My logbook

Around the world

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My homes

I have lived in a few cities all around the world, the circumstances that brought me to each of them are resumed in the following lines:

Madrid, Spain

I had the luck to be born in Madrid, capital of Spain, a vibrating city where there is always a multicultural mixture of people wandering around its streets. Downtown is always full of life until late in the night, together with its mild weather and affable inhabitants made me fall in love with this city instantly.

In Madrid I studied Telecommunication Engineering in the Politechnic University of Madrid, one of the top educational institutions in the country. In 2010 I left Spain looking for new experiences. I wanted to become fluent in English and expand my comfort zone, learn about new cultures and new people, so I went to America.

Chicago, Illinois, United States

The second city will always be the first one in my heart. Its architecture is as beautiful as it can get, and its deep-dish pizzas are equally delicious, but let's leave aside its freezing winters.

Chicago was the door to my american experience, I moved here in 2010 to start a Master's in Physics, one of my passions, and what I thought would be a one year trip became my home. A year later I found myself very comfortable and I had the chance to pursue a PhD. in Experimental Particle Physics at Illinois Institute of Technology.

In the meantime I could enjoy watching the NBA in live for first time, flying a small plane on top of Navy Pier or sailing the Lake Michigan.

Beijing, China

In 2014 I was granted the Pengnian scholarship and I spent a semester as a visiting researcher at Tsinghua University (清华大学).

In that time I had the chance to be immersed in a culture like no other, I could learn about Chinese arts, food, architecture, language and most importantly its people.

Being in such a different environment makes you realize that travelling and being far from home can be hard at times, but the unforgettable experiences you get in return are the best reward. Nevertheless, I fell in love with Asia, and I hope to return soon. There's so much to see!

Cambridge, Massachussetts, United States

In my last year of PhD. I moved to Cambridge looking for my first "real" job. Cambridge is a hectic town near Boston that is home to the most renowned universities in the world: Harvard and MIT.

After a throurough search I found a post-doctoral research position in MRI Physics at Harvard Medical School, in the department of radiology of Brigham and Women's Hospital. I expect to work here for a couple of years, but who knows where I'll go next!

Herrera de Alcántara, Spain

Enjoying this little town nearby Portugal is the best way to rest from the frenetic city life and travel back in time to live the old traditions, enjoy your home-grown food and lie down under one of the cleanest starry skies you can find in Spain.

It is not by chance that in summer its population doubles when the expatriates come back to their roots. No matter the distance, I will always return to its peaceful roads and gorgeous sightseeings.

Trips to remember

2005 Rome

I remember fondly my first trip outside the Iberian Peninsula. The Eternal City was the chosen destiny for a pilgrimage to the heart of the Roman Empire.

I was just 17, a tender age to be struck by its millenial monuments and their everlasting beauty, the countless magnificient temples, skyward pointing obelisks and streaming fountains guarded by the timeless sight of ancient gods incarcerated in marble statues.

2009 Turkey

The trip of the trips. Mix together a good group of friends, an exotic country and a sudden craving for adventure and you'll get the recipe for pure fun.

All started there where Asia meets Europe, Istanbul, a megalopolis caressed by the waves of the Bosphorus. A place where everybody tries to sell you something new, an army of merchants to fight until you get lost in the narrow alleys rooting deep inside the heart of the Great Bazaar.

After wandering around that beautiful maze for a few hours you find yourself relieved when you stamble upon an exit to the outside world, in front of a marvelous view with countless mosques populating the skyline and the magnificient Blue Mosque outstanding in the middle of them all.

As a sign of respect you need to be barefoot, getting to feel the soft carpets while observing the astounding decorations on the walls. It is definitively a place to find peace among all the hectic noise coming from the streets, until you go to sleep... or at least you try until 3 am, when the unearthly call to prayers reverberates across the night. Its sound still echoes in the back of my head, recalling how an urge to explore the remotest places was suddenly awaken by the city that never sleeps.

