The GoGlobal Blog

Category: Jesuit Partners

Waka Waka (this time for Africa)

Waka Waka (this time for Africa)

Hey guys! If you don’t understand the title of this blog post, it’s from Shakira’s song! Anyway, this blog post is mostly about how I went to Africa and crossed another continent off my bucket list, but first I’m going to talk about Halloween. 

I’m sure you guys all know what day it was 2 weeks ago. If you say Halloween, you are correct! Halloween in Madrid was very interesting. It is definitely not as big of a deal as it is in the states, so I actually forgot about it. I know, how could I forget Halloween? Well, not everything is decorated all spooky and scary. The only reason I actually remembered was because all the Americans I was around kept talking about it. I definitely wanted to have a chill night and watch halloween movies and eat candy, but my friends wouldn’t let me. They told me I would regret it if I didn’t go out and do something fun, so that’s what we did lol. We had a pretty good night, but Halloween in Madrid is kinda crazy. My friend Shrina can verify that it wasn’t that great, but hey, it was an experience right?

Two weekends ago I went to Morocco, and it was an amazing trip! I knew a lot of friends going, so I have been looking forward to it! It was through Discover Excursions, and it was nice because all of our food, transportation, and hotel was paid for in advance. It was nice to have everything planned out for us, but it was a pretty exhausting trip. We first had to take a 7 hour bus from Madrid to Seville to meet up with the tour guides. Once we met up with them we got on another bus, a ferry, and a bus one more time and then finally made it to the hotel. After 12 hours of travelling, we ate dinner at our hotel and then fell asleep. The next day, we took a 2 hour bus ride to Chefchaouen, aka the blue city! Mostly everything is painted blue, and it is really amazing to see. Unfortunately, it was raining a little bit, but I tried to stay optimistic. When we arrived, we had a tour and then some free time. The tour was really interesting because it is an undeveloped city and houses don’t have ovens and there’s also a communal laundry area where they use river water and washboard type things. It was really interesting to see this different way of life and imagine what it would be like to live there.

Of course we wanted to take a million pictures, so we started at the most famous steps in the city. We ran into these two Irish guys who were professional photographers just travelling, and he saw my bright pink umbrella. He asked if he could borrow it, and then went to show me how I could use it as a “prop” to get really good pictures. It was super funny because this guy was doing really girly poses to show me how I can use the prop. (On my instagram you can see that I followed his advice lol). After, we just walked around and ran into a super nice lady doing henna. My friends and I each got a henna on our hand, and then continued walking around the blue city. Overall, it was a really good day and the bus ride back to our hotel had really pretty views!

The blue city!
After we got henna on our hands!

That night, we had some free time and then ate dinner. The meal was actually gluten free itself, so they forgot that the dessert wasn’t and that I couldn’t eat it. When I asked him if it had gluten, he took my plate away and brought me back an apple on a pretty plate lol. All my friends were laughing, but I was fine with it. It was a pretty good apple! After dinner, our tour guides told us to meet us on the top floor for a “surprise”. When we arrived they told us to sit against the walls and then presented a Moroccan show! It consisted of 5 men in traditional outfits and 3 of them were dancing and the other 2 were banging on drums. One of the guys at one point was dancing with a tray of candles on his head! It was really cool and super interesting to see, plus everyone was super into it! Then we joined in and had our own little dance party, which made it a super fun night!

The next day, we went to Tangier. We had a little bus tour around the city, where our tour guide described how Tangier is a rapidly expanding city. He said that in the last 20 years it has grown so much that the airport used to be 10 km outside the city, but is now included in the city limits. It was interesting to see an underdeveloped city and also a developed city that is continuing to expand in the same country. Our first stop in Tangier was to the cave of Hercules. It has a famous cut out in the shape of Hercules’ face that has a view of the ocean. The cave got its name from the legend that Hercules pushed apart Africa and Europe. Also, the tour guide told us that there is only a few times a year that you can actually see the sunset from inside the cave. It was interesting to see! Our next stop was to ride camels on the beach! It was really fun, but also a little scary and bumpy! I seriously thought I was going to fall off lol. The baby camels were super cute, and it was a really cool experience. When else can you say that you rode a camel in Africa? Yeah exactly!

