The Spanish Unpaid Internship Visa: A Complete Guide

Get ready to bang your head against a wall for the next couple of months, because this process is completely stress-filled and entirely frustrating.

My visa application was rejected the first time I went in for my appointment. I kid you not, I was in tears. The sweet intern looked on sympathetically, as the kind official handed me tissues, while I tried to joke, “Sorry, most people probably don’t cry about not getting a visa, huh?”

They sadly shook their heads as the official said, “I usually use those tissues to clean the window.”

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Summer of Stoke Travel: San Fermín – Part One

Ah, what to even say about this summer?

It was a mess of sweat, drinking, sunshine, tanning, exhaustion, exhilaration, and stress. It was beaches, tents, carnivals, long bus rides, incredible music, awesome fireworks, heaps of sunscreen, and Spanish wine. Hiking, swimming, persistent griminess, beautiful waterfalls, crazy clubs, new traditions, cheap beer, and free t-shirts. Weird people, weirder clothing, and amazing friendships.

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Revelations From Atop a Mountain

It had been another scorching day in Pamplona, Spain. Most of the campsite were in town, enjoying the San Fermín street parties and drinking at the Stoke Travel bar before relaxing on the green to watch the spectacular fireworks.

I was among the few that chose to stay back that evening, a little tired and more than a little out of money for a taxi. Armed with drawstring bags full of beers, myself and a few other Stokie staff members climbed over the fence separating our campsite from an overgrown hill and began to bushwhack our way to the top. The incline grew steadily steeper, and our hands and legs acquired scratches as our socks filled with prickly plants. By the time we reached the summit, the nighttime chill had closed in around us. The campsite looked so small from above, and I wondered if anyone looking up at the hill would see us. Probably not.

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Here We Go Again…

The day has finally arrived! Today I embark on a 24 hour journey using practically every mode of transportation to reach my home away from home for the next month: Pamplona, Spain.

As I mentioned in this post, I’ll be in Spain to work with a travel company, Stoke Travel, at festivals such as San Vino (a wild wine fight), and San Fermin (aka Running of the Bulls). Stoke Travel arranges camping accommodation, food, and beer/sangria for festival-goers and my job will be to help with set up, break down, greeting guests, and generally showing them a good time!

After these two festivals I’ll be meeting up with Chloe, my darling travel buddy, to visit France, Monaco, Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We can’t wait for a change of pace from our last trip through Eastern Europe where we froze our butts off 24/7 – this time it’s all sun all day!

When Chloe leaves me in Sarajevo to go climb Mt Kilimanjaro (I know, what a boss, right?!), I’ll have 10 days before my next festival with Stoke. This is where my planning ends (wooo!) and I’m just going to roll with it. I’ll potentially explore inland Croatia, or perhaps other cities/villages in Bosnia before going to Belgrade, then Budapest (I literally cannot stay away from this gem of a city).

From Budapest it’s back to Spain for a third festival – La Tomatina! I’ll finish up my time with Stoke Travel at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, yet another city that has a strong hold on my heart. The quiet beauty, the lovely beer gardens, the delicious beer – spending a month and a half there is a dream come true.

Once the pack down for Oktoberfest is complete, I’ll have exactly one day to hightail it out of the Schengen area (for those of you who don’t know what this means, click here for a wiki explanation). Where will I go? That’s the question, isn’t it. Perhaps Morocco, maybe London… I’ll leave that to future Olivia. A little spontaneity is good for the soul.

If, while reading this, you thought, “Dang, this Stoke Travel/festival ish sounds incredible, I totally want to join the party!” then you’re in luck, because I have something special for you: a promo code. Book a festival with Stoke using the code FULLOFIT and get free unlimited beer and sangria at the campsites. Thank me later.

If anyone wants to meet up over the next few months or has any suggestions for me, throw out a holler. If that’s not your thing, you can still follow my adventure through this blog as well as my travel-specific Instagram, @destination_everywhere_

Catch ya on the flip side.

The Mess That Is Budapest: 4 Days in Hungary

The bus from Kraków pulled into Budapest at 5am, and a sleepy Chloe and myself shuffled off. Grateful that trams were running so early, we quickly found a ticket machine and hopped in a run-down carriage, paying close attention to each stop as we were whisked along.

Using Chloe’s data, we navigated our way to our hostel, Instant Groove, and stopped just outside to pull out some cash. By this time, it was almost 6am, and loud music was still pouring from the ruin pub/club (named Instant… the name of the hostel totally makes sense now, no?) directly beneath the hostel. A group of British boys emerged, still drinking and singing loudly as they stumbled down the dimly lit street. 

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Day Drinks and Dreadful Drivers: Day 5 in Kraków

Propped against my pillows with the open balcony doors to my right, letting in fresh morning air and the sounds of the town awakening for the last time before departing for Budapest, I tapped away at my iPad, finishing up a blog post for you dear little readers.

12032065_10207657998785705_1293099530326991016_nOnce finished, the usual off-brand Nutella, an extremely thin slice of bread (or two or four), and a cup of tea staved off my morning hunger pains.

Chloe dragged herself out of bed and we checked off the final things on our list: print bus tickets, book the Budapest hostel (cheers for last minute planning, eh?), and a “Farewell, Poland” meal of pierogis. With all of that completed, what else was there to do but drink?

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Stranded in the Salt Mines: Day 4 in Kraków

8 am, Saturday morning, I was woken up by my travel friend, Chloe, standing over my bed, shaking my shoulder.

“Liv!” she whispered, pulling me from a fitful sleep.

As my eyes fluttered open, she pointed, leading my gaze to our pub crawl leader, clothed solely in red knickers, spread eagled upon one of the dorm beds.

I covered my mouth to stop laughter from pouring out and quickly motioned for us to leave the room. As soon as we closed the door behind us, I could hold in the laughter no more.

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Camps and Krawls: Day 3 in Kraków

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Auschwitz I, Poland

My third day in Kraków, I woke up to a clear morning, feeling surprisingly perky, considering how awful my hangover had been the day before.

I tiptoed over to my new BFF, Chloe, and shook her awake, using the promise of Costa sandwiches and coffee to lure her out of bed. We quickly dressed and made a beeline for Costa, buying two sandwiches and a coffee each. Obsessive about punctuality, I didn’t allow us even a moment to sink our teeth into a sandwich, but instead rushed us along, back to the hostel where our shuttle driver was waiting.

“So sorry we’re late!” I exhaled, as Chloe, having sense enough to make sure we weren’t getting into a random person’s car, asked him if was the driver for the Auschwitz tour.

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Hungover and Hungry: Day 2 in Kraków

It’s no secret that I adore free walking tours. They’re fun, informative, and you pay what you feel it’s worth, making it such a bargain. But you know what’s not great about walking tours? Being hungover for them. Being hungry during them. Being in the hot, hot sun while you’re hungover and hungry on said free walking tour. It’s pretty obvious where I’m going with this, right?

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