If we were having coffee

Hi everyone.  I’m sat in a cute café in Thessaloniki overlooking the water with Mount Olympus as my view. It doesn’t get much better than this. In Greece, cafes aren’t used in the same way that they are in the US. In America, you sit down, grab a cup of coffee, and grind on any and all of the work you have for that day. In Greece, you hardly ever see someone alone with a laptop in a café. Cafes are for social gatherings after shopping, catching up with old friends, etc. So, despite the fact that I’m currently alone, I figured I would pretend I was having a chat with you all. So, grab a frappe [traditional Greek coffee], hot or iced, and let me tell you about my current life.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’ve submitted my edTPA. The most daunting thing for an education student, the edTPA basically determines how fit you are to be a teacher. I still have to wait for my results of course, but having it completed is definitely a HUGE weight off my shoulders.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve completed my application to teach in Spain next year. I’ve selected Madrid or Galicia as places where I would like to live. I’m waiting to hear back on this as well but, at least this is also completed.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m being sent home from Greece. Amidst the coronavirus, my school was closed for two weeks, followed by many emails from my university and they ended up canceling all study abroad trips for the semester. I have until next Friday to head home. I am absolutely devastated. I’m actually going to miss Greece. I was very hesitant about this country when I first arrived, but I’ve come to love and appreciate everything it has to offer. I’m also going to miss all my students dearly. I want to bring them all back to America with me but I can’t and I won’t even have the opportunity to say goodbye which absolutely breaks my heart.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m thinking about getting another tattoo. Getting tattoos in Europe is super cheap [and Greece is one of the cheapest countries to do anything in right now] and I really want to get something related to Peru, Spain, and Greece. I lived in all three of these countries during college and I think they’ve had quite an impact on me as a person. I’m not sure what I want or where, but I think that getting something to remember the fun times and things I’ve learned in each place is something I want to do. I’m thinking of having my sister draw a hand holding three flowers: a pink cantuta, a red carnation, and bears breech. These three flowers are the national flowers of the three countries that have really had a major impact on my college time.

What’s going on in your world recently?

❤ Alicia

My morning routine

I’ve been in Greece for 5 weeks now and the biggest thing I told myself I had to do was create a daily routine. I’m exhausted every morning before I drink my pot [yes…pot] of coffee so creating and maintaining a morning routine for my groggy half-awake self is of dire importance. I’ve got the hang of my routine and can get ready for school each day quicker and quicker and I wanted to share my routine with all of you struggling with your own routines.


5:30: My first alarm goes off. I set roughly four alarms each day [5:30, 5:40, 5:50, and 6:00] in hopes that I wake up to one of the first two and then lie awake until the 3rd one and on some days [Tuesdays and Thursdays for some reason I’m even more tired than usual] I lie in bed until 6:00.

The first thing I do after getting out of bed is turn on my coffee pot. I’ve started getting it ready the night before so that I just have to hit the power button in the morning.

Once I hear coffee dripping, I hop into the shower and get nice and warm. My apartment and Greece as a whole make no sense when it comes to temperature. I keep my apartment at 19.0 degrees [Celsius] when I sleep and 20.0 degrees when I’m awake and moving around. At night, this temperature is fine. However, in the morning, I am an icicle without warm pants, long sleeves, and socks. So, I run into that shower and enjoy a nice seven or so minutes of warmth before having to reenter the cold that is my apartment.

When I’m done showering I do my skincare routine, brush my hair, etc. so that it’s out of the way. I put clean sweatpants on [I don’t put my teaching clothes on until later in case I spill coffee and because I just want to be comfortable as I lounge around].

At around 6:30/6:40 I eat breakfast and enjoy my first cup of coffee. I turn the TV on to give me a bit of company and open the door to my balcony so I can see the sun begin rising.

7:00 Once I’ve finished breakfast as well as cup number two of coffee I prepare my lunch. My typical lunch consists of a banana, a sandwich, some crackers, and an extra piece of fruit // veggie that I eat during a break if I’m hungry. I also fill a water bottle and throw them both into my bag,

By the time 7:10 rolls around I’m usually done or almost done with my 3rd/4th cup of coffee so now it’s time to brush my teeth, put some makeup on [my eyebrows and a bit of concealer on days when my skin hates me], turn the TV off, double and triple-check that I have everything and then finally, I’m out the door and on my way to the bus stop by 7:20 to be picked up at 7:25.

What does you morning routine consist of?