Julia and I riding a camel!
In Tangier by the beach!

After our camel ride, we went to the old section of the city and visited a Moroccan pharmacy where they sold all kinds of natural products. Morocco is known for producing argan oil, so it is actually pretty cheap to buy. In America it is so much more expensive. They sold many different lotions and other products that smelled amazing! There was no way I could walk out without buying something. After that, we spent some time walking around and shopping. Then, we had some lunch and made our way to the ferry to embark on our 12 hour trip back home to Madrid! By the time I got back to Madrid at about 7:30am I was exhausted! It was so much traveling, but definitely worth it in the end!

Last weekend, I stayed in Madrid and got some homework and studying done! I didn’t do too much, so there’s nothing really to blog about. Im super excited about this weekend though because my two cousins, Corrin and Shannon, and also my sister Rachel are coming to visit me! I’ve been a little homesick lately, so I can’t wait to see them and show them around the place I have been calling home for the past 2 and a half months!

My week in Spain

My week in Spain

I spent my 10-day long fall break in Spain and I couldn’t have asked for a better week. I flew from London to Madrid to meet up with a few friends who are studying in Madrid, then flew to Barcelona, then back to London. So, in one week, I took 3 plane rides. I was excited to spend my fall break in Spain not only to see my friends but to experience Spain’s culture. Coming from a partially Hispanic background, I have grown up around Spanish (more specifically Puerto Rican culture) but I am by no means fluent. I can understand simple phrases, which after spending a week in Spain I am thankful for. Throughout the week I would message my mom asking what certain words were and how to say certain phrases (so shout out to my mom for being a lifesaver).

In Madrid, there were very few people who spoke English but the people were very nice. I enjoyed the feeling in Madrid- and I’m not talking about just the warm weather and sunshine. After studying in London, I could vaguely recall what the sun looked like which isn’t very different from when I live in Chicago. Barcelona was different. It was beautiful but even fewer people spoke English than in Madrid. Although it was difficult at times, it was a great way to fully immerse myself. Upon arriving in Barcelona, Ally and I had to figure out how to get to our Airbnb. While the Airbnb lady had left us directions to get from the airport to the place, we frantically searched the map and could not find the directions she had told us. After asking different people with what little Spanish I knew we finally found the metro and someone to help us buy the tickets to get to the place. We got on the metro and followed the directions, until maps took us to the wrong building. With Whatsapp not connecting to contact the Airbnb owner and us being sleep deprived, it was not a good mix. Three hours later we made it to our Airbnb and went to a restaurant where they spoke no English. With the help of Google translate, my limited (very limited) Spanish, and photos of their food they had we managed to order our dinner which turned out to be amazing.

My week in Spain was amazing and I gained a new respect for another culture and language. The language barrier at times was difficult but definitely added to the experience.  I will never forget visiting the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the San Miguel Market in Madrid.

San Sebastian and Rome!

San Sebastian and Rome!


This blog post is all about my weekends in San Sebastian and Rome! Just warning you now, this is a long one, so make sure you have some time if you wanna read it all.

San Sebastian is a town in northern Spain and it is the cutest little beach town. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a super chill and fun weekend. San Sebastian was about 2 and a half weeks ago, and it was one of my favorite trips. I really enjoyed it! The only thing that got me down was the rain, but it wasn’t too bad. My trip started off with a 7 hour bus ride, which actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Once we arrived, my friends Julia, Rachel, Benita, and I dropped our stuff off at our hostel and then started to walk around. We were blown away by how beautiful it is! We grabbed some lunch and then made our way to the mountain that we were about to hike up so we could watch the sunset. It was kinda rough, but once we made it to the top it was totally worth it. We took a million pics at the top and then found a good spot to watch the sunset. It was so beautiful and an amazing view!

