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Navigating Nature

A globe-trotting activist communicates science and the environment

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Travel

A Mexican Valentine’s

Last Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend Bryant and I decided to break from the traditional dinner-date-and-roses thing and give ourselves an adventurous trip instead. Since neither of us had visited Mexico in years, we headed south to Cabo, but not for the sunbathing and relaxed vacation that many go there for (and I’ve enjoyed in the past). We were in Baja California for four days, and our primary motive was to see two magnificent creatures: a whale and a whale shark. Continue reading “A Mexican Valentine’s”

The Last Week of European Adventures: Paris, Prague, and Vienna

Even though I finished my final exams in Madrid on December 7th, I wanted to use every one of the 90 days I’m allowed in Europe without a visa as an American citizen, so I decided to bookend my quarter abroad with visits to three more European cities. It was exciting to add three more countries to my list and to experience new cultures, foods, and sights before heading back home. Continue reading “The Last Week of European Adventures: Paris, Prague, and Vienna”

A Perfect Weekend in Gran Canaria

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Last weekend, there was a huge surprise for me – not in the location of my planned trip, but in the person that accompanied me. I thought that I would be traveling with a friend, but really my boyfriend Bryant flew from San Francisco for the weekend to surprise me and go with me to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. I was so surprised and we had such a great time. It was my first visit to the Canary Islands, and I loved it – the weather was perfect, even in November, and the landscapes were so pretty. Continue reading “A Perfect Weekend in Gran Canaria”

Andalucía in 4 Days

 

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Last weekend, I went on a trip that has been my favorite so far: to Andalucia. Andalucia is in the south of Spain, and you can clearly see the history of the Arabic age in the country there. For 800 years, from the 8th century to the 15th century, the Arabs had a country in the Iberian Peninsula that was called Al-Andalus, and there was a war during this whole period against the Christians. Eventually the Christians won and displaced the Arabs. But today, you can still see marvelous works and buildings that they left behind. Continue reading “Andalucía in 4 Days”

What Halloween Looks Like in Barcelona

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Last weekend, I went to Barcelona with my group from Stanford. We were only there for three days, but we did so much and I learned so much about the history, culture, and present of Cataluña. I also discovered my new favorite architect and visited some of the most famous and important sites of the city. Instead of listing all the things that I did, I’m going to talk about my trip in the context of four themes: Cataluña, the development of the city, the architecture, and the holiday of Halloween, because we were in Barcelona on October 31st. Continue reading “What Halloween Looks Like in Barcelona”

Touring Madrid’s Countryside: Toledo and Segovia

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This weekend my parents were here to visit me and to visit Spain. They already are familiar with Spain because they had their honeymoon here 22 years ago and my mom also studied in Valencia when she was my age. We stayed in Madrid during the weekend, and went to the Museo del Prado, Gran Vía, the Austrias region, the Biblioteca Nacional, the Parque del Retiro, the Museo Thyseen-Bornemizsa, and the Mercado del Rastro. But my favorite thing was a trip for one day to Toledo. Continue reading “Touring Madrid’s Countryside: Toledo and Segovia”

That One Time I Met the King of Spain (And Other Adventures)

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I started my weekend with a visit to the Palacio Real – I had seen the palace before from the outside, but I had not entered the palace. In a lot of ways, it’s very similar to other European palaces – lots of gold, lots of rooms, lots of wealth and colors – and I’ve also visited similar palaces in Italy and Portugal. But the significance of visiting this palace in this moment was very unique, in the context of Spain’s history and also my own life. Continue reading “That One Time I Met the King of Spain (And Other Adventures)”

The Weekend That Totally Messed With My Spanish (a.k.a. Portugal)

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Last weekend, I went to Lisbon, Portugal with four friends. It was my first visit to Portugal, but not to a country in which people speak Portuguese. I lived in Brazil when I was a child (4-6 years old), and even though I was very young, I still remember a little Portuguese. I was in Portugal to reconnect with this part of my identity and to see a new country. Lisbon provided me with the opportunity to do both. Continue reading “The Weekend That Totally Messed With My Spanish (a.k.a. Portugal)”

Fútbol, Castillos, y Aventuras del Metro (Soccer, Castles, and Adventures on the Metro)

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I have been here in Madrid for two weeks, and I have taken classes for one week. I’m taking one class about the Spanish economy, one about cultural change in Spain, one about earth and water sustainability, and one about sustainable architecture. I am also taking a flamenco class and enjoying it a lot. Now classes have started, so I’m learning how to balance my experiences as a traveler and as a student. Continue reading “Fútbol, Castillos, y Aventuras del Metro (Soccer, Castles, and Adventures on the Metro)”

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