Ciao, Europe. Hola, Tacos!

My last week in Valencia hit me hard - I didn't want to leave. Not only did I not want to leave Valencia, I didn't want to leave EUROPE. With those two things combined, it was hard to come to terms with the fact that I would soon be moving south of the border of the US - so close to home, yet with no intention of returning.

After coming back from a long trip that spanned all over the north of Spain, I was happy to be back in my own little neighborhood and apartment for a few days before leaving. I tend to do all of the things I wanted to do the whole month during the last week that I'm in a city - this week wasn't much of an exception, but it felt a lot more laid back. I also hardly took any pictures. I guess I was really living in the moment or something. (But really my phone screen stopped working and I had no way of taking photos.) So, here's a brief synopsis with limited photos. This week I:

  • walked around my neighborhood and popped into a bunch of cool stores and restaurants. Rusafa is a hipster-ish place with tons of trendy eateries and boutiques. It was an awesome place to live. I was also obsessed with the colored buildings everywhere I turned - what's with the US being so damn grey and boring? 
  • went to our 6-month celebration party - there's a cute video and everything. It was a little sad and a kind shocking; we're halfway done with the year and it's flying by so incredibly fast. We all chatted, had a great dinner, and ate a cake that looked like a world. Here's a little snippet of our six months:
  • went to a brunch and dinner with Mike Raven's company (A remote). A bunch of us ad/marketing folks helped out with a couple pitches back in November. Part of his team was in town and offered to take us to dinner, as well as have a meaningful discussion about branding (that turned more into one about life and goals and 25 year plans *screams*) over an awesome brunch. Their team is super awesome and hopefully we all get to work with them again in the future. 
  • celebrated Becca's birthday over brunch! (At the same place we went to the day before) We surprised her and I'm pretty sure she had an awesome day frolicking at the spa.
  • went to a creepy doll bar on our last night - a freakishly awesome place. It had mannequins, dolls, and photos that looked at you as you drank the house made gin and tonic (which was delicious; and I don't even like tonic). These dolls judged me and I still see them in my nightmares. But it was worth it. 
  • went for one last beer at a craft beer bar called Olhops that I LIVED ACROSS THE STREET FROM and had never been to. This saddened me so I made time for it on the last night I was there. If you're ever in Valencia, I highly recommend it - great spot to hang out.
  • attained a bottle of ranch dressing from Hilary. I threw out a sweater to make room for it in my bag and take it with me to Mexico. I was THAT DESPERATE for ranch with pizza - I know, I'm a sad, sad, Texan. Mmm. Pizza.
  • sadly, woke up at 5:30 AM on Saturday morning for an almost 24 hour travel day. We had a layover in Madrid (a quick one hour flight) before boarding our 12 hour flight to Mexico City. As easy as you'd think it'd be to fall asleep on a 12-hour flight, it's not. I sleep horribly on planes, unless I'm drunk or SUPER tired; I tried to attain the former and drank, like, 6 mini bottles of red wine. It didn't work and I just ended up watching some sad movie (Me Before You) and crying while on a plane in the middle of the ocean. Hint: Don't do this. It made me look even more tired than I was before. Butttt...
  • arrived in Mexico City and took a van to our new home. Morgan is my roommate this month and as tired as we were, we decided that we needed a proper intro to Mexico with - you guessed it - tacos. I've now eaten so many tacos I kind of want to cry (out of "oh my god I can't eat another taco" sadness and "wow I love tacos so much" happiness). I also got a bit of altitude sickness while this was happening; I was definitely spinning and kind of dizzy. But I ate the tacos because, obviously. 


  • got up the next morning super hungry (probably the whole time change thing; we sprinted 7 hours ahead) and went to brunch at this amazing place called Lalo. The actual spot and food was AWESOME. I had chilequiles and a bloody mary and coffee and sighed in happiness to the Mexican food gods that spicy stuff was back in my life once more. 
  • walked around and explored instead of a) getting super day drunk or b) doing productive things like grocery shopping. But it was well worth it. We found an awesome Mercado that had restaurants and bars and shops - haven't gone back yet, but we've since discovered that there are a few similar ones around the city. We also walked all the way to the Historic Center, found a cool free museum with all these awesome Mexican art things, checked out the giant flag, the Museum of New Art, another giant cool building, and found a rooftop where there was a ceremony to take down the flag. (We didn't know this was a thing but, damn, that's a big flag.) PHEW. Big Sunday!

After all of that, we met up with a bunch of other remotes who actually had been day drinking all day - but we got to the bar and pretty much turned around to go home. It was a long Sunday post travel day and we were still pretty exhausted from the time change and the walking. The next week would bring a new work schedule, not having our mornings anymore to do things, waking up early, and having nights back. 

Coming up: How tacos almost killed me, a boat, body of water, and tequila to consume on said boat, and a how a 13 mile bike ride on a major road in Mexico is safer than eating 14 tacos.


Professional writer, designer, and do-it-aller. Remote Year citizen/alum. Currently living in San Francisco and probably trying to avoid the terrifying amounts of pigeons.