BB Monthly Recap: December 2016

I started writing this recap post while at my parents’ house in Michigan, but I didn’t end up finishing it until I got back to Madrid. Blogging took a backseat to family time, and I don’t feel bad about that at all.

This is my monthly recap for December 2017, including destinations, highlights and challenges.

Image Credit: Rachel Kramer (Text Overlay: Backpacking Brunette)

I’d originally planned on staying in Europe for the holiday break and using the time off to do some traveling. But Christmas Day, surrounded by family at our traditional gathering, I knew I’d made the right decision. It just felt right.

Destinations Visited

  • Madrid, Spain
  • Granada, Spain
  • St. Joseph, Michigan 
This is my monthly recap for December 2017, including destinations, highlights and challenges.
One of my favorite Spain memories to date: watching the sunset over the Alhambra.


Visiting Granada. Earlier this month, I made the most of a puente (long weekend) and went to Granada with two girlfriends. A five-hour bus ride from Madrid, Granada is located in Spain’s Andalusia region. It was my third time visiting Granada. Southern Spain keeps calling me back! I plan on detailing the entire four-day trip in a post sometime in January (same goes for November’s Logroño trip). Until then, here’s my favorite moment of the trip: hiking up into Sacramonte and watching the sunset over the Alhambra.

Christmas in Madrid. Even though I wasn’t in Madrid on actual Christmas Day, I was still able to enjoy the holiday season in Spain. Taking part in the Christmas celebrations at my schools was so much fun! Like the students, the staff was also in the holiday spirit. I had a blast at the staff Christmas dinner for my new school, which was held at La Castela (Calle Doctoro Castelo, 22). The teachers at my school know how to have good time, and I didn’t get home until almost 4 a.m.!

Going home.  Would it be too cheesy to say Dorothy was right? There really is no place like home. It felt so good to wake up in my bed at my parents’ house on Christmas morning (even though I woke up two hours before everyone else due to jet lag). All the family time is just what I needed.


This is my monthly recap for December 2017, including destinations, highlights and challenges.
Here’s a not-so-great photo of me and my co-teacher Alicia. Can you tell we’re relieved to have finally sung “I’m the Happiest Christmas Tree” for the last time?!


Time management. To say December was a busy month would be an understatement. It was positively nonstop, and even though I accomplished a lot, there was still so much I just wasn’t able to fit in. I’ve been so focused on writing lately that I’ve kind of put running on the backburner. In the new year, I need to make time to run. It’s important for both my physical and mental health. I understand it’s not possible to do it all, but I want to work on managing my time better, so I can fit in as much as I possibly can.

This is my monthly recap for December 2017, including destinations, highlights and challenges.
With so much going on in December, I kept putting off reading my book club’s pick. I finished reading Bad Feminist just a few hours before the meeting!

What I Read, Watched and Heard

Read: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. This was my book club’s second pick, and it definitely provided some interesting discussion material. I found the essay “Peculiar Benefits” particularly thought provoking. Gay wrote about different kinds of privilege, how almost everyone has some degree of privilege and why we have trouble acknowledging our privilege.

At some point, you have to surrender to the kinds of privilege you hold. Nearly everyone, particularly in the developed world, has something someone else doesn’t, something someone else yearns for.

Roxanne Gay, “Peculiar Benefits”

Watched: Bates Motel (Season Four). I don’t know why more people don’t watch Bates Motel. Amazing writing. Amazing acting. I’m seriously always recommending it to people, and everyone who’s followed up on my recommendation is just as obsessed as me. Sooooo, go binge on it now! The show is a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and depicts the lives of Norman and Norma Bates in a modern setting. I think the “Master of Suspense” would be pleased.

Heard: Madonna’s Billboard Women in Music speech. I could listen to this speech every day for the rest of my life. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. Ferocious. Funny. Fearless. Her honesty is inspiring. Please, if you haven’t heard this speech, go listen.

Coming Up in January 2017

January marks the beginning of my final seven months in Spain. I have so much I want to see and do before leaving Europe. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make the most of my time in Madrid. Sometimes in my quest to visit as many new places as possible I forget to explore the amazing city I’ve been fortunate enough to call home for the past year and a half. Madrid, tell me your secrets. Here’s to more adventures in 2017!

What have you got coming up in January? Any travel plans?

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