After the sunset, we just grabbed some dinner and walked around a little more. We wanted to get to bed early because in the morning we were supposed to go to a little town in France for a day trip, however, I actually forgot my passport in Madrid! So unfortunately, I couldn’t go. It turned out to be a good thing though because everyone says if you study abroad, you need to go on a solo trip. I had the day in San Sebastian to do whatever I wanted! I ended up at first getting starbucks (of course right?), and then going to the aquarium. I also did some shopping and bought some souvenirs. It was a really good day! I wanted to go to the beach, but it was drizzling on and off almost all day. I did find a pretty cool spot to relax and enjoy the view though! That night, my friends and I tried pintxos, which you have to do when coming to San Sebastian. It’s really cool! Different bars have many plates of food out, and you can try a portion of whatever you want. It costs only 2 euros per portion, which is a pretty good deal! We went to 3 different bars, and the bartenders were super fun to talk to. We also met two australian guys who just graduated high school and took a year off to travel around Europe. It’s easy to meet a lot of cool people from travelling around! The next day, my friends and I went in a cable car up a mountain to see the view! Once we got up there, it was breathtaking! We also got to ride a roller coaster around the top of the mountain. It was actually really fun, and we weren’t expecting it to be like a mini roller coaster. It seemed like we were riding over the ocean, and it was honestly so cool.

After that we made our way down the mountain and found a place to eat lunch. They had really good burgers and gluten free bread. I was super excited about the bread lol. Definitely my chow of the trip. Oh let me explain what that means. My friends and I have a pow, wow, and chow of every trip. The pow is the worst thing that happened, wow is the best, and chow is the best thing you ate or drank. It’s pretty fun comparing everyone’s pow’s, wow’s, and chow’s. Anyway, after we ate we walked around a little more and made our way to the bus station for our 7 hour ride back to Madrid. I really liked this trip, and even though I forgot my passport, everything worked out for the best!

Before we rode the roller coaster on top of the mountain!
View from the top of the mountain!
The beautiful sunset!









Okay now about Roma! I fell in love with Italy! And it was really cool because it was the first time I was outside of Spain. I kept responding to Italian in Spanish lol. Anyway, the trip started out kinda rough. Because Jackie and I are broke college students, we decided to sleep in the airport the night before our early flight. We decided we would lose some sleep instead of 30 euros on a taxi. Jackie fell asleep, but I was definitely not comfortable to fall asleep on a cold floor. So I got two hours of sleep on the plane and that was it lol. When we arrived in Rome, we got some coffee and did some of the touristy things. We saw the Victor Emmanuel National Monument, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, and also the Pantheon. We ended up getting about 35 thousand steps that day. I was so exhausted! For dinner, Jackie and I met up with our friends who are studying abroad in Rome! I know a lot of people studying in Rome because Loyola actually has a campus there. My friend Francie is in nursing with me and one of my really good friends, so it was really good to see her! At dinner, they had a student deal that included a bunch of food and some wine for only 15 euros each. It was so good and the dessert wine was to die for! After dinner, we were in Rome so of course we had to get gelato. It was probably the best gelato I have ever had! Then, Francie and I went to our hostel to try to get some sleep because we were so exhausted.

Since Francie studies in Rome, she was my tour guide the entire weekend! My second day in Rome consisted of Francie and I going to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. We spent the entire day there, but took a break to get some pizza and gelato. I was really surprised how many restaurants offer gluten free pizza and pasta! Because we were at the Colosseum, I had Lizzie McGuire stuck in my head and was constantly singing “What dreams are made of”. It was a really fun day! At night, we went to a gluten free restaurant and as we were walking across the river, we came across a street performer on the bridge. He was amazing! He was singing American songs, so it was really fun to sing along with him. He even attracted a huge crowd of people because it was obvious he loved performing. Francie and I listened to like 10 of his songs before continuing to explore Rome. I got to meet some of her friends and we had a really fun night!

