One of the perks of teaching in Spain is all the time I have to travel. Often English teachers have 4 day work schedules and teach between 20-25 hours a week and flights are pretty cheap from Madrid. Once you are done lesson planning you can focus on extracurricular activities, like traveling! I’ve been to Italy, Ireland, England, Germany, and France and not to mention all over Spain. Some of the places I haven’t been, however, may surprise you.
So much that I’m almost embarrassed to admit them. “How have you NEVER visited those places in 2 years?!”, you gasp, shocked. My only defense is that, well, sometimes when you live in a place for a long time you think you have more time than you do. In my case, I ALWAYS told myself I’d get around to it, but just never have. I am hoping that writing this post will inspire me to squeeze a last minute trip in. I would LOVE to visit one of these places before finishing teaching in Madrid-2 of which are in different countries. Which one do you suggest?
Portugal not only offers gorgeous beaches (a quick Google search will show you what I mean), but I’ve heard that the famous Francesinha sandwich is worth making the trip in itself. That may sound fat, but I don’t care. I love food. Porto and Lisbon are the top two cities I’d like to visit there. Extensive research has shown me that not only are both to die for as far as a beautiful city goes, but that the two desirable destinations are extremely inexpensive in both the travel and accommodation department . I have been told that wandering the streets is like wandering through a different era completely. It would also be a new country for me. I love the new and unknown.
If I had to choose ONE place this one would probably be it. I am drawn to the exotic-ness of it. I imagine it as all bohemian meets Moorish, bright, and colorful and exquisite to photograph. There seems to be many facets to it; peaceful and romantic, while encapsulating the hustle and bustle of city bartering at a fast paced, loud and buzzing market, and not to forget the vast yellow and orange desert by camel back. For me, that is something I’ve only ever read about in books or seen in Disney movies, and something not easily experienced when back in the United States. I don’t regret too many things, but I think I will regret not making it to Morocco if I don’t. A close Moroccan friend says the best time to visit is in April or October for those of you who will stick around longer than myself. I’d choose Marrakech if I were to go.
Between teaching in Madrid and having studied here 4 years ago, I have seen quite a bit of southern Spain, Andalucía, as well as Valencia, Ibiza, The Canary Islands and of course Barcelona. But it’s northern Spain that remains a mystery to me. I’ve heard whispers that Asturias-Oviedo and Gijon especially, as well as San Sebastian are some of the most underrated cities in Spain in regards to visiting and capturing it’s beauty. You can almost never go wrong when sipping sidra (Spanish alcoholic cider) and dining on delectable northern delicacies and deserts is involved. For example, I wish this girl in the picture were me. Class act for sure. She’s also having the time of her life.
Some people brag that they are not “beach vacationers”. I on the other hand, cannot get enough of the beach and will go every chance I get the opportunity. Even just the sound of the ocean makes a beach getaway worth the time, travel and money. San Sebastian is a prime destination for beautiful beaches right here in Spain. I want to discover first hand what all the talk is about!
Where would you go if you only had two months left teaching abroad in Europe? -Jamie James