Thereafter, we got lost in unpronouncable towns in the middle of Cappadocia, had tea with benevolent strangers, participated in folk dances and played traditional instruments, tried the exotic liquors distilled in the Middle East, entered in marbeled buildings just to barely survive a proper Turkish bath, where surprising screams unravel the secrets of particularly interesting massage techniques.

Turkey 2009 will always be my one of my favorite trips.

2009 Holland

After visiting Turkey there was no time to lose, merely a week after the same good old group of friends that still had Turkish dust on their shoes was at the airport boarding a plane with Amsterdam as the final destination.

Upon arrival we found that the university hosted their guests in The Hague's red light district. That's for sure a way of doing things that we were not used to. Jokes aside, Netherlands was such a different country in many ways: first thing you notice is that there are bikers all around, I guess that the lack of mountains provided a perfect place to bike; but their public transportation system was formidable as well, you could go from one city to another in a few minutes, and the punctuality of their trains was remarkable. The architecture is also enjoyable, cute little houses with triangular shapes, and the characteristic channels in Amsterdam were one of my favorite places to take a stroll. Their people was nice as well, I specially loved their naturality to deal with controversial topics and make a business out of them. Smart fellows.

But this trip wasn't all about leisure, it was about education. Delft University was part of the ATHENS programme, an international 1-week exchange session which I had the luck of being part twice. I spent most of the week working in a multimodal emotion detection project, which means that I had one week to develop a working demo while you are in a foreign country full of interesting stuff to do. In short, being an ATHENS student makes you compromise between getting your homework done pulling all-nighters and visiting the city after class while you turn into a walking zombie, but hey, it's totally worth it!

2011 Route 66

Crossing the country from Chicago to Santa Barbara with 4 friends packed in a single car can be a challenging experience, but it's a heck of a trip and the landmarks are simply astonishing. Our travel guide suggested to start the trip having a delicious Chocolate Pie at Lou Mitchell's dinner, full belly is always a good way to start a long 18 days on the road.

In our journey we crossed 8 states: Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. We couch-surfed all the way, meeting nice people that opened their homes to complete strangers out of their good hearts.

One of my favorite moments happened in Denver, when we visited the Rocky Mountains in a beautiful summer day. After hiking into the forest, I found myself standing on the top of a rock next to the shore of a lake. Looking up I could see the mountains afar, with the Sun shining above them. Suddenly, the wind started blowing softly, carrying bits of melted snow onto my skin, and a rainbow extended across the sky. That was it, for a second I reached Nirvana!

We continued on the road for a while, sleeping on random people's couches, until the day we run out of luck. That night nobody seemed to have an available place for us, so we started looking at hostels and hotels, but yet again, it was high season and all of them were full. It was getting late and we had only one option left: sleep inside the car. 5 adults sleeping in an economy class car! I challenge you to try that at least once. We parked next to a random building, possibly a big hotel, and then we raffled the seats where we would sleep. Out of my luck I got to be the last one to choose, and thus, the theoretically worst middle seat was my only option. To be sincere, it wasn't that bad, apart from having two people's butts next to me, I could extend my legs near the stick shift area and I would say I slept fairly well with extra caushion.

Funny story, casuality wanted that a couple decided to sleep in their car that night as well, and of course, their car was next to ours! I have to confess that Spanish people are known for being noisy, and that night we were no exception. After a while a security guard approached, and when we noticed we decided the best was to pretend to be asleep. After a few tense minutes with the guard's flashlight pointing inside our car, he moved on to the next one, and seeing the couple awake, he blamed them for all the noise. We couldn't stop our laughter.

Next morning, the dawn waked us up, and although we had our body cramping all over, we couldn't believe our luck. We were inside the National Monument Valley park! Somehow we skipped the entrance the night before, and the most beautiful postcard sight was lying right in front of us, for free! Anyway, the moral of the story, there's always a moral of the story, is that every cloud has a silver lining.

The Grand Canyon was the next stop,

2011 Along the Mississippi

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2012 Amalfi Coast

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2013 South of China

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