Expectations vs. Reality: Madrid, Spain

When embarking on a new adventure it’s hard not to have expectations for what life will be like. We all do it – whether it’s starting a new job, heading off on a trip, or moving to a new country or city – we fantasize and daydream about the way our days will look, how we’ll spend our time and just how absolutely amazing everything will be.

Before I moved to Spain, I spent days – really, weeks – daydreaming about my time abroad. I would dream about the glorious sunshine I would bask in, the delicious coffee I would relax with each morning, and the flawless Spanish I would speak with ease.

But, what we expect and assume usually isn’t what ends up happening.

Before moving to Spain, I had a lot of expectations and assumptions about how life would be in Madrid, but almost none of them came true. My reality in Spain was very different than the one I had imagined; in some ways, it was harder and in others, it was so much better than I could have ever hoped. Here are some of the expectations I had before moving to Madrid, Spain, and the realities that I experienced while living there. Continue reading “Expectations vs. Reality: Madrid, Spain”

[Giveaway] Take a FREE Self-Guided Tour of Your Favourite European City This Summer

GPSmyCity Summer Giveaway [petiteadventures.org]

Ahh summer, it’s the perfect season for travel: the sun shines, the temperatures rise, and it stays light out until all hours of the night giving you ample opportunity to explore your favourite city!

All of these factors and so many others make it the perfect season to take a self-guided walking tour of your favourite European city. And GPSmyCity wants to help you do just that! Continue reading “[Giveaway] Take a FREE Self-Guided Tour of Your Favourite European City This Summer”

National Dishes From My Travels: Thoughts, Feelings and Reactions

Title Card - National Dishes From My Travels: Thoughts, Feelings and Reactions [PetiteAdventures.org]

As they do with birds, animals and flowers, most countries have a national dish, which in most cases, is a food that’s been prepared for generations; it’s a food that shares history, legends and traditions with each and every forkful. Experiencing a country through food is one of my favourite ways to get to know a new place; it’s really quite astonishing how much you can learn simply by sitting down, digging in and sampling its national fares.

Throughout our travels, I was lucky enough to try the national dish in nine of the 15 countries we’ve visited. As with anything, there were hits and misses. Most of the time my curiosity was rewarded with amazing and surprising flavours, but there were a few odd times where my curiosity got the better of me and I was left with a meal I probably wouldn’t order again.

For the purpose of this post, I’ve only decided to feature national dishes that I ate in that country, for example, I enjoyed a ham hock in Vienna, and although it was delicious and it’s a food the city is famous for, it’s not a national dish. It is, however, a national dish of Germany, but I was too focused on Christmas market beverages to get into the ham hock during our visit to Hamburg, so unfortunately, ham hocks just don’t make the list. I also omitted a couple of foods like Bratwurst (Germany) and Pasta (Italy) because really, what can I say about those delicious meals that hasn’t already been said. And, chances are you’ve probably sampled them somewhere along the way yourself!

So, let’s take a look at my thoughts, feelings and impressions of the national dishes I sampled in 2016: Continue reading “National Dishes From My Travels: Thoughts, Feelings and Reactions”

Best Mercados in Madrid

Best Mercados in Madrid [PetiteAdventures.org]

From the moment I first set foot inside of a Mercado, I was in love. From the food to the beverages to the people watching, I could have easily (and happily) spent all of my days in Madrid browsing the stalls and inspecting the goods with a drink in one hand and a snack in the other.

I mean really, what could be better?

Lucky for me, almost every neighbourhood (or barrio) throughout the city had its own Mercado. After many gruelling hours spent testing the snacks, the wine (and sangria, and vermouth) and the overall atmosphere, I’m excited to share with you my favourite Madrid Mercado.
Continue reading “Best Mercados in Madrid”

Best Day Trips from Madrid

Best Day Trips from Madrid [PetiteAdventures.org]

Although Madrid is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, sometimes you just want to get away from the city, the concrete, the traffic and all the noise, and explore something new. Thankfully, there are a number of charming towns close to Madrid that make for the perfect day-trip.

Here are my top ten day trips from Madrid: Continue reading “Best Day Trips from Madrid”