Observations from Abroad


It never fails that each time I travel, I am enlightened in a variety of ways. Here are just a few observation 3 days into our trip to Barcelona.

Adventure awaits around every corner.  Maybe not so much the remarkable or exciting kind, but rather the unknown kind.  In Paris, it was a stolen stroller.  This trip it took the form of my luggage making its way to Italy instead of Spain.  And who knew that unaccompanied lost luggage would require such security measures? My luggage clearly loves to live on the wild side.

Travel forces you to realize there are certain things you take for granted.  When I travelled to China, I realized that I always take access to hot showers for granted.  Nothing like missing the hot shower curfew and taking an icy cold shower instead.  I now realize that I take for granted the clothing brands I purchase.  Sure there is an H&M easily accessible in most European cities, but I want my Lucy yoga pants not some crappy leggings. I consider myself a semi-go-with-the-flow kinda gal, apparently all I really want are the yoga pants I purchased in the states.  Who knew?

The bathroom in our last few AIRBNB places are so much nicer than my bathroom at home. In West Texas we had the most amazing indoor and outdoor bathroom complete with multiples shower heads and a full on rain shower head. Glorious. To be fair, I expect nice bathrooms in the US, but not so much in Europe. My first time in France, the bathroom was so small that my knees practically hung out in the shower when I went potty. I wouldn’t say that a bathroom is a top priority when choosing an airbnb but somehow I continue to be pleasantly surprised. In our current bathroom, I can extend both arms fully and not touch the walls. This is not the case in our desperate need of an update bathroom back home.

Toiletries MUST be assessed every time you travel and you should never mix different varieties of shampoo. I’m not sure what mix I used to wash my hair last night but it was the consistency of honey. So yeah, check your travel toiletries. 

Boxed sangria is just as good as sangria in a restaurant.  Not as fancy but just as good.


If you decide to sit at the bar of the outdoor churro/homemade chip kiosk, you will smell afterward, and it won’t be pleasant.  You may even be so desperate to be rid of that smell that you just might spray yourself and your entire family with Adidas cologne you find while shopping in the Adidas store. True Story.

Small kids like to touch EVERYTHING.  So if you are a germaphobe, know that most likely your child is touching something that has been peed on at some point, and frankly, you don’t have to be a germaphobe to find that disgusting. Keep some hand sanitizer handy.

Travelling with an iPhone that works overseas is my jam.  I’m directionally challenged – that’s not a new thing.  Having access to a phone that can tell me the location of the nearest H&M is amazing. Having a phone that can tell me if I’m headed in the right direction as the cabbie nonchalantly mentions I should leave my family in the states and move to Barcelona – priceless.


Chocolate, Ice Cream and Coffee can always make a day better.  

Doesn’t matter if you:

  • Still haven’t received your luggage and it is Day 3
  • Didn’t realize a marathon was taking place right outside your apartment causing the street to be completely blocked off
  • Got on the wrong train
  • Got off at the wrong stop  
  • Showed up late to your bike tour  
  • Ordered the wrong food at lunch
  • Kept hitting your child in the face with your backpack because the child bike seat was too close and you didn’t think to wear the bag messenger style until 3/4 of the way through the tour
  • Thought your thighs and calves might spontaneously combust or fall off during the uphill portions of your bike tour
  • Clearly need to work out more 


I repeat – Chocolate, Coffee and Ice Cream will erase a long list of wrongs.


I’m in love with Barcelona.  I visited once, long ago, or as we like to refer to it, the time before kids.  There are two things I remember from that trip.  1. I realized I had been missing out on Sangria and red wine all my life. 2. Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia is the most inspiring building I had ever laid eyes on.  Those two things still hold true.  But I realized that there is sooooo very much more to this city.  So much history, food, design, sights. I had no idea that I was missing so much more. As I mentioned to a friend, I haven’t even left and I already want to come back.

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