My Expectations for the New Year

By Marcela Cruz – Ecuador

For 2016, my first goal is to get a better job so I can save money to pay to attend the university to become a veterinarian. I really love animals, especially dogs. I also want to repay my parents for this trip to Santa Barbara. After that I want to participate as a volunteer in PAE (Ecuador Animal Protection). Actually I have been rescuing stray dogs and taking them to my house for the past five years.  So I need more money to take care of them. This is why another of my goals is to create an animal shelter.

I want to have my knee repaired so I can return to playing soccer again, but I think it’s going to take more time.

After taking care of these plans, I don’t know what the new year will bring, but I hope my daily life will be like always or maybe better.  I’m happy with the past year because I accomplished my goals which were to complete my degree in hotel management, continuing to rescue animals, and to get a more professional job.  I am looking forward to being with my family in February.


Happy New Year

2016 New Year, New Experiences

By Maria Villarejo – Paraguay

It is difficult to realize that tomorrow is starting another New Year. 365 new days to meet new people and to know new places. However, it is hard for me spend this night here in the United States without my parents but is a new experience and that is always good.

This year I am not sure what my expectations are and neither what I want to do yet. Maybe during these next three months that I will still be here I will take advantage of the opportunities and I will visit new places in California.

When I return to home I have to go back to school, so I suppose this New Year I would do the same things I always do… Go to school, play sports, study English and French, and spend time with family and friends.

But I also think that when I return to home my life is going to be kind of different because of this experience that I am having right now, meaning that being here at my age, 16, without my parents has caused me to be more independent and to see things with a different point of view.

Finally I guess my 2016 will be a year with surprises because of what I have learned here in Santa Barbara.


2016 New Year


By Vanille Pieper, Belgium

Definition: Wanderlust – (n.) a strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world.

wanderlust picture

This German word is not only used in Germany and Austria, but is known around the world because it expresses far more than the simple idea of travelling. It not only describes the act of travelling, but also a strong desire we have when we leave home on a new adventure.

Personally, traveling makes me feel alive. By seeing the world people finally understand that we are part of something, something huge and incredible. When we return home after a long journey, we realize what is really important in life. People change their priorities and their perspectives of life. Isn`t that amazing? Travelling, exploring new places, getting to know new people from all around the world can change our personalities, our way of living, hopefully to something better. The chances that an individual become a better person through travelling are very high. In fact, when learning from other culture and interacting with different people we become more open-minded. This stimulates the understanding of other people’s feelings and behaviors. In addition, it also helps us to reflect on our choices. We become more conscious about ourselves and the responsibility we have towards others.

Vanille article picture 1

This anonymous quote sums up very well the main idea of travelling:

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”                                   

 Vanille article picture 2

Top 5 Coffee Shops in Santa Barbara

Top 5 Coffee Shops in Santa Barbarahandlebar-coffee-roasters

By Sandra Schoeni, Switzerland

Handlebar – It’s always crowded but it’s very nice there and the coffee is good. You’ll get a real cup not just these usual take-away cups. Handlebar is off of State Street, on 128 E Canon Perdido Street.

Peet’s – It’s similar to Starbucks. The coffee is good but not something special. You can find a Peet’s store on upper State Street 3905 or Downtown, 1131 State Street.

French Press – For coffee with no additional flavors French Press is simply the best. They take their time to decorate your coffee with hearts. The stamp on their take-away cups makes them unique. The French Press is located at 1101 State Street.

Coffee Cat – For take-away Coffee the coffee cat is good. The coffee shop itself is not nicely decorated so it’s not a place to stay for a long time, but the coffee is delicious J you can find the coffee cat next to the court house on 1201 Anacapa Street.

Santa Barbara Roasting Company – The shop isn’t that big but the coffee is really good. There you can find flavors you‘ll never find anywheree else. The cups have the logo of the company, which is very nice. They look lovely J the Santa Barbara Roasting company is at 321 Motor Way.coffecat