How to renew your TIE in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia

Well sadly it is time to head back into the Oficina de Extranjeros and stress about your paperwork and not knowing exactly what the outcome will be. I was lucky enough to spend TWO HOURS in the extranjera office in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia this past week. Don’t worry, this is not normal and I’ll tell you exactly how not to spend that much time there. Every office and situation is different depending on your region so this information can and possibly will vary if you’re in the Sevilla or Madrid office so I’d do further research if you are going to any other place besides Santiago.

Disregard that nasty hair….


What you will need:

  • Current TIE plus two photocopies (front and back)
  • Passport and two photocopies of each page
  • Form EX-00 plus two photocopies
  • Carta de Nombramiento plus two photocopies
  • 3 photo carnets (you won’t need these right away when you hand in your paperwork but I’d have them just in case)
  • Form 790 código 012 plus two photocopies
  • Your current Generali Salud card plus two photocopies

Continue reading “How to renew your TIE in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia”

Expat Files: Cassandra in Andalucia

There are plenty of super cool expats here in Spain. Most people who decide to move to a foreign country are open-minded, fun, and maybe just an overall bad ass. I feel very lucky to have met some and connected with others on social media. Moving to a foreign country can be a little intimidating but it´s a heck of a lot easier when you know that there are people just like you out there. So I thought I´d introduce some of these charismatic travelers on my blog so you can hear their story. Maybe their story is similar to yours and it can help you with any problems you´re facing or questions you may have. For me I find it so interesting that people love exploring just as much as I do. I´ve asked a few expats some questions and I´m linking their blogs below. Follow along and let´s meet them.

Here is Cassandra Le!

Her background: Originally a Virginia native, Cassandra is a Lifestyle & Travel Blogger and Spain Expat. She’s creating her “American Dream” outside of America, which includes a lot of traveling and frolicking through pretty cobble-stoned streets. Her mission is to inspire women to travel more, be fearless, and take on the adventure! You can join her on the adventure through her IG: @TQpineappleor her blog: where she blogs about travel, being an expat, post-college years and the messy in-betweens of life.

At her first home (Toledo, Spain)

Continue reading “Expat Files: Cassandra in Andalucia”

Things I wish I knew before starting the auxiliar de conversación program in Spain

Wow, this year has been such an incredible experience. I can not believe that it has flown by so fast and I am finished with the auxiliares de conversación program here in Spain and I’m actually pretty bummed about it. Before working at this school here in Burgos I worked as an Au Pair for a family in Madrid and one of the kids was a 14 year old boy in a secondary school. He was a royal pain in the ass and from that experience I honestly wasn’t really thrilled to work at a secondary school with 100+ teenagers. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong about what my year was going to be like.


I ended up loving every single student ((like honestly I’m not bullshitting you)) and teacher at Felix Rodriquez de La Fuente… except maybe like two professors who never talked to me and the jefe de estudios (headmaster//principal) who maybe said hi to me twice. My experience at this school has been absolutely amazing and so much fun. I was actually supposed to renew in Burgos buuuut if you read my last post you’ll know that my heart was set somewhere else. Sorry kiddos.

Future home Boiro, Galicia


With all that positivity there are definitely things that I wish I knew before starting this journey. Sure, there are literally dozens of blog posts, YouTube videos, and Facebook groups to give you advice and tips but I thought I’d throw in my dos centimos and come up with a few things I wish I knew before embarking on this new adventure here in Castilla y Leon Spain.

Apply as early as possible for EVERYTHING

Unfortunately the application period is closed for the 2016-2017 school year so this won’t help you now but remember this for next year. I for one did not know that you can actually begin the application process and get your inscrita (application) number without actually submitting any paperwork. Your inscrita number basically ensures gives you little hope of being placed early and in your region of choice. Placements seem to be all over the place but “generally” if you have a low inscrita number you have a better chance of getting placed where you want. Also, apply for your background check ASAP. But not too ASAP because they don’t tell you that it is only valid for 90 days after you get it. It takes 12 weeks to process so take care of that as soon as you are able to. More on the background check and everything you need to know about your visa process in Chicago here.. Also when you actually get to Spain apply for your TIE (tarjeta de residencia) as soon as you get all your documents together.


