Author Archive | Ryan

Off the beaten path in Toledo, Spain

When I first arrived in Spain about one year ago, I thoroughly explored my new home, Madrid, and settled down into my work schedule before itching to travel once more. I had spent much of my first month in Madrid with new friends, colleagues, and the jamón-loving Madrileños (I even lived with one). Feeling a […]

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City Escapes: Starved Rock State Park

I rave on an almost daily basis about my home sweet home, Chicago. Even though I love to travel around the world and currently reside in the sunny Spanish capital, there is always a small part of me that wishes to be back. For most people, myself included, there’s Chicago and then the rest of […]

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Next Stop: TBEX Europe in Athens

I’ve dreamed of going to Greece. I imagine lying out on the beach of a sun-kissed Greek island with every vista draped in vivid blues of the sky and sea contrasted only by white washed hillside villages and all the feta cheese my heart could desire. This idyllic scene from my mind has only been positively […]

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Cordoba Street

I’m Back in Spain!

Madrid, did you miss me? Knowing rightfully well that there had been another beautiful metropolis in my life, she didn’t show any signs of jealousy or disappointment. For the past summer months my first love, the windy city, had once again stolen my heart. Yes, after 3 months living back home, catching up with friends and family, […]

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Gladiators in Spain?

Yes, that’s right! Turn back the clock to 25 B.C. and the Roman city that would eventually become current day Mérida was taking form under the rule of Emperor Augustus. The city was then aptly named Emérita Augusta. Located a little over three hours southwest of Madrid, the capital of Extremadura is best known for […]

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Córdoba in Full Bloom

Train ticket? Check. Bus tickets and hostels booked? Check and Check! An hour ago I had no plans for the weekend. After doing quite a bit of international travel the last few weeks, I thought a lazy stay-cation in Madrid might be just what the doctor ordered. Wrong. In less than an hour I had […]

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Stomping on Grapes

Persuaded by the prospect of crushing grapes and a free lunch (Hey, who said there’s no such thing?), I just couldn’t wait for the infamous wine outing. I’ve heard stories about this company-sponsored afternoon. Past International Recruits, like myself, have had one glass (or several glasses) too many and posed for scandalous photos that later surfaced […]

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Globetrotting at the Taste of Chicago

My favorite time of year in Chicago is the summer (aka festival season). The dozens of summertime celebrations of everything from craft beer to Irish heritage is not only a reflection of the city’s diversity, but also Chicagoans rejoicing after surviving yet another arctic freeze. When the city isn’t buried under three feet of snow, Chicagoans […]

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Brighter than the Sun in Málaga

I am NOT a morning person! On a good day, I can’t pry myself out of bed before hitting the snooze a dozen times and then I don’t feel fully human until midway through my second cup of café con leche (coffee with milk). I suppose you can take this coffee addict out of the […]

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Aranjuez – A Truly Royal Escape

Spring seems to arrive early in Madrid (at least by my Midwestern standards) marked by daytime highs that can flirt with the upper 70’s as early as March. It was on a warm and sunny Saturday morning when my friend and I boarded a commuter train from Madrid’s Puerta del Sol station headed for a […]

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