounds crazy and unbelievable to my ears as well. July and August were busy months for me. In July I solo traveled to Guatemala, Panama, and Costa Rica. August I took the Golden Girls (My mom and aunt) to The Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, The Vatican, and Madrid. This summer brought my total count to 31 countries visited.

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In the native shoe in Amsterdam. 

Man sometimes I wonder how I planned everything. Central America was easy because it was just me and solo traveling is the easiest way to travel. Traveling with the Golden Girls now that was a different story. Don’t get me wrong I had a great experience but it was challenging sometimes. From trying to decide which countries to go visit, how long to stay, where to stay, what to do, what’s the budget for each country, how are we traveling (student budget or nay), modes of transportation; these are questions you have to ask when traveling with a group.

Coordinating with a group can be difficult but I find that the best way to plan is for one person to take the lead. What does taking the lead mean, being responsible for researching everything, from the best routes to hotels to transportation etc. Another way to go about being the lead is to delegate different tasks for each person in the group to do, collect the information found and compile one document. As in any occasion working in a group you must always be prepared for one or two slackers.

Working with the Golden Girls was fairly easy because they pretty much left everything to me. From choosing which countries to visit to where to stay to basically anything you can think of. So for me it worked out great. Well except that one time I spent 3 hours planning tickets and hotels for a set itinerary to only have to do it all over again because one of the Golden Girls remembered that she always wanted to go to the Holy Lands. Mind you we had finalized the list of countries a few days ago but hey I made it happen.

The itinerary was 3 days in Amsterdam, 3 days in Vienna, 3 days in Budapest, 7 days in Jerusalem, 4 days in Athens, 3 days in Sofia, 2 days in Rome, and 5 days in Madrid. Honestly, I still can’t believe that we pulled off that itinerary in 30 days.

~A few pictures from a few cities~

To research prices I used different search engines to get the best deal. The ones I most frequent was Kayak, Google Flights, Expedia, and One Travel, Hotels.com, AirBnB, and Booking. Travel Hack 1: make sure you look the airlines baggage rules when determining what flight is cheapest. For example, if Airline A is $150 for a flight but charges a $40 for 1 checked bag and Airline B is $170 with no charges for 1 checked bag then by going with Airline B will save you $20. Travel Hack 2: make sure you check if the airline requires you to check in or pay for checked baggage online to avoid astronomical fees. For example, if Airline A charges $15 for pre-checked luggage done online vs. $40 to check in luggage at the airport, which is a savings of $25.

Overall, an amazing experience and worth all the airport hours I accumulated. Any questions on how you can book your own travical experience write a comment below.