• Autumn,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Lifestyle

    Photo an Hour – An October Weekday

    I haven’t done a ‘Photo an Hour’ for years, but as I was enjoying my pumpkin pie oatmeal that day, I just thought gosh, I think it’s time for another one! This was on the first day of October, a weekday, and what I thought was the final day of summery weather this season (I would be wrong – our Indian summer is going strong!) So this post is for all the daily life blog post lovers (like myself). Be the post you want to see in the world, I think someone famous once said 😉 I woke up at roughly 7:15 or so this day. Took the dog out,…

  • Expat Life,  Language Learning

    Adjusting, pt. II

    Last Monday afternoon, I walked out of my building, onto the street, and along one of the main streets of the center of town where pedestrians and commuters of all sorts are walking to or from their various activities — lunch, school, work, and I heard Czech language all around me (wot’s this?). After almost seven years in this country, that caught me off guard. I know, kinda stupid. But I had just spent the weekend in my home, watching films (#octobermovieseries), spending time with English-speaking friends, reading American newspapers. I was tucked in my warm and cozy oasis of English and culture and loving every second. However, as the…

  • Life Abroad,  Travel,  TravelTips

    A Broad, Abroad: Secrets for Traveling Europe on a Budget

    since i embarked on my very first trip to europe in 2004, fresh out of high school, i have learned an enormous amount about how to travel on the cheap. i am the self-professed queen of frugality (as well as a euro budget travel vet) and i cringe at paying full-price for anything. so here’s a list of excellent tips that i use all the time that will allow you to travel even in western europe for dollars a day. and even if you no longer like to travel on such a budget, these tips are just plain smart and will help you save money for the part of your…

  • czech culture,  Daily Life,  Eats,  Expat Life,  Language Learning,  Travel,  Winter

    Makin’ Plans

    although it may seem too early, january is an excellent time to begin travel planning! the weather’s pretty crap (ours is hovering just above freezing with never-ending slush rain) making it both tough and undesirable to venture out on day or weekend trips around the region. best thing to do: trip research with a nice steaming mug of tea. and try not to hide out in the house… too much. the first item that is looming over our heads, or at least mine is THE WEDDING: when the heck is it going to happen? planning a wedding when you live abroad is daunting and really almost impossible when we don’t…

  • Daily Life,  Eats,  Expat Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching,  Winter

    What I Do Now

    in my opinion, what one does for a living certainly shouldn’t define their worth as a person in any way. no, i’m not really a fan of the question, “so, what do you do?” {referring to their occupation} when meeting someone new, although it does provide you with more insight into their daily lives (for ever-curious people like me) and perhaps what their skills and interests are, i have to admit. and these days, i am much happier answering this question than i used to be. but before wasn’t terrible or anything; i have so many fond memories of being downtown seattle barista extraordinaire chick. a video of me “on…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Prague,  Winter

    Prague: The Eternal Winter City

    why am i always in you in the winter, prague? i barely know what a prague summer is like. maybe it’s because i’m busy going other places in the summer. so, prague is a winter city as i know it. the trees are always bare, people bundled up, and what seems like never-ending christmas markets. spent a fantastic first few days of the new year in this city that i love with my mom, who headed to the airport to go back to the U.S. afterwards. the sight and experience of walking along the charles bridge (especially at night) will always be one of my favorite things, even if i…

  • Austria,  Christmas,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Travel,  Winter

    A Surprise Vienna

    last friday morning, my landlord, martin (who lives in the flat below me) knocked on my door, inquiring whether or not we were free to join a day-trip to vienna the next day, as there were two free seats in his van. ….so, that was a no-brainer. české budějovice is fascinatingly only a two and a half hour drive from vienna and the idea of going there only for the day was blowing my mind! as in: i live somewhere where i can visit vienna. for the day. and then come home and go to sleep. so began what seemed like two days worth of sights packed into one, waking up…

  • Christmas,  czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    A Word on Christmas

    i’m now approaching my second christmas abroad here in the czech republic. for me, being away from home for christmas isn’t such a big deal since i’m from quite a small family anyway, and a christmas of two or three people feels normal. of course i really think quite fondly about christmases spent at home on fidalgo island and how lovely the christmas season is back in the city streets of downtown seattle or the polar bear plunge at golden gardens and i know i’ll have more to look forward to in the future. honestly, how i celebrate the holidays abroad really isn’t so different from back home in WA–…

  • Christmas,  czech culture,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    Jindřichův Hradec (or as we call it, Henry Castle)

    i haven’t even begun to write and i’m getting distracted by czech kids singing “we wish you a merry christmas”, echoing in the hallway. adorable. CHRISTMAS IS COMING, PEOPLE! HOOBOY! it shows in the amount of lessons i’ve been having lately (ehhh…. 10 out of the normal 15 per week) because of cancellations galore. but that’s alright since it gives me ample time to do what’s important in life, like bake cookies! make homemade decorations! write this blog post! cook dinner! and visit the town square, which is an absolute hot-spot of yuletide activity right now. i can’t walk by it without wanting a glorious vanoci punč– the aroma always…

  • Budějovice,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Winter

    St. Mikuláš Eve

    st. mikuláš (nicholas) eve, celebrated on the evening of the fifth of december in many european countries, is nice, but a holiday i don’t yet quite understand. we have nothing like it in the U.S. i asked a czech friend, “so it’s like santa visiting?” to which she replied, “no, we have that on the 24th when jezizek visits”. so basically, it’s a freebie christmas holiday. chalk up another reason why celebrating the holidays is wonderful in europe. i know in germany, st. nikolaus visits and puts fruit, sweets, nuts, and other treats in the shoes of good children. well, here in czech republic, it’s a bit different! the fifth…