Eating Abroad

Hola!
So, as much as I would like to tell you that I’ve been out exploring Seville, taking awesome pictures and eating delicious food, the truth is, I’ve been doing the opposite.
1. I’m sick. And no, not because of crazy partying (I wish), I think it’s because I’ve been going almost non-stop for 3 weeks. It’s tiring and I haven’t been eating really well…
2. I cannot stress enough how important it is to buy groceries! It’s way less expensive and, just like at home, food at a restaurant isn’t good for you!
3. It’s raining today! I can’t complain since it’s the first cloudy day I’ve seen in 3 weeks.
So, today I’ve been lounging around the hostel. The Garden Backpacker hostel is amazing! I can’t wait to write about it later–rooftop terrace, private court-yard, a bar, free sangria and a massive living room area with a flat-screen. So, staying in the hostel all day wasn’t actually too bad. Read my book (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry–so good!) and socialized.
Anyways, what this post is really about is FOOD!
When I first arrived in Spain, I was so excited for tapas! Yummy tostadas with cheese and fruit and veggies and calamari…sounds delicious, eh?
Confession: I am unimpressed with the food here. And yes, I realize I don’t eat ‘jamon’, so my opinion is tainted, but seriously I’m over it!

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Above: this was my favourite tapas: Goats cheese with caramelized onion on a tostada — it was really yummy, but just like anything this rich, it’s not something I could eat everyday.
So yes, being a vegetarian, or vegan, in Spain would be difficult!
My second favourite item:

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Churro’s with hot chocolate. I literally thought I had gone to heaven. So delicious!
But, other than that, I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of money on bland food. So, to the grocery store I go!
But wait, what do I make?
Sandwiches are always a good place to start.
Hostels will sometimes have mayonnaise, mustard or other dressings available, which is awesome! If you’re a meat-eater, sliced ham/chorizo/jamon is readily available and cheap! Canned fish is also inexpensive. Then grab some veggies and some avocado. Simple, and you can feed yourself sandwiches for 3/4 days for under 12 euro!
Pasta is also a good option. Simply throw in some fresh veggies and a sauce of your choice and voila! I’ve seen people making simple tomato sauce pasta (canned sauce) or a simple olive oil/salt and pepper dressing.
Soup. Making soup from scratch won’t be worth it, but you can always purchase canned/boxed soups for under 1 or 2 euro. It’s not a super healthy option, but it’s filling and quick!
Salads are a bit more tricky. Only because making an elaborate salad that tastes yummy takes time and effort. But, if you have the patience, salad is always a good choice!
Fresh fruit is a quick and healthy snack, and way better for you then a chocolate bar when you’re on the run. I’ve been putting an apple or a nectarine in my bag to stop myself from spending 5 euro on a croissant for a sugar fix.
Yogurt is an awesome choice for a snack or for breakfast (especially if not provided by your hostel).
Some issues I’ve had are reading the labels. I’ve been relying heavily on pictures on the box/can to help me out. Also, some ‘common’ items I find at home aren’t as readily available here, especially for vegetarians.
– Tofu I still haven’t stumbled upon
– Quinoa is something I eat all of the time back home, but cannot find here!

So my advice: immediately find your closest market and stock up on fresh veg/easy meals. If you’re in town for an extended time (more than 4 days), look up a place to buy tofu etc. and go get some!
Stay-tuned for a post about my adventures in Seville and then in Lisbon to find tofu (I wish they had daiya here). Also, I’ve heard rumors of a vegan bakery which I may bike to tomorrow.
Anyways, just wanted to update you with my food struggles. I love food, and I miss GOOD, TASTY, HEALTHY meals. Anyone been to Seville that can help me? Or any advice for when I go to Lisbon and Barcelona?

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Navigating

So, I realized that a lot of the people who read my blog are family/friends that do not necessarily know how to navigate a blog.

I publish a new post, they get the e-mail and they read it. Done!

NO! NOT DONE!

Okay, sure, you can just read my daily posts and be done, but there is so much more for you to do!

So, here is a little tutorial of sorts to help you out!

  1. Have you noticed that I added a “Who is Tay?” page?

You probably didn’t notice, eh?

Click on it! Or, just click here.

2. The “Travel Itinerary” Tab!

This is what you will see if you click on it and you have the password. Yes, I have password protected this page! Why?

I want to be safe! When I post pictures/stories on my blog, it will probably be delayed by a few days. I don’t want Joe Schmoe knowing my every move, but my friends/family will want to know. Sometimes I may find a WIFI hotspot (for those who aren’t very tech savy, that basically means that when I find a spot I can access internet), and I won’t have time to shoot off an e-mail to everyone with my whereabouts. BUT, I will do my best to always have this page up-to-date!

Want the password? Text or call me to let me know! (This is also a test to see who has been reading, muahahaha).

3. The Guestbook

I realize that some of you aren’t aware that you can actually “reply” to my blog posts. So, this is an area where you can post a quick hello to let me know you’ve stopped by to read my blog!

You know what you should do? Go there, NOW! Write me a little somethin’ somethin’ nice.

Anyways, just wanted to give all of you computer-illiterate friends and family a bit of help.

Love you all!

Tay xo

Help me make a list!

I leave for Europe in 121 Days (17 weeks)!

It really isn’t that far away! It’s already mid-May and I haven’t been planning anything!

I was looking at walking trails in Ireland, and realized that I don’t own a good pair of hiking boots.

What I need:

  • Hiking boots

That’s all I have on my list so far. Oh no! During my Europe 2012 adventure I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking, so obviously good shoes are in order. What else does a girl bring? My roommate has a back-pack she used during her Europe trip a few years ago, so I don’t need to buy my own (score!), but now I am struggling with how I decide what else to bring!

HELP ME!

Have you ever traveled to Europe? What are some things you could NOT live without while travelling, and what was just a waste of space? I will compile a list of the best answers to help me pack for my own trip (and document what was useful and what wasn’t).