Holiday Guide: Rest, Relax, Enjoy

Holiday Guide: Rest, Relax, Enjoy

By Dreams Abroad

Amidst a year like no other, we’ve all found new ways to bring people together, even when physically apart. The holiday season is for feeling grateful and giving to our loved ones. We are so grateful to our readers and writers for giving us their support. We asked the Dreams Abroad team which pieces they connected with this year. We’ve had new members, guest writers, many locations, and an array of professional tips that we shared over the course of 2020. Rest, relax, and enjoy our selections in our 2020 holiday guide. 

Our Holiday Guide

The Team Behind the Scenes: Dreams Abroad Ops

Our operations team is thinking of guests and professions this year, and here’s what Emma and Tyler have selected.

Emma Schultz

Emma Schultz picked two diverse but equally inspiring pieces on travel and on completing an internship abroad for our 2020 holiday guide.

Guest writer Lisa Mallett’s piece, Living In A Tourist Destination: Niagara Falls, Canada was one of Emma’s favorite reads this year. The guide offers incredible insight into the region and has lots of detailed tips on things to do in addition to admiring the falls! Emma hopes to travel there someday (hopefully sooner rather than later!) to enjoy some ice wine and a ride on the Niagara Jet Boat.

A photo of Horseshoe Fall

Emma also enjoyed Leesa’s interview with We Study participant Ajay Pfister, My L’Oreal Internship: A Dutch Workation. In this, Ajay details his experience interning for La Roche-Posay (L’Oreal) in the Netherlands during a global pandemic. He talks about navigating joining a new team while working remotely 50% of the time. Ajay’s comments on creativity, networking, and growth particularly resonated with her.

Ajay working from home for his L'oreal Internship

Tyler Black

Tyler Black chose two pieces that covered the difficult topic of coronavirus in Spain, where he lived for two years, and Mexico, where he recently visited.

Writer Edgar Llivisupa talks about teaching in Spain with Leesa Truesdell in his interview Living in Ontinyent, Spain While Social Distancing. This piece really hit home for Tyler because he was also an English teacher in Spain, and could really relate with the challenges that Edgar had to overcome. Tyler was also interested in hearing about life in Spain during the pandemic. Edgar’s positive outlook throughout the interview was reassuring during these difficult times.

A drinking fountain that Edgar noticed had been shut down as he started traveling again.

Tyler also relished Stephanie Vargas’ piece The Day of the Dead During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Tyler visited Mexico City in 2019 shortly after the Day of the Dead. Stephanie gave him an impromptu tour, so he was very interested in seeing how the city was dealing with the pandemic. Stephanie does an incredible job of detailing the changes that people have had to make this year in order to pay respects to their deceased loved ones. 

One More Edit: Dreams Abroad Editors

Our Dreams Abroad editors chose four very different yet equally great articles. 

Cassidy Kearney

Cassidy Kearney highlighted two very different pieces about traveling and studying abroad for our holiday guide. 

She really enjoyed reading about Emma Higgins’ month wandering around Vietnam. Emma saw so much of Vietnam, all while on a tight budget. From mysterious mountainscapes to towering skyscrapers, she highlighted everything that makes Vietnam an exciting destination point. Plus, the food looks amazing!

Hue Vietnam

Jiye Kang’s article about studying abroad in Haifa, Israel, was also a fascinating read. As someone who considered applying to a master’s program abroad, Cassidy found Jiye’s piece especially interesting. Plus, she’s studying archeology in one of the most archeologically-rich areas of the world. This is a great read to get to learn more about studying abroad, what living in Haifa, Israel is like, and to get some insight into the fascinating world of modern-day archeology.

A photo of Jiye brushing off an artifact at a dig site.

Matthew Hirtes

Matthew Hirtes recommends checking out two of our management members’ pieces.

While he is always drawn to Leesa Truesdell’s interviews because of the stimulating questions she asks interviewees to open up about their experiences, his first choice was this travel article from February. The colorful descriptions and expert photography transported him to Leesa’s epic birthday in Paris and he felt like he was actually there celebrating with her.

Champs de Elysse

October brought this superbly-researched guide to Pittsburgh from Tyler Black. Like Tyler, Matthew enjoys exploring a new city thoroughly upon relocating there. Tyler did so with gusto, which makes for an infectious read.

Explore things to do in Pittsburgh!

All the Way to the Top: Dreams Abroad Director

Leesa Truesdell

Finally, our Dreams Abroad director shares two pieces from Madrid, a place close to her heart, in our holiday guide. 

Leesa selected Sarah’s Guide to Moving to Spain because it is one of the most comprehensive guides to moving to Spain she’s read so far. She has fond memories of living abroad in Spain. Leesa recommends reading Sarah’s guide to get you overseas and to Madrid. If you’re thinking of teaching abroad, check out Sarah’s article to see how this is possible. It’s not as difficult or daunting as you might think. Live outside of your comfort zone and chase your dreams abroad! 

Sarah at the Jefferson Memorial while applying for her visa in Spain

Timisha’s most recent article about celebrating the holidays abroad reminds our director of her own holiday experiences, but through a different lens. This heartfelt piece is worthy of recognition and a read. Be sure to break out the eggnog and holiday cookies before reading this article to get the full effect. 

Timisha spends the holidays abroad

We hope you have a happy and relaxing holiday season. Our Dreams Abroad family will continue to share their experiences in 2021. Would you like to share one of yours? Join us by sending us an email or refer a friend who might have an inspiring story. You know where to find us. Happy Holidays!

24 thoughts on “Holiday Guide: Rest, Relax, Enjoy

    1. Hi Tammy,

      Thank you for reading and being a part of our community. We wish you a happy holiday season.

      Best wishes,

  1. Jiye‘s post about Haifa is also my favorite. Probably because it reminded me of home (Israel) and I enjoy reading other people’s perspectives on my home country

    1. Hi Moshe,

      Thank you for reading our guide. I really enjoyed your guest post and so did our readers. You were a top read on our site this year. We hope you come back to share another article with us. Thanks for reading our guide.

      Happy Holidays,


    1. Hi Heather,

      I miss traveling too. I always travel at this time of the year. Hang in there and thank you for reading.

      Best wishes,

    1. Hi Monica,

      Thank you so much for reading. We appreciate you being a part of our community.
      Have a wonderful holiday season.

      Best wishes,

  2. One of my kids studied abroad and it was such a wonderful experience for her. I really enjoy reading about other people’s experiences.

  3. It is so fascinating to read about other places. Crazy to think of all the differences. I can’t wait to do some more travelling !

  4. I can’t wait to be able to travel again! It is nice to think about all the great places out there and dream about exploring.

  5. Wow! I am so excited to read all of these blogs you shared. I believe all of you had so much fun and wonderful moments.

  6. Learning about different life experiences and perspective, really amazing. I can imagine how wonderful your trips!

  7. I really enjoyed reading about such experiences. I love to travel and really miss it. I hope everything will be back to normal again. For now, reading others’ experiences and be fascinated with their stories.

  8. Always fun reading other people’s travel experiences and adventures. Looking forward to more travel in the new year.

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