28th Birthday? 28 Facts about me

So most of the people who follow this blog with commitment are almost definitely familiar with me. However, as personal as planning, traveling and life abroad is – I don’t actually talk that much about me the person. So even if you’ve known me for a million years – here are 28 facts that not everyone knows about me.

  1. My mom and dad weren’t huge travelers but every summer we went to a cabin on Lake of Bays in Ontario. I haven’t been in years but growing up, it was one of the most peaceful places on Earth.
  2. While on vacation, my family would spend every night playing a board or card game until 1-2 in the morning and then we all went and looked for shooting stars. These are my most valuable memories of my childhood.
  3. The first place I traveled overseas was to Ireland in 2009 with my mom, dad, sister, brother in law and cousins. It was one of the most important, special experiences in my life.
  4. The only city that I actively disliked was Naples, Italy. The museums had tons of exhibitions closed, Pompeii was underwhelming and the streets were dirty.
  5. Although I was only there for about 4 months, my time in Cartagena, Colombia was extremely formative. I faced a lot of adversity, I didn’t feel like I was myself at all and I wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle. I learned so much from that experience and am so grateful that I was able to have it. That being said, Cartagena is one of my favorite cities in the world.
  6. My other favorite cities that I’ve visited are Copenhagen, Krakow, Porto and Hamburg.
  7. In terms of less urban travel destinations – I also love the Greek Islands, the Nekar River Valley in Germany, and Croatia’s Dalmatian coast.
  8. For a long time, I was actively embarassed of being from Buffalo, New York. Now – I could not be prouder. It’s a city with such an amazing resilient spirit, tremendous people and amazing food. While I don’t miss the winter – I think about my beautiful city every day.
  9. I first became a neat freak when I moved into my first dorm room. My roommate was a huge mess and something snapped in me. After that I was always extremely neat, tidy and organized.
  10. Before University, I was in love with the idea of medicine – going into biology or another science. However, I had a really amazing meeting with my advisor who realized right away that I didn’t actually want that kind of job. He put me  in English, Philosophy and Classics courses – the latter being what I ended up with a degree in.
  11. I graduated University in 3 years – I had tons of credits from high school and it honestly wasn’t my favorite time of life. I faced a lot of personal adversity, acted like a complete jackass and I wanted to close that chapter of my life as soon as possible.
  12. Right after I graduated, I went on my first archaeological dig in Germany with other kids from my program as well as from other schools. It was probably the most positive post-high school experience of my life – despite the hard work. I still consider many people from that dig close friends (including my travel buddy, Janet and my fellow Latin dork, Al). The second year of the dig was not as harmonious but still was full of amazing people.
  13. I became a teacher sort of by accident. When I was little, I loved playing make-believe as a teacher, but I never actually thought I would be one. When a local school was a couple weeks into the school year without a Latin teacher, I got a call telling me to apply. I got the job about 20 minutes after my interview. Since that first position, I have worked or volunteered in 5 other schools as a social studies teacher and an English as a Second Language teacher.
  14. I keep in touch with many of my Latin girls and still regularly talk to several. I was only 20 when I started working at my first high school so these girls are like little sisters to me at this point.
  15. I really got into planning when I went into grad school and I felt overwhelmed by all the reading involved. Once I started using a planner, I felt like I was able to work more efficiently.
  16. Planning has helped a lot with my anxiety. By creating to do lists with broken down steps, it makes insurmountable tasks seems a lot less daunting. I learned this skill from my planner buddy, Erin, who would always break down our group projects in a spreadsheet.IMG_2897
  17. While I think most of the planner community loves pastel colors – I’ve always been a brights fan. My favorite color since I could tell one was yellow. However, I also love green, pink, blue and purple and always think rainbow looks better than monochrome in art.
  18. Before I got back into Bullet Journaling, I always thought I was a really lousy artist. I now realize that it’s a matter of finding a medium that you like to work in. For me – I love using pen and ink as well as water colors.
  19. While I never felt like I was a good artist, I always have loved creativity. Growing up, I competed in Destination Imagination which is a creative problem solving team-based organization. Most of my closest friends come from my 9 years in the program. We consistently made it to the Global Finals tournament and even if we didn’t win – we met people from all over the world.
  20. I’m actually a huge control freak. I hate flying for this reason. If the pilot and the copilot die – I know I would be useless and for some reason that absolutely fries my nerves. Routine engine noise still makes me jump even though I’ve probably been on 150 flights.
  21. I’ve come to terms with not missing most foods anymore here in Zaragoza. However, my favorite foods are still Ted’s hot dogs, home made chicken pot pie and chili.
  22. I could never choose a favorite sport between football and fútbol. I have such a community in both. My mom instilled in me a love of the Buffalo Bills. Seeing them make the playoffs was probably one of the best moments of 2018 for me.10557724_10152371421426107_7039030611756479015_o.jpg
  23. After I moved home from Colombia, I became a fan of national play (Germany, Colombia and Spain are my favorites) and Bayern Munich. My futbol bar in Buffalo, Mes Que, is probably my favorite community of people in the city.
  24. I also got a job with a locally run hotel and am so lucky to consider myself a part of the family of people who worked there. From the other guest services team to the chefs to the amazing housekeepers – I just really loved the people that I worked with. The owners and their family actually came to Barcelona for Christmas and I was lucky enough to see them. Genuinely cannot say enough good things about that family – not only about everything wonderful they do for Buffalo but also because I gained two brothers.
  25. Some of my more “out-there” hobbys throughout my life have been road rallys, puzzles and letterboxing. All involve patience, logic and a quick wit. My dad was quite literally the driving factor in these hobbies – always introducing me to more things that could challenge my logic. Despite the fact that I did at least one road rally a year for about 15 years, I only won my very last one before coming to Spain with my bae, Emily, as my navigator.
  26. I think I used to have better taste in movies and music but I always had terrible taste in television. I can’t just sit down and watch it with full attention so I’m not a huge fan of series. I much prefer documentaries and reality TV because you usually don’t have to pay attention as much to the screen. My favorite trash television shows are Vanderpump Rules, The Challenge and the Bachelor Franchise.
  27. I only lived alone once in my life – the rest of the time I’ve had roommates. Not only was it hands down my favorite apartment (in Arlington Park, Buffalo), I really enjoyed living by myself. I am not the most social person when it comes to my home life and I often struggle with roommates. I was incredibly lucky to have my beautiful cat, Oscar, with me who provided me with more than enough love, affection and attention.
  28. The hardest thing for me living abroad (except for missing my friends and family) has been not having an animal in house. I lost my Oscar to kidney failure this year which was awful and while no cat can replace him – I’m desperate for animal time. However, I promised myself that I would only get an animal once I have permanent residency. Fingers crossed I can figure it out soon!

So there you go – 28 things that you may not know about me. I hope you enjoyed the read – if you have any questions or feel enlightened – feel free to leave a comment below!

2 thoughts on “28th Birthday? 28 Facts about me

  1. Hi Madeline. What a fun and interesting read. I enjoyed learning about your likes and dislikes. You are one of the most honest and amazing young ladies I know. I’m proud to be your Aunt Norma. I think about you often and wonder where you are and how you’re doing. Keep the posts coming!👩🏻‍💻😘❤️


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