Mirando: A Bull Fight

I wavered on whether or not to see a bull fight. In fact, I crossed my name off the list, but somehow my program coordinator thought that the squiggles were a part of my signature... We had a professor teach us some of the history and (dare I say) artistry behind bullfighting. When I went, I had a much better understand of what was going on.

That didn't make the event any less gory. Highlights included: a bull completely knocking over a horse and its rider, blood pouring from a bull's mouth, and fans angrily commenting on the form of the bullfighter. All of that happened in the first half. We peaced out after seeing three bulls die.

I'm not going to make a moral judgement on bullfighting. It's a tradition that seems as strange to me as the fact that I shave my legs instead of waxing seems to my señora. Feel free to share your thoughts on the issue. Or just enjoy some photos from the day. I promise, they're only PG.

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Mirando: Nice

In Spain, spring break coincides with Semana Santa (Holy Week). I met up with one of my dearest friends in Nice, France. We rented a little flat , ate copious amounts of store brand Nutella, and relaxed on the beach. I needed that time with someone who knows me so well. Over the course of the week, I journaled through Ashley Beaudin's 33 Questions to Ask Your Heart. It was a blessing to walk through those questions with my friend, and I can say that I got to know myself better over the course of that week.

Semana Santa included some great runs by the beach. (My 10k is on Sunday!) My friend and I talked through Tim Keller's The Meaning of Marriage. We watched movies. We read. We just were in a way that I can only do with certain people.

Some of the best shots from the week are on Instagram. Here's what I captured with my camera.

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Mirando: When You're Ready to Come Home

As I'm writing this post, I have 20 days left until I go home. Just the fact that I know the exact number of days is a hint that I'm ready to be back in America. I'm always ready for the next thing, for better or for worse. It doesn't help that I already know that this summer will be one of the best of my life.

Once again, I'm in the "in between." But this time, I know better how to navigate it. I'm focusing all of this energy into enjoying Madrid more. As much as I want to be home, I know that I won't get to experience living in Europe like this again.

Yesterday, I went for a run in one of the prettiest parks in Madrid. I saw the Pixar exhibit I've been wanting to see and went to the archeological museum. I'm writing this post from my favorite coffee shop. I got a tattoo! (Maybe that deserves a post of its own.)

I've always loved Jim Elliot's quote, "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe  to be the will of God." I've always failed pretty miserably at it as well. That's my goal for the next 20 days--be in Madrid.


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High Five for Friday: Abroad Favorites

Being abroad is just like any other four months of your life in the sense that your tastes change. The Taylor who is writing this post is immensely different from the Taylor who imagined what life in Spain would be like over Christmas break.

I'm currently enjoying the beach in Nice for my spring break. I thought I'd leave you with some new favorites I've picked up over the past few months.

1. I've become obsessed with HIIT workouts. Short and intense, these workouts will leave you sore the next day while still leaving plenty of time for adventures during the day. This is my favorite.

2. I always listen to podcasts before I go to bed. My current favorite is Welcome to Night Vale. It's a radio show about a desert town that has some secrets. Think of it as the Sci-fi channel and The Office having a love child.

3. Instagram has become my social network of choice. I especially love the posts from Hey Sweet Pea. They encourage me as a person and as an entrepreneur.

4. I'm going to try eating clean this summer. Months of not being able to make my own meals has made me want to eat healthfully. I stumbled upon the women of Food Heaven Made Easy. All of the recipes and knowledge on their site is sure to make my transition easier.

5. Still working my way through the 100 Best Indie Songs of 2014 playlist by mykal. It's perfect background music when you're in the mood to get things done.

Mirando: Porto

My best friend from home suggested that I go to Porto. It's a darling town that is way cheaper than Madrid. To make things even better, it's situated right by the beach.

Last weekend was not the beach weekend I expected. It rained nearly the whole time, but the rain brought with it this mystical beauty. Every single plant was vibrant with color. I swear fairies lived in the parks that we visited.