The next day, my last day in Rome, we went to the Vatican to see the pope. He was performing an Angelus ceremony. We didn’t have a good spot, so we could barely see but it was still really cool. After, we went into the St. Peter’s Basilica, which is the largest church in the world. It is crazy how big and beautiful it is! After that, we got lunch and met up with one of Francie’s friends! We did some more touristy things, and then I had the night to myself. I went to get dinner and ate some gluten free pizza one last time. The waiter was super nice and we had a pretty good conversation about travelling and a bunch of stuff. I stayed one more night in the hostel and then woke up early and went to the airport to come home to Madrid. I loved Rome, and so far it is my favorite trip! Rome is amazing, but unfortunately the public transportation sucks, so you can’t expect to get anywhere fast in Rome lol. Other than that, it was an amazing trip! I still can’t believe how much money I spent on food. I had enough pizza, pasta, and gelato to last a lifetime lol. No, I could never get tired of Italian. Well that’s it for now guys! See ya later!

France and I at the Colosseum!
The Colosseum!
Living With a Chinese Roommate

Living With a Chinese Roommate

As we approach our three month mark of living in Beijing, there are many things I’m grateful for that TBC has provided to make the experience of studying in another country comfortable.

What I’m most thankful for is the opportunity to live with a Chinese roommate, a student chosen by TBC to be our support and guide throughout our semester here. My roommate, April, has been and is the greatest help I have in China and is an amazing friend who supports me in every aspect of my life here. From telling me I’m going to do great before a test and hearing me talk endlessly about my worries, to showing me where the best restaurants and salons are.

By giving us the opportunity to live with a Chinese student attending Universtiy of International Business and Economics, we are more immersed in the culture and have an easier time adapting to living in another country. Due to the age connection, the Chinese roommates are able to understand us better and guide us through college life in Beijing. And they didn’t just take care of us by taking us to dinner and supermarkets the first week of classes either. They are still supporting us every day in the smallest things like helping us figure out how to other take-out food and bigger things like taking us to visit different neighborhoods, like the Lama Temple, around Beijing.


I know my study abroad experience wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t live with April. Additionally, TBC has done a great job of pairing us up with roommates that have similar habits as us, giving us very comfortable and friendly living situations. One of my favorite parts of the day is before going to bed, when April and I both turn off the lights at the same time and take out our Kindles to read, putting them down later at the same time.



Segovia, Madrid, and Cordoba!

Segovia, Madrid, and Cordoba!


So, it’s been awhile. I haven’t had the opportunity to make a blog post recently because my computer broke and I wasn’t able to use it for awhile. So, I’m gonna try to catch you guys up on what I have been up to. Because I haven’t posted in awhile, this post won’t have any pictures, but you can see them all on my facebook!

A little over a month ago, I went on a day trip to Segovia with my friends Julia and Rachel. After arriving at the train station, we took a cab to the Roman Aqueduct. It’s original purpose was to bring in water to the city. Now, it’s just kinda there and something that looks really cool. Actually, it is one of the best preserved elevated aqueducts! We then walked to the cathedral and then did a little tour. With it’s beautiful gothic architecture, it was amazing inside and out. After the cathedral, we went to the Alcazar, which means its a Spanish palace of moorish origin. There are many Alcazars around Spain because it is where the royal family would stay when visiting different cities. We decided that paying the extra 2 euros would be worth the view at the top of the castle, and we were right! We had a view of most of the town and could even see the cathedral. The 152 steps were kinda rough, but the view was totally worth it! Overall, the day trip to Segovia was super fun and very interesting!

The next weekend I actually stayed in Madrid and had a very relaxing weekend. It was nice to relax, and catch up with family and friends from home. I think I facetimed different people almost all day long. I realized I couldn’t stay in my room the whole weekend though, so I decided to explore Madrid a little bit more. I ended up going the Prado with some friends, which is an art museum in Madrid. The artwork was super interesting, and it was a pretty good day learning more about the history of Spain. During the week in my flamenco class, we had a super fun day of trying on different flamenco outfits. We had a little photoshoot, and it was so fun! After that, my friend Julia and I went to a cute coffee shop called Monkee Koffee and hung out there for a little bit and did some studying! As a snack, I bought a “bowl of fruit” and it was honestly so good. They mixed the fruit with honey and some other stuff that makes it a pretty popular snack that students get while studying here.