❤ Alicia

How I set up my planner

There’s absolutely nothing like the feel of a new planner. Having the opportunity to highlight, draw, scribble, sticker, and more to the hundred or so pages of a planner is unlike anything else. Before heading to Greece, I bought a new planner which was unlike all of my old planners. After seeing my schedule for the semester and realizing that it was different every single day, I decided to get a Day Designer from Target, which is a weekly hour by hour planner with additional room for to-do lists and other things to keep in mind. This planner is by far my favorite planner I’ve had and I’m using the HELL out of it. I still haven’t mastered my schedule so when I’m in five different classrooms in one day, this planner comes in handy. I wanted to share with everyone the layout of my planner to hopefully give some inspiration to those of you who have written three things for the whole year in your planer… in black ink.

Monthly view

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My old planners are scary compared to this one. Before this semester I had 334923957382 things on my plate each month, so the month view had white-out, scribbles, and 7 different colors of marker to sort my life out. This semester, while I feel a lot busier, I have a hell of a lot less to do. I have four obligations: school, lesson planning, blogging, and my trips. Really that’s it, besides the hell of the edTPA which will be over soon. Each of these things has color in my planner and that’s that. School is blue. Blogging is red and trips are pink. I also add birthdays and holidays which I keep in black so that I don’t overload my senses. I also decided to finally use the stickers that they gave me in this planner [as well as my last planner too] to spice it up. Who doesn’t love a good sticker… or 20???

Weekly view

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This looks like an absolute cluster, but I can tell you it’s organized. Day to day I have a lot going on and the only way I could keep it nice and organized was by highlighting, highlighting and more highlighting! My breaks are written in pink [just like trips because it’s a nice time to relax for me]. ESL is orange. Spanish is blue and Planning is yellow. Then, everything else from the monthly view transfers over to the weekly as well so that I know what I’m doing and what’s happening and when. I use the same colors for monthly and weekly so I can write fewer words and still know what I’m talking about i.e. I can put “None” in blue and know I’m talking about school because of the color.


All in all, I love this planner. If you have the same schedule day to day this planner isn’t all that necessary. However, for those of you who do have a lot going on day to day, BUY THIS. It comes in a bigger size which I didn’t buy solely because I wanted it to be smaller for travel purposes. Out of the 5 or so different planners that I’ve used, this takes the cake as being my favorite. I’m not sure if it’s better or because I’m actually using it every day, but this planner gets an A+ in my book.

What is your favorite planner? And why?

❤ Alicia

My new home :)

Hi all. It’s January 7th at 2:38pm and I’m sitting on my couch in my apartment in Thessaloniki, Greece. Traveling always gives me a reason to write. Traveling always gives me a need to write. My favorite thing to do when at an airport [not this time but I’ll get to that in a minute] or in a hotel or at a café is to write. We all knew that. Just wanted to give everyone an update about my current life, what I’m currently doing and another promise that I won’t have time to write a lot this semester with 12 weeks of student teaching, the edTPA, living in a foreign country by myself for the first time, etc. However, on my first and only free day that I have while in Greece, I wanted to take a bit of time out of my hectic day of grocery shopping, unpacking, turning an Airbnb into a home, and figuring out this new city that I live in to write a little bit.

This semester I have the amazing opportunity to participate in the COST program teaching Spanish and ESL at the Pinewood American International School in Thermi Greece, a suburb of Thessaloniki. I will be working with 4 [yes 4] teachers teaching grades K-12 in Spanish and English. I will also be completing the edTPA [basically a huge 3-part project that I need to do well on in order to graduate and become a certified instructor] during my time here which will take up a huge chunk of my time.

Finally, I will be exploring and living in Thessaloniki. I speak absolutely no Greek so with the help of Duolingo, my students, and the people I meet I’m hoping to at least learn enough to get by in my day to day life.

I’m absolutely exhausted from the past 24 hours of travel, middle seats, layovers, delays, and 8-hour time differences. I

I don’t know much of what this semester holds for me, but I do know one thing, I’m the happiest at 11:30pm when I first get to a new country.

Now, I’m off to have coffee and a walk along the sea with the coordinating instructor here in Greece. Here’s to writing at least a smidge more this year, ❤

Alicia

Yesterday, I started my senior year of college. As part of my BTS Series and my writing for LVNG Limitless, I wanted to embark on a series called, the Road to Graduation, to share my journey from today until I graduate. Here’s the first post 🙂 

Three of our very own LVNG Limitless writers [Kenzie, Jess and myself] will be graduating from Ohio University in May. Over the next nine months, the three of us will share our personal insight on what this “Road to Graduation” is like, how we’re navigating our last year and the lessons we’re learning along the […]

via Road to Graduation: Making Dreams a Reality — LVNG Limitless