• Bad Ischl
    Austria,  Budějovice,  Christmas,  TravelTips,  Winter

    An Austrian Alpine Holiday

    As it’s the last weekend of the holiday season, so a perfect opportunity to share a little bit about 2019’s holiday season and our Christmas spent in the Salzkammergut. Before we left, we had a nice relaxing weekend wrapping up the work year and taking in some tunes and last punches in our beautiful square. On our way home from doing some Saturday morning errands, I noticed a tree in the park near our house full of fruits and things tied on with a sign. (Below, with the message “Christmas tree for homeless people – Have a beautiful Christmas”) I love when whimsy and kindness intersect and to see this…

  • Austria,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    This Festive Season

    Sometimes people ask me if I’m going back to the States for Christmas and the answer always seems to be… no. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoy being back in my hometown for the holidays, away from the big city bustle. Every year when we would get on that on-ramp away from Seattle, there was something incredibly peaceful about driving north on I-5 and watching the sprawl slip away. Driving around the island on Christmas Day, Sufjan Stevens‘ album always playing on the car stereo. The white skies, tall evergreens, the sea. Again, I have to use the word peaceful, but a certain, specific peace only this kind of…

  • Austria,  Autumn,  Language Learning,  Thoughts,  Travel

    Language Progress + Thoughts on Solo Travel

    “That was a really good lesson. I felt like we sort of… are getting it now, you know?” A moment Alex and I shared after our Czech lesson today. We started taking Czech language seriously in autumn 2015 – that means it’s been now over four years of really studying the language. Before that, I had taken a couple classes sporadically the year I first arrived although they didn’t amount to much as I was a total beginner in a class with people who clearly had some sort of grasp on the language and a teacher who couldn’t explain Czech grammar in my native tongue. Four years of serious study!…

  • Austria,  Christmas,  Travel,  Winter

    Salzburg

    when my mom bought plane tickets to come visit and i was brainstorming of a great place to go with the three of us, it didn’t take long to think: SALZBURG! a city whose beauty rivals that of paris? palaces, fortresses, and gardens against the backdrop of the alps? yes, yes yes! this is the kind of place that i thought would be perfect right after the holidays. and it only takes three and a half hours to get to from budejovice. 3.5 HRS. people, this is blowing my mind that i can get to somewhere this cool in such a short amount of time. oh, europe! it’s incredible how…

  • 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…

  • Austria,  Summer,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Camping in Hallstatt

    spent an amazing three nights camping in the salzkammergut lake district of austria on the hallstätter see (lake hallstatt). hallstatt is a tiny village crammed on the edge of a mountain right on the huge beautiful blue and green lake, with crystal clear glacier water. i wanted a decompress-relax holiday and i got it! walking back to the campground there was a lot of this! pretty as a postcard what says holiday like ice cream cones? in mein neues hut! the bone chapel– over 1200 skulls, half of them lovingly painted with pictures to represent characteristics of how the person was in life. started due to the small size of…

  • Austria,  Life Abroad,  Spring

    Linz-erdays

    took a weekend jaunt to linz, austria… just over two hours south of us by train and even faster by car. it’s the third largest city in austria and twice the population of budejovice. it doesn’t have the tourist draw of vienna, salzburg, or innsbruck but it was a medium-sized city in austria that was relatively close to get to. that’s mainly why i wanted to go, even though i found out later that linz does have a rich history but it’s just not quite talked about or as exciting as the other cities. who can compete with ‘the sound of music’, anyway? it’s also where people in budejovice go…

  • Austria,  Spring,  Travel

    a viennese easter

    haven’t had a lot of time to post about easter holiday weekend as i’ve had to jump right into teaching madness: moderating another english competition (this one for 14-15 year olds) then zooming to three other parts of the city to give my lessons. although CB is a city of about 100,000 people, it is surprisingly compact and getting around from north to south really takes no time at all– even on the bus! so great. today i taught my first of three conversation classes at the university!  only two people came, which was totally fine by me because it gives the students speaking time.  the czech people get are taught…