Tag Archives: Boston

NEW New Plan!

Okay, so where to begin…Almost exactly 1 year ago the economic crisis stole my life. I was living it up in Madrid with amazing friends, teaching English, tour guiding for Sandeman’s New Madrid and working as the Program’s Coordinator for Club Ivy, helping Spanish students apply to study abroad in English speaking countries. Life was good.

Me tour guiding it in Madrid!

Me tour guiding it in Madrid!

And then boom – 24% unemployment in Spain and my jobs were gone. I said farewell to all my amazing Madrid amigos and set off in search of a new adventure.

SWEET MEMORIES OF MADRID

At Estadio Santiago Bernabeau for a Real Madrid football match with Sebastian, Simon, Tanguy, Davide, and Luzie

At Estadio Santiago Bernabeau for a Real Madrid football match with Sebastian, Simon, Tanguy, Davide, and Luzie

Marisa and I celebrating Spain's EuroCup victory in the Bilbao fountain!

Marisa and I celebrating Spain's EuroCup victory in the Bilbao fountain - on my 23rd Birthday!

Tiki Tiki! Oleeeeeeeeee! Ernie, Paolo and Nabil on Halloween!!

Tiki Tiki! Oleeeeeeeeee! Ernie, Paolo and Nabil on Halloween!!

Laura, Pablo, Arturo, me, Enrique, and Maria eating caramel apples for dessert after our delicious Thanksgiving feast!! yes, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my friends in Spain. And yes, it was awesome ;)

Laura, Pablo, Arturo, me, Enrique, and Maria eating caramel apples for dessert after our delicious Thanksgiving feast!! yes, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my friends in Spain. And yes, it was awesome 😉

Me and Rachel!! Dinner party at Rachel's, complete with charades, magic tricks and singing ;)

Me and Rachel!! Dinner party at Rachel's, complete with charades, magic tricks and singing

La Noche en Blanco!! Out with Nicoletta and Julian :)

La Noche en Blanco!! Out with Nicoletta and Julian

Goodbye Party with friends in Madrid

Goodbye Party with friends in Madrid

So, I decided to go to Boston for a breather, find a job back in my home country. Boston was good in a lot of ways too – I reconnected with old friends, visited family, met many wonderful new friends…

BRILLIANT BOSTON BUDDIES

Sara,me, Megan (roomie!), and Jackie

Sara,me, Megan (roomie!), and Jackie

Lilly!! We've been BFF since birth :)

Lilly!! We've been BFF since birth 🙂

Told 'ya - friends from birth :) Lilly and I as babies. I'm the adorably fat, bald lump on the floor ;)

Told 'ya - friends from birth! Lilly and I as babies. I'm the adorably fat, bald lump on the floor...

Elizabeth!! and me :)

Elizabeth!! and me out for a night in Beantown

Drea!!! Rachel, Parker and me :) Nerds. Oh yeah.

Drea!!! (high school amiga!) Rachel, Parker and me. Nerds. Oh yeah.

Justin!!

Justin!!

Wiley! My Other Roomie :)

Wiley! My Other Roomie

University friends back in Providence! Rita, me and Camela at Viva!

University friends back in Providence! Rita, me and Camela at Viva!

Binta, Sonia, Maren and me - visiting my amazing cousins in Maine! Love you all!!

Binta, Sonia, Maren and me - visiting my amazing cousins in Maine! Love you all!!

But after about 4 months it was bye-bye Boston. I lived between Amman and Palestine for a month, working with my Uncle, a documentary filmmaker for Al Jazeera English. And after that…I had no plan. Already in the Middle East, I made the spontaneous decision to visit family in Beirut and study Arabic for about a month.

July came and went so quickly, and deliriously happy in Beirut, I was in no mood to leave.  I had enough saved up to hold me over for another month, so I found my fabulous L’Auberge Espagnole-esque apartment in Hamra, where I lived with 12 other amazing Lebanese and internationals, and continued Arabic classes.

As the end of August drew near, and I began to scrape the bottom of my piggy bank, I was forced to decide – what next? Do I stay in Beirut, find a job and make a life here? Or do I go back to the States again? And if so, where?? Do I move to a different country?? Where??? What kind of jobs am I going to be applying for? What do I want to do with my life??? Why have I not already figured this out????? AHHHHHHHH!! Head exploding!!