Since the beach was not in the cards, I made Porto a time for experimenting with my camera. These shots are some of the best I've gotten in Europe, in my opinion. Enjoy!

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Musings: Confessions of a chronic entrepreneur

This is will be an honest post. I'm a feeler. I make decisions based on how I feel. That's how I chose Vanderbilt. That's how I chose AOII. It works, most of the time.

Sorry, you already saw this if you follow me on Instagram

It doesn't work with entrepreneurship, at least not for me. What feels right in the moment isn't always what will be best in the long term. I've started and stopped a couple of businesses during my time here on Live and Move. Why? Because I move too quickly, too soon. I forget to ask for guidance from the One who orders my steps.

This week I had a revelation of sorts. It fell like the stars aligned, like I truly found my calling. Maybe I have. But after some prayer, I felt called to wait. Boy is that hard.

Friends, I'm bursting to tell you what's on my heart, but this time I'm choosing obedience. My hope is that I'll get to share it with you in the months (years?) to come. However, the God I serve is good and just might have other opinions on what I'll be doing after graduation.

This year is about balance, between planning and waiting, between wholeheartedly following dreams and doing the wise thing.

"But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand." Isaiah 32:8

Here's to seeking the noble.

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Mirando: Sevilla, Cordoba, and Granada

The south of Spain is what most Americans think about when they think of Spain. It is home to bull fights and flamenco dancing. The weather is warm. The tapas are abundant. I loved my weekend there.

Because it was a whole weekend. I'll give you the highlights, the things that still stand out to me a week later.

We saw the patios in Córdoba. These patios are full of flowers and love and meticulous care. The homeowners spend all year attending to their patio so that it will be ready for competition in the summer. But it's not just about competition. The patios are also an extension of their home, especially during the summer months. There are nights full of food and wine and guitar playing. It sounds like a dream.

In Sevilla, we saw flamenco dancing. I've never seen such emotion between dancers without them touching. The singer belted her songs as if her heart was breaking. Everyone in my group was in awe after the performance. I may have to add flamenco to my list of dances I'd like to learn. I'm not doing the art form justice with my description.

Granada was defined by the Alhambra. I'm realizing that I love the Moorish style of architecture. It's ornate, but not overly decadent. The feeling of openness and the attention to detail in all of the gardens of the Alhambra left me wishing I could call this palace my own.

My travels are coming to an end. I'll spend the next week in Nice. Then, it's a weekend trip to London. Before I know it, I'll be home. This time has been full. My focus right now is to enjoy the fullness of every day.

Thanks for bearing through a longer post.

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Mirando: Paris

Oh, Paris. I came to Paris with purposefully lowered expectations. There is no way that it could be as romantic as everyone built it up to be... it was.

We arrived to our hostel and received the news that, because of pollution, all public transportation was free for the weekend. We enjoyed the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the lock bridge by day. Then we enjoyed the Lourve (for free!) by night

 On Saturday, we got into Versailles for free as students. We returned to the Eiffel Tower to sip wine and watch the landmark sparkle in the dark.

 Sunday was for shopping and for exploring the Notre Dame.We were lucky enough to go in during Mass. It's breathtaking and you can't help but feel contemplative. As for the shopping, my parents gave me money to spend on a treat while in Europe. Paris proved to be the perfect place to find it. I bought a bright red cashmere scarf from a fancy French shop. I've never felt so posh while buying something before!

Paris was better (and far cheaper) than I could have imagined. Paris, j'taime.

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Musings: Striking Out

I had a six day weekend because of strikes at my school. You know how I spent it? Sick in bed. I'm going on my third month here, and getting sick is just the kind of thing that makes you crave home. I was a tad depressed.

But then I got better. It had been raining all weekend. The trees and bushes had little green buds. The streets sparkled. I fell in love with this place again.

Being sick is never fun, but sometimes it's the best thing for me.

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