The weekend after that I went to Córdoba with Jackie! It was the weekend of our fall break, so we decided a short two day trip would be perfect. Afterall, we still had midterms that we needed to study for. Córdoba is a super cute town about a 4 hour bus ride away from Madrid! It is full of flowers and narrow cobblestone streets, and I loved it. The only problem about this trip was that Jackie literally almost missed the bus. I was standing in between the door, so the driver wouldn’t leave without her. I thought I was going to have to go by myself, but thankfully she made it! When we arrived, we walked around the town a little bit. It’s a pretty small town, and the main things to see is the cathedral and the alcazar. We did those the second day we were there, so the first day we had a pretty chill day of getting to know Córdoba. Of course, Jackie wanted to go to cien montaditos. I don’t know if I talked about it yet, but it is literally the best place ever. They have the best tinto de verano and it is only 1.5 euros. So, we went to cien and had some tinto and then we ate at The Good Burger. (I know, we are in Spain, and we are eating at an American restaurant? I guess we just miss America lol). We ended up eating there because it was kinda difficult to find gluten free places in Córdoba. We were only there for two days though, so it wasn’t too bad.

So, our second day in Córdoba we did all the touristy stuff. First, we went to the Alcazar. The best thing about it was probably the garden. It was so pretty! Jackie and I enjoyed looking at all the flowers and taking a million pictures. The next thing we did was go to the Mosque that was turned into a Cathedral. It had a mix of Christian and Islamic characteristics that made it super interesting to see. After that, we were starving so we found a place to get lunch. It took so long, and the service was super bad. We ended up getting our food over an hour after we ordered. We did know we were in Spain though, so it was kinda expected. For those who don’t know, bad service is typical in Spain. Don’t expect to have a quick lunch anywhere in Spain. We’ve definitely gotten used to it. Overall, I loved how cute of a town Córdoba was and it was a perfect trip for two days.

My next blog post will be about my weekends in San Sebastian and Rome! You’ll hopefully be hearing from me soon! Hasta luego!

Living like a local?

Living like a local?

The leaves have started changing color here and you can find me drinking, no not tea, but instant coffee. Yes, the locals might be ashamed of me that I don’t drink tea but I don’t think anyone has caught on to me yet. Fun fact, the public transportation system is entirely different from the crazy L train in Chicago. The Tube is quiet, yes, I really mean quiet and if someone is having a conversation they’re talking in hushed tone. So, if you’re on the Tube and you’re talking extremely loudly expect to get some dirty looks thrown at you or at least a sideways glance. On the plus side, I’d like to think I’m blending in because I get asked for directions. I’ve also probably directed people the total opposite way, but hey that’s okay. Also, don’t forget to tap your oyster when leaving the Tube because that will get you some dirty looks for holding up the exit and a very embarrassing experience.

If you decide to take a walk through the beautiful Kensington Gardens, watch out for the birds. The swans and geese swimming in the pond are stunning, until they decide to attack. A flock of pigeons almost took me down after my run and I seemed to be the only person fazed. Kensington Gardens is beautiful in the fall with all the leaves changing color so it is definitely a must see, especially with Kensington Palace attached to it where William and Kate live (no sightings of them yet unfortunately). If you’re told to “queue up” they’re not talking about your Netflix queue they’re asking you to line up. As much as I’ve tried to blend in they definitely know the Americans from the locals and there is nothing wrong with that! Just remember to stay in hushed tones on the Tube and watch out for the birds and you’ll be okay.




My adventure in China: Flying in Zhangjiajie

My adventure in China: Flying in Zhangjiajie



I have to give thanks to my parents and my uncles for making me love nature and be an adventurer at heart. And I also have to give thanks to my friends Kate and Reed for organizing the trip to the best park I’ve visited in a long time.

