red building madridFor someone who currently lives in Madrid, I don’t write nearly enough about this great city. I guess it’s like the saying goes: the grass always seems greener on the other side. Well, the grass is rarely green in dry, sunny Spain – but the sky is (famously) blue, the buildings vibrant, and the lifestyle even more so. So let’s back-track and return to a few of the places I’ve been (re)discovering these past few weeks…

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A pulsating city full of vibrant characters, with history behind every statue and facade, Rome is also home to the best coffee in the world. This city wasn’t built in a day, so you shouldn’t have to see it in one. Finding an authentic and budget-friendly place to rest your head in the Eternal City is no easy feat, but to help you plan, here are the most unique places to stay in Europe’s city that never sleeps. 

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speed sound music magazine

It has been a while since my last Music Monday post. But that doesn’t mean we’re not listening to new tunes over here. Just over a week ago I was invited to the launch party of a new music zine, here in Madrid. Speed Sound Magazine is for people who are always looking for something different to listen to; for open-minded, urban music-lovers. In the editor’s own words: “We want you to discover new young bands, especially national ones, and those from our own city. Because there’s so much talent out there, and we’re tired of seeing the same faces on the cover.” 

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balloonsI am not a seasoned traveler. Far from it. Yet, I’m not embarrassed to admit the staggering number of places I have yet to visit and the idea that there is still so much for me to explore is motivating. Often it is these places which we have not yet seen or known that we romanticize the most. And because it’s January, the month of plans and resolutions, I decided to dream up a list of places I would go to if I could travel anywhere in the world this year, without budgets or limits… (hey, dreaming is free, right?)

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They’ve always told you not to talk to strangers, not to get in someone else’s car… And while I don’t suggest disobeying these sacred words of advice, I also don’t recall anyone ever telling me not to send a gift to somebody I didn’t know; to a perfect stranger. The magazine that makes people smile, Oh Comely is hosting its second year of The Perfect Strangers Project, and I’ve just signed up for the “joyful risk of giving without the guarantee of getting anything in return.”

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You’ve crossed an ocean or mountain to get there. You’ve treaded through back alleys and museums, breathed foreign air, and mumbled a few clumsy words in another language. You’ve photographed the entire journey from start to finish, and looked through all the shots on your flight home. Then you arrive back to reality, and leave your suitcase half unpacked, open on the bed, to store all those photos on your computer. But what’s next? Show them to your grandma? Blog about it? Print a few and scrapbook…
What if you could map them? Introducing the new platform for travelers and photographers everywhere: MAP.

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I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now… After all the talk about Italy and the intensity of its sights, sea and food, I almost forgot that I made a pit stop on my way to Rome. With a six-hour layover in Zurich, I followed the advice of all the braver travelers before me and took the 15 minute train ride into the city. Not surprisingly for Switzerland, the trains are frequent and punctual. I didn’t have a plan for my layover (big surprise), but discovered a few things this pristine, almost-too-clean city has to offer other than chocolate and duty-free.

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