Sunday, February 26, 2017

Vermouth: a delicious doorway to discovery

A glass of Vermouth at Bar Fidel, Barcelona

When people think of Spain, one of the first thoughts that come to mind is its rich food culture. This shouldn't be surprising. After all, the largest tenant of the Iberian peninsula is quickly gaining a reputation as a culinary powerhouse, with staples such as tapas, paella, pintxos, backing a succulent surge in culinary fusion.

Of course, none of this gastronomic growth would be possible without Spain's ample farmlands, that are ripe with fresh fruits and vegetables, world-class olive oil production, and a near-endless supply of vineyards, making the country one of the world's largest wine producers.

That said, here in Barcelona, there is often a divergence between what is Spanish culture and what is Catalan. Without stepping into a delicate geopolitical debate, subtle, oft-overlooked differences abound between the northeastern-most region and the rest of the country. Perhaps, it's no surprise then that, unlike in the majority of Spain where sangria is king, the Catalans' alcoholic refreshment of choice is vermouth.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Why "If So-and-So Becomes President, I'm Moving Abroad" Isn't All That Easy


Every four years, the US holds a presidential election. And almost like clockwork, the phrase "if so and so wins the election, then I'm moving to Canada/Europe/Australia/Somewhere outside of the US," enters the fray.  Perhaps this maxim pops up due to general fatigue in what seems like ever-longer election cycles.  Maybe it manifests from a deep distrust of the opposing candidate.   Whatever the case is, it's all too common to hear this slogan repeated in the run up to the first Tuesday in November.  

As a long-time US expat, though, I've learned first-hand what it's like to move abroad and the logistics and realities that come with it.  Since we're less than three short weeks away from the general election, I want to share my views on what leaving the US is really like, and explain why packing up and moving isn't as easy as it seems.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tips on Thailand


One of my new coworkers is going to Thailand next month. She recently asked me for some tips about traveling around one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations. Instead of rambling for hours, I decided to write a post with my Thailand travel tips. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Gringo Gringa Barcelona

Nathalie and I have been in Barcelona for a bit over one month now. Well technically Nathalie has been here since the end of April, but still; it's been one month since we moved out of Belgium. Here are some of my mostly random observations from my first month in.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Next Big Adventure

Back in January 2015, I embarked on what could confidently be called a journey of a lifetime.  Over the past eighteen months, and especially during the first twelve, I've had the fortune to explore exotic corners of our planet.   This endeavour has left me with both greater enlightenment on humanity in its whole and a renewed understanding of who I am as a person and what direction I want to go in my life.  I realized, amongst other, perhaps more personal findings, that I'm not ready to stop.  

The world is ours to discover and the journey, not the destination, is the ultimate reward.  Therefore, after much soul-searching and deep reflection, Nathalie and I have decided that the next phase in our lives will take us from Brussels to Barcelona.