Continue reading “Things I wish I knew before starting the auxiliar de conversación program in Spain”

Burgos, Spain as told by a bunch of fourteen year olds

Recently I had to present a little PowerPoint presentation about my home state of Minnesota to my classes here. It was so amazing to see them so genuinely interested in what I had to say about the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and they asked me many questions during my talk. They even told me that Minnesota was the most beautiful state they’ve ever seen…even though I’m almost positive that they haven’t had the resources or opportunities to get to know any others but I’m just going with it.

Either way I way I feel proud that now they understand a little more about Minnesota than Ricky Rubio. Being inspired from their experience I decided to have them do the same thing about where they are from. Nothing serious I just wanted a brief 4-6 sentence paragraph about the typical foods, culture, and landscape about their town. I have students from all over the province and even other regions so I thought it would be very cool to hear what they have to say.


I’m going to miss this pequeño delincuente 

Continue reading “Burgos, Spain as told by a bunch of fourteen year olds”

Things to do before leaving Spain

Can you believe that there are only 2 weeks left of the auxiliar program!!?? Unless you’re in Madrid chances are you finish May 31st which is quickly approaching. Even though I cringe every time they call me teacher/profe, shake my head in disappointment when they behave badly, and keep turning down social media requests I will undoubtedly miss these kids. I liked these guys so much that I asked to be placed in the same school. I took a trip to Galicia shortly after submitting my renewal and fell in love with the region so much that I eventually got my region changed to Galicia for the 2016-2017 year so my students here in Burgos jokingly call me traidora (traitor).

Te quiero Galicia


Anyway, since the year is coming to an end I’ll bet that you are thinking that you haven’t seen as much of Spain as you wanted to. Don’t worry! I’m sure most of you are going to stay until at least June so that gives you plenty of time to take weekend adventures. I’ll highlight a few of my favorite hot spots for summer fun that I think are worth getting to before you head back home but hopefully you’re sticking around another year. So, let’s get exploring.

For the adventurous:

Hiking in the Picos de Europa

This mountain range is in the regions of Asturias, Cantabria, and Castilla y Leon. You can go hiking, bear watching, bird watching, camping, and more so it’s perfect for the outdoor lovin’ type. Here’s the official English website for more information.


Sociedad Regional de Turismo
Turismo de Asturias

Continue reading “Things to do before leaving Spain”

Planning your trip to Spain

A vacation in Spain certainly is not like living here but it’s the closest you can get. The trick is to see beyond the fiesta y siesta ideas here and truly dive deep in the day-to-day culture. Instead of running around frantically with a must-see list try exploring the narrow cobblestone streets, following the sound of flamenco cries, or following your nose to garlic sauteing in olive oil at one of the many …many bars.

Amigas Americanas

Before you make your way to the land of siesta, tapas, and seemingly never ending streams of wine, it’s a good idea to brush up on the things you should know. Here, I’ll cover information about getting your visa, insurance, what to pack, and a few other tips and handy things to know.

Continue reading “Planning your trip to Spain”

Must Eat Foods of the Camino de Santiago

I’ve had all of these amazing treats and I’ll have them again when I do part of the camino next month! Check this post out.


It goes without saying that walking all day, mile after mile, on the Camino de Santiago not only makes you hungry but gives you a free pass to eat whatever you want and however much delicious food that you want. No diets here. Food is a huge part of any culture and is a big part of the Camino de Santiago. What you eat is just as important as how you eat it. The how meaning the setting, who you are with and the multi-course Pilgrim Menus that are found all along this historic route through Spain. If you are anything like me you try to make a list of the things you don’t want to miss eating when you visit a country. I will make it easy for you. After living in Spain for 2 years and exploring the food of each region I feel I have a pretty…

View original post 1,075 more words

A pincho crawl on Calle Laurel

Ahh Logroño. Tucked away in the heart of the wine region of Rioja surrounded by vineyards, mountains, and winding rivers. The north of Spain is seriously the most me people. Not only does Logroño have stunning views, insanely delicious wine, and friendly people, but the food scene is out of this world. Signature pinchos accompanied by great wine and a lively atmosphere soaking it all in is enough to make me want to take a drive every weekend. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have a car otherwise I might actually do that.


