The Lowdown on Australian Working Holiday Visas

Hard to believe that exactly 18 months ago, I was packing my bags to move to Australia. Ready for a change from Spain but not yet ready to end my travels, I decided to give the country a try, figuring that, worst case scenario, I’d have one last epic adventure before returning home. Instead, I found a job, got sponsored for a work visa, and am sticking around for who knows how long.

On a kangaroo quest

On a kangaroo quest

But what made all this possible was the Australian working holiday program, which granted me a visa and paved the way for me to make a life for myself in Sydney. Whether you’re curious about what I’m doing here or are looking for your own international adventure (I highly recommend the program!), here’s the lowdown on what the visa is and how you can totally be an expat in Australia too. Continue reading  

Captivated by Capri

Spring break in Italy was already shaping up to be unforgettable, with visits to Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast. Our next destination was the island of Capri, home of foil juice packets and calf-length pants. Wait, wrong Capri.

After a quick homemade lunch in Capri’s town plaza, the sun finally made a brief appearance as my mom and I climbed to one of Capri’s lookouts over I Faraglioni, striking rock formations just off the island’s coast.

Capri, Italy

Looking out over I Faraglioni

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Experience the Arts in the Magnificent City of Rome

I have to admit: I’m something of a philistine when it comes to the arts, but when traveling Europe, no matter how you feel about art, you’d be missing out if you didn’t experience at least some of it. As I wrote about a few months ago, Rome surpassed my expectations. I didn’t get a chance to see a ton of art in Rome, but what I did see was impressive. This guest post from Sandra highlights some of the best art and culture to be found in Italy’s capital city.

Rome, Italy arts - Castel Sant’Angelo

Sculpture at the Castel Sant’Angelo (photo credit: me!)

If you want to immerse yourself in a hub of music and arts, Rome is most definitely the city that will satisfy your every craving. As a place that is widely known for its long-standing love affair with the arts, lovers of music, fine painting and sculptures have flocked to the city to view its extensive offerings. If you are planning a cultural trip to Rome, whether by yourself, as a couple, or part of a group, here are the best things to do in Rome that will ensure that you experience all aspects of the arts that this spectacular capital has to offer. Continue reading  

My Private Piece of Paradise in Fiji

Another year abroad meant another trip home to California for Christmas. If the Christmas season is the happiest time of the year, imagine how much lovelier it is when it means reuniting with family and friends for the first time in months. And this year, I added a cherry to the top: through careful strategizing, I managed to turn a multi-hour layover in Nadi, Fiji into a four-day vacation in paradise.

What I was up to while the Northern Hemisphere was suffering through winter.

What I was up to while the Northern Hemisphere was suffering through winter.

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Favorite Travel Apps: Language Learning with uTalk (+ Giveaway!)

There are few things I love as much as learning a new language. I dream of one day being a polyglot who can communicate in more languages than I can name, and, while my multilingual aspirations remain lofty, I’m working toward them slowly but surely. Beyond English and Spanish, I took French and Italian classes in college (and even a bit of Nahuatl, although I couldn’t tell you how to say a thing!), and I’m currently enrolled in a weekly Mandarin course.

Slowly but surely learning Mandarin.

Sadly, the real world limits the amount of time I can devote to language learning, which is where language apps save the day. I’ve played around with a lot of apps, but few have truly impressed me. I am a huge fan of Duolingo, through which I’ve refreshed my Spanish, French, and Italian and can now communicate some basic sentences in Portuguese and German. However, until now, that’s the only language app I’ve really used regularly. Continue reading  

Travel Talk with Betty: Teaching as an Auxiliar de Conversación in Zaragoza, Spain

I’ve been hoping to launch an traveler interview series for ages now, and it’s finally arrived! In my first edition, I’m talking to a first-year auxiliar de conversación (participating in the same program I taught in Spain through) and active, lovable member of the expat blogger community: Betty of The Pumpkin’s Head.

Me in Betty’s current location, Zaragoza, Spain, in May 2013

Hi Betty! Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Hey, ya’ll – my name is Betty J. Ogburn, and I’m a 22-year-old Southern Belle from Greensboro, North Carolina, currently working as an auxiliar de conversación in Zaragoza, Spain. After graduating from Wake Forest University (God bless Mother, so dear!!) with a B.A. in Spanish with International Studies in May 2014, I left my life in small town USA behind for la vida española! Continue reading  

2014: The Travel Year In Review (Finally!)

With February already here, I’m quite the procrastinator, but it’s been a hectic past few weeks, traveling home to California for Christmas, stopping in Fiji on the way back to Sydney, and frantically (and ultimately successfully!) apartment hunting since I’ve been back. But since 2011, I’ve done a yearly recap of my travels that year (see 20112012, and 2013), and, while 2014 wasn’t quite the whirlwind travel year some of my past years have been, it still warrants a nostalgic recap…even if it’s over a month late.

The view of Sydney from Taronga Zoo

View of Sydney from Taronga Zoo

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