2011: A Travel-Filled Year in Review

All right, so maybe it’s a little passé to do a 2011 in review post when we’re almost two weeks into 2012, but who said I was hip anyway? 2011 was a fantastic year, perhaps my best year yet (though I kind of say that every year, don’t I?), and it was full of lots of wonderful trips. Therefore, I present you with a review of my trips of 2011!

January and February
No trips outside Southern California in these months, but that’s not to say they weren’t utterly fantastic in lots of other ways!

March
In late March, my friends Julian, Sélim, and I embarked on a spring break road trip from L.A. to Vancouver and back, with nights spent in Santa Cruz, Seattle, and Folsom, not to mention luxurious nights sleeping in the car in Redding, California and Bellingham, Washington. Everything that could have gone wrong seemed to go wrong on this trip (Car stuck in the snow? Check. Not being able to pass through the Canadian border because of forgotten residency papers? Check. Dead car battery? Check. Arrests? No comment.), and that’s what made it so completely amazing. I was surrounded by great company, got to see my beloved 8th grade Spanish teacher, Doña Kim, and two of her daughters in Seattle, and made more friends along the way. I don’t think I could have dreamed of a better road trip.

Trying to fit in with the Canadians in Vancouver

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Visa, Meet-Up, South America, and Montaditos

I have a visa! Like, an actual, tangible visa! Considering how grueling and stressful this whole process was, it’s a major relief.

On Sunday, a bunch of fellow auxiliares met at Westwood Brewing Company (Brewco, as we UCLA kids call it) to meet up and discuss the upcoming year. Most were placed in Madrid, a few were returning, all seemed like lovely people, and talking to these people got me super pumped up to return to Spain. Ironically, being in Westwood also made me remember how much I love the town and UCLA and how nice it would be to be going back for another year in the fall, but, hey, I’m getting paid to live in Spain. I have nothing to complain about.

And, not to be forgotten: my South America trip! I spent a few days in Peru, visiting my sister who had been volunteering in Ollantaytambo for a few months and also hitting up nearby towns and Machupicchu. Then we flew together to Buenos Aires and even got to spend a day in Uruguay. A-ma-zing. I’ve wanted to go to South America for as long as I could remember, sooo, yeah. South America!

On the way there, my flight from LAX to Miami got delayed, which resulted in a longer layover in Miami. I had a few hours to go in and explore the city, and I quickly remembered that 100 Montaditos, my favorite restaurant in Spain, exists in only one place outside of Spain: Miami. So I made that my first spot, and I was in bliss drinking tinto de verano and eating my tortilla española and chorizo montaditos. And now 100 Montaditos has announced that they’ll be opening 4000 stores in the U.S. over the next five years. Spanish heaven, here in America!

 

100 Montaditos = true love.