What to See On a Self Guided Walking Tour of Old Madrid
When Auston’s mom came to stay with us for a week, it was the perfect opportunity to do a self-guided walking tour we had seen mapped out in our Lonely Planet Madrid guidebook. It was a chance to finally get out and explore Old Madrid and best of all, we didn’t have to pay for a tour guide! While we’ve been settling down in Madrid, we’ve been doing absolutely no sightseeing whatsoever. There has been plenty to do otherwise and we figured we could save the sightseeing to do with friends, family, and couchsurfers that stay with us.
Our Picks For Spain’s Best Summer Festivals
May has finally arrived and summer is just behind it! We spent last summer touring Central America for six weeks and then ended it with a three month trek around Europe. We can’t believe we get to spend another summer here, especially since the last one just about wiped us out! But now that spring has eased the winter chill and with the warm weather approaching, it’s time to get outside and enjoy one of our favorite activities: festivals!
Meeting New People In A New City: Part 2 – Offline And In Person
This is the follow up post to Part 1: meeting people through online social networks. There are great options for meeting people online, but let’s not forget about the old-fashioned face-to-face concept! After all, don’t you want to be sure your new friends don’t have abhorrent body odor or a screeching laugh that makes you cringe? These are important things to keep in mind people! So let’s get offline and outside to meet people.
Is A European Rail Pass Worth The Money?
If you’re planning to travel around Europe, then the all-inclusive Eurail pass (commonly called a Europass or Eurorail pass) is worth considering. Being that summer it just around the corner, it seemed like an opportune time to relive our adventures last summer of train hopping and backpacking through Europe to some of the most historic and stunning cities.
If there is one thing I do know well, it’s the logistics of booking travel and budget travel, in general. David may like to take credit for our year long trip, but I was the one who ultimately masterminded most of the itinerary and figured out how to book our round-the-world flights for less than $300 a person! More on that in a later post, but for now, I’ll focus on train travel in Europe.
Note: If you think the pass is a good fit, you can buy the pass from Eurail through our site. It doesn’t cost you any extra but we receive a small commission when book through our link. Thanks for supporting this site!
Buy Your Eurail Pass Here from Rail Europe
Meeting People In A New City: Part 1 – Online Social Networks
There’s no denying it. We’re new in town and we need friends. Remember the good ol’ days when you made friends simply by turning to the guy next to you in class and making a smart ass comment. Then bam. Friends. Nowadays as an adult, not so simple. Sure you can make friends at work, but if you’re job is at all like Auston and my former careers, that can vary. Most of the people we worked with were significantly older than us, married with kids or grandkids, and paying a mortgage. Sure they’re nice people, but I just don’t see us tossing back beers together at the bar on a Friday night.
Four Fun Games That Fit In Your Travel Luggage
Before we left on our year long backpacking journey around the world, I had made some assumptions about the trip. Many assumptions. One of those was that we would play lots of games. I brought a deck of cards thinking we’d play rummy all the time. We played twice. I downloaded a chess app on our iPad thinking I’d finally learn to play. We never opened it. So how did we pass so much time when traveling on planes, buses, and trains? Well Auston slept nearly the entire time, waking to eat a snack and then passing back out. And I read a lot.
Planning A Getaway In Los Angeles, California
One of the best ways to plan a trip is by turning a travel errand into a short getaway. While we were back in the United States recently, we had to go to Los Angeles, California to apply for a visa at the French consulate and decided to turn it into a mini-vacation. Having plenty of sightseeing options, here’s what you need to consider for planning your own holiday in the City of Angels.
Long Stay Visa in France: Applying for a France Tourist Visa
Auston and I knew after completing our backpacking trip that we wanted to return to Spain to continue studying Spanish. Our goal was to spend at least six months in Madrid but we also wanted to go to France for a couple months to visit family and perhaps start dabbling in French. Unfortunately, according to the Schengen Agreement, Americans can only be in certain European countries (including Spain and France) for a maximum of 90 days within a 6 month period. Sure, we could leave after three months and go to another country in Europe, since we can spend up to 6 months in the UK. But as fluent English speakers, we’re not looking for English immersion – even though we’d need it to ever understand British English! So we interpreted this Schengen policy as “Americans must scheme their way into Europe if they want to stay more than 90 days”. As Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother would say, “Challenge accepted!”
The 3 Worst Hostel Experiences From Our Round-the-World Trip
We recently shared our five favorite hostels from our round-the-world trip last year. Now it’s time to step a little bit on the negative side (I always make time for complaining). Here are three of our worst hostel experiences from our ten months of backpacking across five continents.
5 Favorite Hostels From Our Round-the-World Trip
During our round-the-world backpacking trip, we stayed mostly in hostels. However, we also made sure to treat ourselves every once in a while with a hotel – about once a month. You can only stand to not have a private room for so long! Our other common lodging option was of course CouchSurfing which we also did about once a month. Before we began backpacking I had never stayed in a hostel so my first one was the day we arrived in Mexico City. Hostel living grew on me fast and I couldn’t imagine traveling any other way at the moment (aside from CouchSurfing). As we’ve stayed at many a hostel, we thought we’d share our favorite five from our 10 months of backpacking across 5 continents.