Archive, Accomplishments and Farewell
I’m back in California now, so I can no longer truthfully say “Spain, What up?”. Of course it is bittersweet to end my travels, and ending this blog is the same way. Here’s a last hurrah, in the form of an easy archive you can use to find all the year’s posts, and a list of what SpainWhatUp has accomplished. You’ll also notice a new link up top that sums up my experience with ISA, my study abroad program in Barcelona. Don’t forget my two Barcelona guides up there either.
Week 2: Madrid, La Tomatina, Spanish Differences
Week 3: Sitges, Montserrat, More Settling In
Week 4: Oktoberfest and La Merce
Week 5: trip to Girona, more little differences
Week 6: Hosting many Couchsurfers, El Clasico
Week 7: Padel and more CSers
Week 8: Rome
Week 9: Valencia, some close calls
Week 10: Denmark! Aalborg and Copenhagen
Week 11: A rando invades our apartment, training around Switzerland
Week 12: La Huelga General and 1st Barca game (Posts have pictures from here on)
Week 13: Prague!
Week 14: Mother Russia (Possible my favorite post of the year)
Week 15: Brazilians and drugs and motos
Week 16: Scotland: Aberdeen, the Highlands, Edinburgh
Week 17: England: Manchester and York
Week 18: London with the family
Week 19: Ireland: Cork and Dublin
Week 20: True Integration! Moving into the Catalan apartment
Week 21: Settling into local living
Week 22: Correfoc, learning about own country from expats
Week 23: Joining the Castellers team
Week 24: Paris, Bordeaux, Sitges Carnival (doozy of a post)
Week 25: Carcassonne and the south of France
Week 26: Berlin in the winter
Week 27: Parents visit, more Castellers and strikes
Week 28: Some bars and anecdotes
Week 29: Las Fallas in Valencia
Week 30: Semana Santa - Galicia, Pais Vasco, wilderness (big post)
Week 31: Sagrada Familia, BCN bucket list
Week 32: Pillow fights and Edgardo
Week 33: Catalan-con, final Castellers, La Feria de Seville
Week 34: Andalusia: Granada, Gibraltar, Malaga
Week 35: Morroco
Week 36: Ibiza
Week 37: Budapest, Vienna, Zagreb, Piltvicka
Week 38: Bosnia and Dubrovnik
Week 39: Bulgaria and Istanbul
Week 40: More Istanbul and Berlin in summer
Week 41: Iceland
(You can also get a list of all posts by clicking on the clock icon in the upper right)
At first I started this blog as an easy way to keep mom updated about what I was doing, but this thing took on a life of its own. Here’s a non comprehensive list of things this blog has done:
Gotten me hired as a paid writer! – This blog is linked to in my twitter bio, and I think Matador Network was led to it through that window when I carelessly tweeted some such nonsense at them back in December. They liked what they saw, and now I am a regular contributor, in case you were not aware. And they pay me! (not much) You never know what will happen when you put a bit of yourself on the internet….
Helped Spanish speakers practice English: I know more than few young hispanohablantes who took enough of an interest in my affairs to read this blog, and it was a fantastic opportunity for them to get some real unadulterated ‘American’. I play fast and loose with phrases and slang they may never have encountered before, so besides normal grammar practice, it’s a street education, so to speak. Heck, I learned Spanish vocabulary reading my own words through Google Translate, so it goes both ways.
Provided travel tips and advice to many friends: If I know someone is headed to a city I have been to, all I have to do is send them a link that the week when I was visiting there, and it usually offers a rough guide for them to get started on. I’m no expert, but I know if an attraction is good or not, which sometimes is better than the reviews from strangers on Tripadvisor. I love hearing stories from friends who went somewhere based off of advice from me and the blog.
Inspired more than one other personal travel blog: Off the top of my head I can think of at least 2 blogs that were directly inspired by SpainWhatup: my friend Sarina in Seville, and Melissa in Alicante. Their work has taken on a life of its own and it’s great to think that I had a part in that.
Served as the catalyst for helpful tips: I complained about Barcelona being all party all the time in one post way back when and one of my friends messaged me out of the blue afterwards to give me a stellar list of resources that helped point me to more intellectual pursuits, like TED talks and startup space in the city. I’m eternally thankful to her for that, and for a few others who gave me more attractions to see when they found my semester one BCN guide lacking.
Improved my writing ability: You can see this just by reading my older posts, ouch. The more you write the better you write, no matter what you’re writing about, that is for sure
Amassed 30 odd random Tumblr followers: Yes, I see you all - looks like mostly young girls who have probably found this from the geographical tags I put at the bottom of whichever post I wrote about their country or city. Your Tumblrs are, well, typical Tumblrs - primarily composed of wistful quotes, Pinterest style pictures, and soft erotica that is so oddly common in this corner of the internet. I’m not sure if this is what you were expecting when you clicked on that tag, but I hope you enjoyed the ride.
Not bad for what was basically a weekly email to mom! I’d highly encourage you to start your own blog, whether or not you are travelling. And don’t just rebblog cat photos, like I did with my first Tumblr – create something of your own, even if you think your life is boring. Somebody finds it interesting. If you are travelling, you definitely should – this will be a powerful and unfailing reminder of my time in Spain forevermore. I have every single week right here, written fresh off of my mind right after it happened. Far better than my finicky memory – I’ve already found things from my September posts that I had forgotten about. So do it!
Thanks for following along with me. May your roads be long and meandering.