• Czech Republic,  Travel,  TravelTips

    What My Czech Republic Travel List Looks Like These Days

    And no… I’m not going to call it my Czech list. It’s been interesting to see that different people are coping with this pandemic situation in different ways. Some people are writing and communicating a lot more than usual. Some people prefer not to mention it and have pretty much stopped posting on social media. Everyone’s confused. Nobody knows how to plan anything anymore. I mean, when this headline came out (“Czech borders could be closed as long as two years”) came out earlier last week, many of us were bummed. Upon discussion with a few other people about this terrible two year announcement, most people think that the borders…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Surviving March, Pt. II: Embracing #MaskLife

    Well, that escalated quickly. From the time I published the my last post on March 11th, the day after the first of our emergency measures (which was the school closure announcement), only ten days ago, the situation in the world has devolved rapidly (I predict ten days from now at the end of the month, we’ll be able to say that once more, sadly). No longer are people even speaking about traveling (and if they are, they shouldn’t be). I have since learned new Czech words necessary to understand for everyday life that I haven’t had to know before, like vláda (governance), nouzový stav (emergency measure), and omezení (restriction). Where…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching

    Czech School Curiosities

    What a month! In the middle of February, it was supposed to have been our half-term break week, but several months ago we agreed to teach most of the week at a primary school waaaay out in the countryside, about an hour from where we live. I mean, we didn’t really have any plans and we have an ambitious travel year ahead, so why not? The wind storm Sabine which ripped through Central Europe made it impossible to start teaching there on Monday as absolutely no trains or buses were leaving the city, but for most of this week we were up on the early train north. Although Alex isn’t…

  • Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    A Winter Cafe Day (with JORD)

    Ah, the half-term cafe date. We have a lot (a lottt) of annual traditions, but this one is perhaps the most simple yet satisfying one to inject a bit of magic into an otherwise humdrum winter Friday afternoon. Almost certainly I’ll have the afternoon off, so we’ll head out to a cafe. This time, we headed to Cafe au Chat de Noir, one of my favorites in town. The coffee doesn’t really blow your mind but more importantly: as soon as you step inside, you feel like you’ve been transported to a European cafe at the turn of the 20th century. At a time where hip, modern third-wave coffee bars…

  • 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…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Herbalism,  Lifestyle

    Mushroom Foraging on St. Wenceslas Day

    “Our Czech forests are overflowing with mushrooms.” — an actual line from a local news report St. Wenceslas Day (Sv. Václav) is one of my favorite Czech holidays. It’s right after the official turn to autumn, the school year’s right about to get into the usual swing except for this last holiday weekend to enjoy the simpler things about the start of the season. Normally, I like to visit some sort of happening to watch folk-dancing, browse the craft markets, have a glass of wine or if I’m lucky, burčák (Federweisser aka “fermented alcoholic grape juice” – a wine byproduct). I had every intention of doing that as we started…

  • Summer

    festival magic + my top 5 films seen at this year’s KVIFF

    ahoj all, i’ve been in the middle of summer camps (sotiredomg) just wanted to pop in after our annual trip to karlovy vary for the film festival. even if it took me all dang week to finish this post. in case you’re new around here: hi, i’m cynthia and i like to have film festival vacations in beautiful hilly spa towns where we get up at 6am to go stand in box office queues! joking aside, we’re getting into a real routine when it comes to this festival, but the most notable change this year is when we arrived to the box office on thursday shortly after getting in, we bought…

  • Summer

    travel, living abroad, and a more ecological lifestyle.

    travel + an ecological lifestyle – can these two things belong together? it’s a hard thing to reconcile for any traveler – how to lessen your personal impact and be a more responsible traveler? there’s carbon offsets you can purchase, either as you make your flight purchase or separately from a few different organizations. there’s booking a trip from a company with a ecologically-responsible policy. (in the past week, rick steves just announced all his tours will be certified carbon neutral) there’s opting to take the bus or train more vs. flying. we live without a car here and do almost all of our errands on foot (including grocery shops, hoofing it…

  • Summer

    find your spring bliss {south bohemia easter hiking weekend}

    hi all, i hope you had a nice easter! it’s our tradition to go on a trip every easter (as here in the czech republic, we have a nice long four day weekend – five if you’re lucky!) and as this year it fell deliciously late into the season, we opted for another countryside hiking trip. last year’s trip was much too cold and bleak, and this year, all i wanted was sun and relaxation with a bit of hiking, which led us to the czech/austrian borderlands, basing ourselves in vyšší brod, a kilometer or two from the border. we had been to vyšší brod once before as we started…

  • Summer

    april, lately

    i’m writing this from a place of calm. something about the weather lately, maybe. every day, noticing new buds, green leaves unfurling, cherry blossoms starting to make themselves known. or possibly it’s because these april weeks have felt really nice and slow – it’s that strange and unexplainable cancellation time of year that many language teachers seem to be feeling right now. life is starting to feel lighter again. it has meant a lot more leisurely time spent with a nose in the book on cushy sofas, hiding under blankets, nestled between pillows. i’ve been reading michelle obama’s ’becoming’ (after being on the library wait list for months) and the…