Finally I decided – ‘Okay, I’ll stay in Beirut. Easier that way. Besides, I’m happy here.’ A lot of my friends here were interning with the Daily Star, the main English language newspaper in the region. So that put the idea into my head to try something journalism related. I love writing so it seems like a logical choice, no? I applied for jobs at both the Daily Star and the monthly travel magazine, Time Out Beirut.  Both offered me an internship, but Time Out Beirut offered the possibility of a paying job within a month or so. Time Out Beirut it is!!

And so it began. Every morning, I would pull my tired ass out of bed, glug some coffee and then sit back with my ipod for the 2 hour bus ride to Kaslik (which incidentily is only 25 minutes from Beirut, but takes a whopping 1 hour and a half longer to get to on the bus. oooogh. But the bus only costs me $1.75 so I’m not complaining. Well I guess I am, but I acknowledge that I shouldn’t. So there.).

The job turned out to be worth it, though. And now,they’ve hired me full time!!!! So basically I get paid to enjoy and explore Beirut and the rest of Lebanon, and then write about it. Seriously, what could be better?? How is this my life???

So with a regular paycheck and a new apartment with Farah in Achrafiyeh (they tore down our old building to build a parking lot), I’m calling Beirut home for the time being.

Farah and moi

Farah et moi

Such a bizarre feeling to know where home is again! From Madrid to Boston to Amman to Ramallah and now finally here – it took me almost a year after the economic crisis robbed me of my life in Spain but BOOM BABY! I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

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On Route!

british flagI’m in London! The adventure begins. After leaving Spain in February, I moved to Boston where I settled in in the historic North End, and began temping, part-timing it, working unpaid internships and suffering through a painful and unfruitful job hunt. Flash forward 4 months – I was feeling more than discouraged when I received a timely phone call from my uncle, inviting me to come work for his documentary film production company in Amman. He works almost exclusively making documentaries for Al-Jazeera and apparently, he and his wife had more work than they could handle and were looking for a production assistant (!!!). It felt too good to be true. Can’t pass up a chance like that! So, I took what little money I had saved up and bought a one-way ticket to Amman. Here goes nothing! Wish me luck!

I left life in Boston behind yesterday. Mom and Dad were visiting and they put me into a cab to the airport at 5pm, in front of the hotel where we were all staying in Boston – The Millennium Bostonian. A very modern hotel with chic decorations and free lemonade every afternoon. The valets all wore uniforms composed of jackets with sleeves down only to their elbows, and those snazzy modern fedoras to cap off the whole ensemble. Fun.

The cab drove me by the North End before heading on to the airport – it was on the route but felt like a special treat, thrown in just for me so that I could wave goodbye one last time to my now ‘old’ Boston neighborhood.

Hanover Street - Where I lived in Boston

Hanover Street - Where I lived in Boston

Joost

Joost

I touched down in London this morning around 10:40am, jumped on the Picadilly line and spent the afternoon having a picnic with my friend Joost, who I met 2 years ago when I was studying at the London Film Academy. We snacked on bread, cheese, strawberries, and crisps while chilling for a few hours with a great view over all of London from atop Parliament Hill. Fantastic!

After some quality catching up, I headed to Camden to visit Marita, a friend I met in Madrid when I was working as a tour guide. While in Madrid, Marita and I discovered we not only shared a birthday, but a quirky sense of humor and a deep love for good food – insanely similar in ways that facilitate that oh-so-rare instant friendship.

Shioban & Marita

Shioban & Marita

I arrived at Marita’s around 7:30pm and immediately took a shower to wash of the plane smell and picnic crumbs. Then the two of us got dressed and headed over to a beer garden called ‘Edinboro Castle’ for some Pims with Lemonade and two large hamburgers with goat cheese. Yum.

Later that night, we were joined at the beer garden by Marita’s friend Shioban, who, like Marita, is a social worker.  Shioban just returned from six months of backpacking in South America (!!!) and was full of exciting stories of her adventures. A six-month tour of South America definitely just bumped its way up a few notches on my to-do list. Ciders all round to celebrate and then we all hobbled back home.

And now, time for bed! More traveling tomorrow!