The Monday of the Chinese national holiday, the Autumn Festival, we embarked on a twenty-four-hour train to the Hunan province, on the south of China. Fortunately,  we bought the train tickets with enough time to get beds during the ride and we were able to sleep for most of it until we arrived at Zhangjiajie, the city in Hunan where we stayed. Have already taken four overnight trains during our excursion along the Silk Road, we consider ourselves train experts. And we were very well prepared, with ramen, peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches and a lot of movies, among them Avatar, shot in the park we were going to visit.

After the train trip, we made it to the hostel craving to eat real food and take a shower. The hostel was we stayed was full of international students and close to a lot of local restaurants and bars. We dined like kings. Our friend Lenny, born and raised in the Hunan province, showed us the best traditional food of the area. That night, we also explored the city and bought traditional Chinese mooncakes.

The next day we visited Tianzi mountain, a popular attraction in the Wunlingyuan park. Without noticing and with a lot of strength, we climbed the mountain, our legs begging us to rest and the fog surrounding us. It took us around two hours, but getting to the top of the mountain was worth it. It felt like we were in a movie; the fog embracing us and not letting us see beyond our arms, but we loved the feeling of having made it and touching the highest rocks in the park. My friends almost cried with happiness while eating McDonald’s at the top of the mountain, but I was shocked seeing how far junk food has gotten, to the top of a mountain of one of the most beautiful parks in the world! We didn’t have the energy to walk down the mountain, so we got on a cable car and flew between the mountains, expecting to see the creatures from Avatar fly alongside us. Although I’m terrified of hights, I was able to survive the ride on the cable car. And it was so worth it.

Our hostel was in a city about an hour away from the park, so we took a bus back, where we all fell asleep. When we got back to the city of Zhangjiajie, where we were staying, we discovered a small restaurant next to our hostel and we ate there every single day, enjoying the best fried rice we’ve ever had.

The next day we walked in nature some more, but this time downhill. We took another cable car to the top of a different mountain and saw more fog, beautiful mountains and took a lot of pictures. We walked up a very high peak (I was very scared), we screamed to hear the echo rumble and did more exercise that we had done in weeks. And telling each other stories we hadn’t heard already we started walking downhill, this time our knees suffering. The way down was hard but rewarded by another delicious dinner and a night exploring the nightlife of the city.

Time flew by. And by the third day, I thought we had seen everything. We rode the fastest glass elevator in the world all the way to the top of yet another different mountain. It was a little disappointing because we couldn’t see much due to the amount of people in the elevator. But when we reached the top we had the best view of the whole three days and amazing noodles and roasted walnuts made by locals. We met another group of American students, one of us jumped in a lake after losing a bet, we saw rivers, and monkeys in their natural habitat, we had honey on a stick when we reached the valley of the mountain and we made memories that will be with us forever.

Another memory that is going to last us a lifetime is the one of the ride back to Beijing on a train that lasted almost thirty hours. We didn’t have beds this time, and I slept around two hours, with my head on a small table where three of my friends were also laying their heads. Being the way I am, I finished two books; and being the way we are, we watched three to four movies. And we ate more Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches. It was a very long ride. We spent the last four hours with people really close to us standing in the aisles. It was definitely an interesting experience. But it wasn’t horrible because we were a good group of people; we all got along very well and were organized well. I couldn’t have chosen a better group of people to travel with.

I know this wasn’t my last trip outside of Beijing, but it will certainly be one of the best. And the most beautiful.

My first trips!

My first trips!

Hello again,

It has now been a little over three weeks into my study abroad experience in Madrid, and everything is going great! I haven’t been keeping up with my blog because I have been busy with school and traveling, so I apologize that this is late!

