From journalism to digital marketing, from WI to Spain, my experience spans print (newspaper, magazine), digital (articles, blogs, website copy, social media, email marketing, ads), B2B, B2C, and more
What is Three Kings’ Day? And what’s for breakfast? Homemade roscón de reyes to celebrate Epiphany like a Spaniard away from home
‘Tis the season of sweets, and baking is one of my favorite hobbies. But I live alone, so there’s no one to easily pawn homemade goods off on, which means I often end up forgoing a recipe to not be wasteful (nor overindulge myself). In the absence of holiday get-togethers this year, micro-sized recipes are the real MVP, allowing me to get a taste of a traditional Spanish holiday recipe—for a roscón (o rosca) de reyes—that I picked up while living in Spain.
You might be as far away as another country or as close as the same city and still not get to see your family and friends during the holidays this year—a harsh reality that no one could have predicted pre-pandemic. It’s already been too much alone time, even for folks with an introverted streak like myself, so I get it if you’re feeling emotional about forgoing your normal holiday plans.
For at least two decades now, November has been recognized as National Family Caregivers Month in the U.S.—a time to honor the estimated 53 million caregivers assisting family, friends, and neighbors with chronic conditions and diseases across the country. This month-long celebration was created to raise awareness of family caregiver issues, honor the efforts of caregivers, educate caregivers about how to self-identify, and increase support for caregivers...
To raise awareness about and eliminate period poverty and menstruation stigma, a youth-led nonprofit organization, called Period, celebrates the second annual National Period Day in the U.S on Oct. 10, 2020. This year’s event, Period Action Day 2020, is virtual and will highlight “the work of menstrual justice activists and [empower] youth with resources and tools to make a change in their own communities.”
Today is World Sight Day—a global event to raise awareness for blindness and vision impairment—which happens on the second Thursday of October each year. Originally started by the Lions Club International Foundation, the event is hosted by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). This year’s theme is #HopeInSight to advocate for universal eye care coverage.
When you’re learning a new language, hitting the books and studying (memorizing) hard is the standard approach. But what about when you find yourself in a casual conversation with an acquaintance or friend? Carrying a textbook in your back pocket sounds heavy and generally useless for anything other than formal verb conjugations. We’ve got a few phrases up our sleeve to make sure you’re more comfortable in relaxed, everyday scenarios—and sounding like a native Spanish speaker.
Whether or not America was ready for me again, the time had come. I made the decision to move back to the U.S. months prior, but it was time to put the pedal to the metal upon arriving back to Spain after my trip home to Wisconsin for Christmas. With exactly three weeks and a day to pack up whatever I wanted to bring with me and wrap up all my loose ends, I would have never been able to do it without heavily utilizing the Notes app on my phone to create a hefty to-do list with things to tackl...
Human beings, generally speaking, have an obsession with knowing how to say “bad” or “dirty” things in another language. Odd as it may be, who are we to deprive you of the knowledge you so desperately crave? In many languages, the swear words native to them are an important part of the local lexicon, adding emphasis and flavor to otherwise normal sentences.
I never thought I’d move back to the U.S. I guess living in Europe for almost eight years will do that to a person. I’ve lost track of the times I confidently and without hesitation said, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t picture it,” when friends or family asked if I thought I’d ever go back to the States. The quality of life I discovered in Spain and the experiences and exposure to so many new things that I was having in Europe turned me pretty anti-living in America, despite the U.S. being home.
Looking for a job outside of the world of TEFL teaching, I had a one-track mind: anything that wasn’t that. When my networking scavenger hunt led me to a copywriter and editor position at an online startup in the heart of Seville, the capital city of Andalusia, it was effectively a no-brainer. I would finally be back in the city where I studied abroad, the city I always had my heart set on when I came back to Spain as an English teacher, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re the type of person who hits “Reply All” when responding to an email with sensitive information, listen up. Attention to detail is arguably one of the cornerstones of language learning, and it can save you from making some easily avoidable mistakes, like saying you’re pregnant when you meant to say you were embarrassed. (And even more so now.)
An accent mark in a Spanish word can wildly change its definition.
It’s no state secret: Becoming a TEFL teacher is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to live abroad. Of all the expats I met in Spain who found themselves on this career path, everyone could be more or less divided into two categories. For some people, TEFL teaching ended up being an incredibly rewarding career change—or at least one that they were happy enough with, because it allowed them to continue to have a fun and exciting life in a foreign country.
Life in the U.S. doesn’t really prepare (nor encourage) you to take on a new job that you have absolutely no experience in. Did I let that stop me when I decided to go teach English abroad? No way, José. I speak English well, or so I thought. I figured it couldn’t be that hard to help some young Spaniards learn how to speak in my native tongue. Guess what? I was wrong.
Slang words are arguably one of the most important parts of fully understanding another language—but they’re not always easy to pick up on. Historically speaking, slang has always been spoken, not written down, so new words and meanings arise from word-of-mouth in any given community or society. In that sense, the internet is a gamechanger, but where to start? And with what Spanish dialect?
Fresh off the car, the plane, and the bus, it was time to establish myself as a functioning adult member of society in Spain. This included, but was not limited to, getting a Spanish phone number, finding an apartment, opening a Spanish bank account, starting work, and getting my residency card—all in a language I was not yet comfortable speaking and in a town that spoke with a very cerrado, or hard to understand, accent.