In the main city of Logroño which is the capital of this region you’ll find a stunning old town. It’s very easy to navigate your way around and by the end of my 6 hour day trip I was able to wander around the narrow streets without taking my map out once. On the west side you’ll find Calle Laurel which is the famous street well-known for having most of the best bars/restaurants. Every other door is a bar so it’s very easy to do a typical pincho crawl. Pinchos,  if you don’t know, are northern Spain’s version of tapas. Pinchos, however, are not free like tapas. Expect to pay around 1-3 euros on a pincho in addition to your 1,60 wine or beer. Even though you do have to pay they are definitely worth it and since you are also sipping on your drink of choice talking with your friends about the stats on the Champions League ..or that you only have a month left of the auxiliar program (insert crying emoji here) you’ll usually only end up needed two or three pinchos and it won’t be that expensive.  Continue reading “A pincho crawl on Calle Laurel”

Things to do in Burgos, Castilla y Leon

When I got word that I was moving to Burgos, Castilla y Leon I was so nervous. I have been obsessed with Spain for the past 14 years and I’ve seen just about every single travel video about almost every city here but for some reason I skipped over this one. When I first looked up Burgos online I saw the cathedral, those weird looking trees, and morcilla and thought “ohhhh no.” 

I had no idea what to expect coming to Burgos from spending a full month in the bustling city of Madrid but when I got here I was blown away. Burgos is surprisingly beautiful for being such an old city and the food is incredible. Now even though those are two major pluses the Madrileños that I told about my future move told me not so great news about Burgos. They said things like “Burgos es el mas frio en Espana” and “la gente alla son frias como el tiempo.” Basically to summarize people here are pretty closed and cold. They blame it on the weather but I call bs on that. I’m from Minnesota where temperatures drop so much lower than here and we are still “Minnesota nice” The citizens of B-town don’t know cold. They don’t know my pain….

With all that aside I just want to say that I do actually love this city so much. Like I said earlier it’s B-E-A-utiful, the food is incredible (2013 champs of the Gastronomic Capital of Spain), and it’s flooded (literally the river is flooded right now) with rich history. Let’s take a look at a few of the major things to do and see here in the capital of the province.

 1. Visit the Cathedral

This cathedral was built in the 13th century and took about 300 years to complete! It’s easily the city’s highlight attraction since it’s  UNESCO World Heritage Site and everyday dozens of tourists and locals alike are stopping by to snap a photo or  just to marvel at this amazing structure. According to my flatmate’s father, who has so much pride in his city he should be the mayor, Christopher Columbus walked through the gates in the back of the cathedral. Don’t quote me on that but he looked pretty serious. You can find the prices for admission here but it’s free from 4:30-6:30pm on Tuesdays. Fun fact: El Cid (the military leader who drove the moors out of the kingdom of Castille) is buried inside next to his wife.


Continue reading “Things to do in Burgos, Castilla y Leon”

The food of Andalucía, Spain

“To know a country best you must dive deep into the flavors and colors of food” is a quote I heard once upon a time when I was younger and it’s stuck with me ever since. I truly believe that the greatest way to familiarize yourself with a new destination is to try the food. Learn the basics of where the flavors and techniques came from and open your mind (and taste buds) to try something new.

Food is VERY important here in Spain. It seems like the day is surrounded by your meals. Business meeting at 2? Forget about it, that’s lunch time. Happy hour with pinchos or tapas?….duh! Since it’s so important here they take care with their quality and preparation. Most food items are made in house and shortcuts in the kitchen are rare. I do understand that some things may already come prepared like bottled salsa brava or mayonnaise in some places or pre-purchased items that are just nuked in the microwave but for the most part things are done right here.

Recently I took a trip to Andalucía where good food and siesta are the most important. Quality seafood, insanely delicious cured meats, the best olive oil, and fresh produce are some of the things you’ll find in restaurants and markets there.

I’ll show you some of the things we ate while I was in this incredible gastronomic region.

1. Gazpacho gazpacho.jpg

Continue reading “The food of Andalucía, Spain”