About a week and a half ago I went on a day trip to Salamanca with SLU, and it was so much fun. Salamanca is a city in Spain that is filled with cobblestone roads and amazing architecture, making it a beautiful city. The trip was super fun, and it was amazing to learn all about the history. We had the opportunity to climb to the top of the University of Salamanca building, and look over the whole town. The view was so pretty, and totally worth the 3 euros it cost. My friends and I had no choice but to take a million pictures. I swear we were up there for like an hour. On the front of the building, there is a frog etched into it, and there’s a belief that if the students find the frog, then they will pass all of their classes. Our tour guide actually showed us the frog, and told us that we will pass all of our classes! So that was good to hear! When my friends and I came across the plaza mayor, we saw there was a spin class being held right in the middle of it! It was so fun to see, and they actually played Livin’ on a Prayer! They said to sing along, and we were probably the only ones. We looked very American and totally stood out, but it was totally worth it! We also saw a wedding being held, which was super beautiful. Like imagine getting married in Salamanca! They were taking pictures in front of an amazing building, and singing some spanish song and looked like they were having the time of their life! Overall, it was a pretty cool day trip!

Some of my classes are getting a little more difficult, so I’ve been checking out different coffee shops that are perfect for enjoying some coffee and to get some studying done. One coffee shop I found is called La bicicleta cafe, and I am totally obsessed with it! It is super cute on the inside, and has the best “cafe con leche”. One of the employees there speaks english, and these two girls were ordering their coffees and weren’t sure how to pronounce it, so the employee was telling them that “Spaniards are shameless”. My friend Alex and I overheard and he said again that it is good to be shameless and “not give a shit”. We were laughing, but honestly it is really good advice! His accent and the way he said it made it funnier than it was, but being shameless and just living life is a really good thing! The employees are super fun there, so I’ve already gone there a couple times to get some homework done! My classes are definitely easier than at Loyola, but there’s still work and studying to do. My host mom thinks since I’m not taking any nursing classes that I’m on a “four month vacation”. I thought that was really funny because even though I don’t have as much work to do and will be traveling around a lot, I definitely still need to focus on school! Considering that I am in fact “studying” abroad, and not just spending 4 months in Spain!

As you guys probably know, I was living alone with just my host mom, but I actually have a roommate now! Her name is Jasmine and she’s super nice and we get along great! I was excited to hear that I was getting a roommate because I live kinda far from my friends, so I thought it would be nice to have one in my house! We have already gone to starbucks together, and hopefully a trip or two. Who knows! That’s the beauty of studying abroad because you become friends with someone and then typically go on trips together! No one really cares! All people want is just someone to travel with and make memories with. One of my favorite things about studying abroad so far is that mostly everyone is so open to making friends and travel plans together!

Anyway, last weekend I went on my first trip to Mallorca! Mallorca is a beautiful island off of Spain, and the perfect location for a super fun and relaxing getaway! It was a short two days, but just the right amount of time because at the end of the trip I was totally exhausted. Alex and I woke up at 4am in order to make our flight, so we were tired from the start. There was also a totally embarrassing moment where I fell in the airport and a lot of people saw. It was really funny, and I just got right back up, but waking up at 4am will do that to ya! Alex and I thought about the employee at the cafe and laughed about how I should be shameless about it. I’m not even going to describe how I fell, but let’s just say it had to do with one of those moving walkway things! Anyway, after we arrived, we first walked around Palma de Mallorca, and enjoyed seeing the cute shops and street performers. Then, we made our way to the Cathedral de Santa Maria, which was probably the prettiest building I have ever seen! Eventually we made it to our airbnb, and enjoyed some snacks while sitting on the terrace that had a beautiful view of the ocean! The next day, we stayed at the beach for about 6 hours, and then made our way back to the airport. It was very short, but super nice to be able to just relax on the beach! We found some really cute cafes and had some really good food too! Definitely a good trip, which makes me super excited for all of my future travels!

Alright that’s it for now guys!

¡Hasta luego!

Madrid Madrid Madrid!

Madrid Madrid Madrid!


