So, who the hell are you?

Aggressive first question, but I'll take it. What's up? My name's Max and I'm the Creator, Founder, Director, Editor-in-Chief–basically, I do everything. Seriously, all of it. Anyway, I'm a junior journalism major at the University of Maryland and I'm studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain this semester. I like sports, music, traveling and I love food (really, like more than the average person). I started this blog to share my passion for food and traveling with you! I also started it to update my friends and family on what I'm up to while I'm about 4,000 miles away for four months. Also so no one thinks I'm getting into any trouble.

Why Study Abeard? What does that even mean?

I want to start my answer by first alerting you to the fact that I was what people like to call "an early bloomer." Seriously, we're talking "trash-stache-by-Thanksgiving-in-sixth-grade" early bloomer. I wish I was joking. I'm hairy, that's what I'm getting at. So, while I'm studying abroad for the next four months, I'm going to be trying my hand at growing my beard out a little (sorry Mom). That's where the "Abeard" comes from. Get it? Instead of "Abroad?" Maybe it's not as clever or funny as I originally thought, but I already set this whole thing up so I'm not changing it now. Get over it.

No, no, we get it. Don't worry about it. So tell us more about this beard of yours. We're intrigued.

Yeah, sure! As I said, I'm pretty good at growing hair. But I've realized that over the years, my hair growth skills are better utilized on places South of my scalp. I grew out my beard for seven and a half glorious weeks this past summer, and let me tell you, it was incredible. Here, take a look for yourself:

                                                                                                          See, absolutely glorious.

                                                                                                          See, absolutely glorious.

So, you're just going to grow a rockin' beard for four months? That's the plan?

Uh, well, no, not exactly. There's obviously some ground rules you need to be aware of:

  1. I reserve the right to trim, cut or even completely shave my beard if I so desire.
  2. I also reserve the right to grow out any style of beard want. We're talking everything from full grizzly to mustache. I get the full range.
  3. I will try to update as often as possible when changes in my hair style happen so that no one is too devastated. 

See, simple rules really. But you should know them.

Ok, cool. Good to know. Now back to the site. What's Study Abeard all about?

Like I said before, I love food. I also like traveling, so I wanted to combine those interests in this here blog. I want to help study abroad students, and everyone who cares to read, find the best places when they're traveling. If someone can have an awesome traveling experience with my help, then my job is done.

But why should we trust you? How do we know you're not just gonna recommend some dump or something?

Well, I like to think I have some experience with food and traveling, so I think what I have to say appeals to the masses. For about the past year or so, I've been the Editor-in-Chief of a food websiteI'm also the first person to try something new, so you can trust that I'll go above and beyond to find things I think you'll enjoy. If I find something cool or interesting, whether it's a restaurant or just something cool off the beaten path, you bet your ass I'm gonna tell you about it. In terms of traveling, I've been to parts of Europe, the Middle East, Caribbean and to various parts of the U.S.

I want to provide everyone with some bangin' dining options and the best ways to see all the places you want to, even if you have limited time or a jam-packed schedule. This is also going to be "balling on a budget" to the max, because I'm writing this from a study abroad student's perspective. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna suggest a nice place from time to time though.

Sounds good. Now let's talk photos. Who takes all the sick photos for this site?

All the photos on this site are going to be taken by yours truly. I'm using a Nikon D3200 for most of the shots of different places that you see. Most of the food photos are going to be taken on my iPhone 6 though (check out all of my food photos in The Food gallery section). Rest assured though, besides the occasional Instagram filter, or some minor photoshop edits (nothing unethical), I plan on uploading my photos as is. This isn't just a shameful attempt to undermine copyright laws by not taking photos from other sites, it's also an attempt to help me with my photography skills and to provide you with the best photos possible. If a photo comes from somewhere/someone else that isn't me, I'll let you know in the caption.

Alright, all of this sounds awesome. Anything else we should know?

Nope, that's pretty much it! I do quickly want to thank my friends over at Spoon University for giving me the opportunity to work for a great food website my first time in the field and giving me the confidence to branch out and start this site. I also want to thank my cousin, Jen from over at Hashtag Jetlag for all of her design help. She created the awesome logos I'm using for this site and answered each and every question I've had about starting and maintaing this blog.

How can we contact you?

If you ever have any questions or are looking for a more specific place to go that's more tailored to you personally, give me a shout! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram, check out my Facebook page and shoot me an email at studyabeard@gmail.com. Let's eat up!