The Best Place to Watch the Sunset in Madrid

Looking for the best place to watch the sunset in Madrid? Try the Temple of Debod: http://www.dtravelsround.com/2015/06/25/best-place-to-watch-sunset-in-madrid-temple-debod/
Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year, in terms of sunlight, and also the first day of summer. I’ve never celebrated it before, because, really, it’s just never been important to me. But, I wake up Sunday morning and feel empty. It’s one of the side effects of starting a new life and just getting going. It’s an uphill battle to feel acclimated, and one I’m really not used to climbing.

I just need to do something for me.

For the past month, I have been overwhelmed. Filled with stress over acquiring my student visa for Spain, importing my cats from Thailand, feeling utterly lost and a myriad of other things. I’ve been hauled up in my flat, motionless as I try to sort out who I am, where I am and what the hell I am doing with my life.

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The Story of My Thai Street Cats

Thai street cats
If you would have seen me the day I dropped of my two cats, Keeley and Jezebel, at their new home, you would have thought someone I loved had passed away.

Seriously.

I hadn’t cried like that in a long time.

There’s something exciting about starting a new life as an expat. A thrill. That ‘world is my oyster’ feeling. But, being an expat comes with sacrifices. Namely, having to part ways with people and animals you love.

Initially, I had considered bringing the cats with me to Thailand. But, everyone talked me out of it. And, thank goodness they did. Being a new expat, in a country in SE Asia with no home, no idea of what kind of resources were available, would have caused a lot of undue stress. Not to mention the stress for the animals I loved with all of my heart.

So, I left them in good hands and embarked on my journey.

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Reawakening in Spain

Spain

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Matias Negrete-Pincetic

“Tonight, can you please take me on a tour of my new barrio?” I ask my friend, Tobi, who has been my unofficial tour guide of all things awesome in Madrid since the second week I moved here.

“Yes,” she promises.

And then, we’re off. It’s early evening (by Spanish standards) and the sun still hangs high above the terra-cotta tiles of the magnificent colored buildings in Lavapies/Embajadero.

I’m fightings the ghosts of Chiang Mai and questioning my existence in Madrid when we head out. I’m numb. Our first stop of the night is La Inquilina, which serves up 1 euro tapas along with their booze. Tobi knows what I’ve been going through since I moved here, and tonight I am fighting past those demons in my mind. Tonight, I promise her, I want to live in the moment. To embrace my new home. And, that’s exactly what we do.

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Getting a Student Visa for Spain as an American

Step-by-step tips on how Americans can get a student visa to live in Spain via www.dtravelsround.com
For most of my adult life, I have dreamed of living in Europe. But, as an American, actually living in Europe beyond the Schengen visa limit of 90 in/90 out in a 180 day period makes it pretty much impossible (unless I get hitched to someone with an EU passport, which is never entirely out of the question).

So, what is a girl to do when those dreams of residing in this bubble of history and culture can’t be achieved without an EU passport? Answer: she gets creative.

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Where mod meets pop culture: Brighton’s Hotel Pelirocco

Hotel Pelirocco

Editor’s Note: I was a guest of Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton, England. If you have questions regarding this, please read my disclosure policy.

Tucked into the posh Regent Square in the famous seashore of Brighton, England, is Hotel Pelirocco.

This pink-halled 19-room hotel, dubbed “England’s most rock ‘n’ roll hotel” isn’t just a place to sleep. The edgy property, in its 15 years of life, has morphed into a cultural hotspot for Brightonians and travelers, treating them to a hedonistic (if they want) place to unwind and tuck into the town.

Brighton, an easy escape for Londoners looking to hit the shore, is also known as London-by-the-Sea. In its recent history, the seaside town has become the place to have “dirty weekends,” something Pelirocco caters to.

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