So I am now about a week and a half into my study abroad experience, and I’m still having such a great time! Now that I’m getting used to my classes, I am starting to think about the real reason why I came here: to travel! Travelling is my passion, and I can’t wait to plan all the trips I want to take. Even though I can’t wait to travel, most of my friends and students around me are spending their free time looking at flights trying to find the cheapest one. Like how boring is that? I mean I guess it’s cool when you find a good price because then you get to go on an awesome trip for super cheap! However, it’s still a hassle looking up flights all day. I’m not even kidding, so many of us are constantly on our computers and once in awhile you’ll here “omg this flight is 40 euro round trip!”. Then a discussion on if they should just book it now or wait for later. They were making me think that I need to get going on planning my trips, so I decided to book one! My friend and I made the spontaneous decision to go to Mallorca for two days! We’re super excited, and you guys will hear all about it in a couple weeks! However, I can’t go anywhere else until I know more about the city I am living in for 4 months, so this weekend was all about Madrid!


We’re always getting coffee somewhere
The Royal Palace of Madrid

My friends and I explored Madrid as best as we could! We first walked around Sol and then went to Retiro park, which is super beautiful. We rented row boats for 6 euros and got to spend an hour rowing around a lake, which was so fun! We also went on a bus tour and saw the amazing architecture and learned a lot of history. On the tour, we also visited the Royal Palace, which is super beautiful! Like if I could live there I totally would. Anyway, it was such an amazing weekend learning all about where I’m going to be living for the next four months!



At orientation, SLU told us all about how there are different phases of our study abroad experience. First is denial, then we experience culture shock, and then acceptance of our new life here. So basically they told us that we will be so caught up in being here that we will deny that we are homesick or the feeling that we don’t belong. They said that eventually we will fall into a pit of depression and most likely want to go home. They were so brutally honest that we thought they were joking. Unfortunately, they were not. But don’t worry, I haven’t fallen into my pit of depression yet! Hopefully I won’t but apparently it’s inevitable. So that’s fantastic, but it can actually be beneficial to us because we can then learn more about Spain and everything about it. That’s what I’m hoping at least! So right now I am still in love with Madrid and everything about it! My classes are getting a little difficult, so I’m starting to realize that I’m not on vacation and that I still need to focus on school. My classes are super interesting though, so I’m excited for everything that I’m going to learn! I’ll let you all know if I fall into my pit of depression, but honestly if I do I don’t think it will be bad. I’ve already made so many friends, and I can’t wait for all the trips I’m going to go on! Well, that’s it for now! ¡Hasta luego!

Beginnings in Beijing

Beginnings in Beijing

I’ve been in China for almost a month. And I’ve never been happier. I keep saying it to everyone I know, but I cannot help it. I feel like I’m flying, moving through my days with an aura of joy surrounding me, leading me into another hour of exploring the beauty this country has.

When I first arrived in Beijing, on August 13th, I expected to feel uncomfortable, out of place, shocked by the difference between the Chinese culture and the Western cultures I’ve grown up in. Instead, I felt curiosity, admiration, joy and welcomed into a community that in less than a month has become my home. I’ll admit I felt a little lost walking around the University of International Business and Economics, but I didn’t mind. Because I got to see a small lake in the middle of campus, cute hole-in-the-wall restaurants, little shops next to tea stands, and people walking around like myself, unafraid of not being in the right place.

I had about a week to explore UIBE and its surroundings, getting lost more times, visiting the Olympic Park and Tiananmen Square, eating more dumplings and noodles than I thought I was capable of, and struggling to find milk for my morning cereal, deciding to settle for delicious milk tea instead.

After a wonderful week in Beijing, visiting nearby bars and parks, we started our adventure on the Silk Road. Never in my life have I felt as fulfilled as on that adventure along the whole country of China, which took me to busy markets in the cities, small restaurants in the South of China, a stargazing night in the desert, a camel ride to watch the sunset, beautiful mosques and temples, and to learn about different cultures within one of the most interesting countries in the world. I spent two weeks sleeping in 14-hour trains, after having brushed my teeth with bottled water just to be safe; living out of the same four t-shirts and pair of pants; eating so many different dishes I couldn’t name them all; writing about my long days, all full of color and joy; and getting to know the people I will be spending more than three months with.

Now, back in Beijing, all that I lived and saw on the Silk Road feels like a dream, like it happened to someone else. I’m looking at the pictures and my throat is closing because I am so lucky that I had the chance to travel so much and that I still have endless sunrises and sunsets left in Beijing.