The Adventure Ends

Well world, I am finally home from the adventure. It is very bittersweet. While my time abroad was amazing I was definitely missing some of the smaller things that the states have to offer. Like free water and ranch dressing. But also living out of a suitcase really does a toll on you. But I know in a few days I will be itching to go back abroad and wish I had never come home.

But our last stop on our adventure was Berlin. Berlin was a very happening, upbeat, historical city. We got there on Tuesday in the afternoon and checked into our hotel which was super classy and definitely 5+ stars. We walked in and everyone was there for a business conference in suits, and we walk in looking like stereotypical backpackers. We kind of just chilled that first day since we had a long time in Berlin and wanted to wind down. Wednesday we slept in (HALLELUJAH!) We had not slept in all trip so this was a treat. Then during the day on Wednesday we went to the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag Building which is their parliament, climbed the Victory column for an amazing view of the city, visited the Halocaust memorial, went to the very top of the Radisson Blu downtown and got another great view of the city, and finished off the day at the pub. It was an eventful day with lots of history. With all that we had learned about the Halocaust, it was kind of a downer on the day but I am so glad that I got to see and experience everything that we did.

On Thursday we got to sleep in again. Then we visited the Berlin Wall. The section we visited was the longest section of Wall still standing, I think it was like 1.6km all decorated with local artists portraying the war. We tried to go into Checkpoint Charlie which was the checkpoint for the allies during the war, but we only looked from the outside since we were very museumed out. We ended the day at the Hofbrauhaus in Berlin with some traditional beer and sausages from Germany.

We definitely learned how to use maps in Berlin. Between the buses, trains, and walking around we used more maps in Berlin than I think the whole trip. But wandering around the city may be the best way to learn everything and see site that you might not have seen before.

And Friday was our flight home through Amsterdam. Of course our flight from Berlin to Amsterdam was delayed so we were worried that our connection time would be too short. We flew through the Amsterdam airport and through customs but we got there with plenty of time. Just my luck I got stopped for a random bag check on our second flight and they took everything out of my bag and went through it all. Right after I had nicely packaged it all up! I guess I look sketchy or something. But I finally made it home last night and tried to beat jetlag by staying up late to celebrate my roommates birthday. We will see how my body adjusts to the 7 hour time difference.

Classes start Monday for everyone so I always have that to look forward to.. NOT. But I am happy to be back and seeing everyone. It was such a trip to remember and one that I will never forget. Huge thank you to my parents for making it happen and always being supportive of my choices. I hope this blog entertained everyone and made them feel just as if they were on the trip with me!

Czech It Out!!

We are officially onto our last city on this trip! It has been quite the adventure going to over 12 cities across Europe in 8 countries.
-London, England
-Marseille, France
-Rome, Italy
-Athens, Greece
-Olympia, Greece
-Delphi, Greece
-Crete, Greece
-Istanbul, Turkey
-Budapest, Hungary
-Munich, Germany
-Prague, Czech Republic
-Berlin, Germany

Right now we are on a train to Berlin, it is about 5 hours long and of course there is not wifi. I guess we just lucked out with our bus ride. You win some you lose some.

Since the last time I posted we have spent time exploring Prague. Prague is a gorgeous city. How does one not like Prague? We got into Prague on Sunday afternoon and got some food. Our hostel was amazing with waterfall showers in the bathrooms and a huge bar, restaurant and lounge on the first floor. I swear it was nicer than most hotels we have stayed at this trip. Sunday night we decided to make it our big night out since it was Joey’s last night. We met some people from California and all went on a pub crawl together. Now Prague pub crawls are way beyond any pub crawl I have ever done before. They definitely like to drink in Prague. We actually learned they have the highest consumption per capita of beer in the entire world. Even surpassed Germany!

After sleeping in on Monday morning we did some touring of the city. I really wanted to do a Segway tour of the city but the boys were just not having it. No matter how much I tried to persuade them they would not budge. So instead we made our own walking tour. We visited Old Town Square which is a giant square and very touristy but is the location of the Astronomical Clock in Prague. We also went and saw the famous Charles Bridge and the Castle of Prague. Unfortunately the castle was closed for an event so we could not go inside. Lastly, we visited the John Lennon Wall which was something I was very excited to see in Prague. It only made it better that there was a man playing music while everyone was there, it just made the experience magical. We ended the day with some dinner and took Joey to his shuttle to the airport. He had 24 hours of traveling ahead of him from Prague to Paris to Amsterdam to Minneapolis. I would not want to do that at all. That night we decided to lay low and hang out at the hostel where some trivia was going on and catch up on emails and stuff. With such a lack of wifi, it has been hard to keep up with everything going on in the real world.

This morning we got up nice and early and got to the train station to catch our 8:30am train to Berlin. We get in around 1 and will go find our hostel. We have a few friends who are overlapping tonight in Berlin so hopefully we will get to see them during our night tonight. Then one of our friends in Delta Sigma Pi is studying in Berlin so fingers crossed we might have our own tour guide for tomorrow.

I have been asked by so many people what is your favorite city or what is your favorite thing you have done. That is so hard to answer. I cannot really put into words what I have experienced this trip. All the cities have been amazing in their own ways from the culture to the nightlife to the food. Each city has given me more than I could ask for and it is so hard to pick out my favorite thing. I could name off hundreds of things I loved.

Now off to try and nap some more. I swear my eating and sleeping schedule is so off this past month, that is one thing I am looking forward to getting back to normal once I get home!

One More Week!

Well everyone, it has been over a month of my travels abroad. Time has absolutely flown by and I could not have hoped for a better experience. From visiting London to taking classes and meeting some amazing people, this trip has fulfilled my needs to travel (for now). I am already planning some of the places I still want to visit. They include:
-Australia and New Zealand
-Poland- especially visit Auschwitz
-Amsterdam, Netherlands
-Vienna, Austria
-Stockholm, Sweden
-Split, Croatia
-Santorini, Greece
-Lisbon, Portugal
-Johannesburg, South Africa
-Tour of South America- especially Brazil, Chile, and Argentina
-Beijing, China- huge life goal is to climb the Great Wall of China
-Tokyo, Japan
^^ After looking through this list, I think my eyes be wider than my budget but a girl can dream right? My aunt Sally left me an inspiring note on one of my last posts. She has traveled all over the world with her husband and I hope to do the same one day. I guess loving to travel is just another thing to add to the list of the perfect man!

JJ and I were talking and wondering if it was possible to do 30 countries by 30. I am on my way there. So far I have visited:
1) USA
2) Canada
3) England
4) Ireland
5) Scotland
6) Switzerland
7) Spain
8) France
9) Italy
10) Turkey
11) Greece
12) Hungary
13) Germany
14) Czech Republic
15) Mexico
16) Dominican Republic
17) .. TBA
^^ Mom and Dad please help me finish this list, there is more I just know it! Regardless I am over halfway there!! :) I am on my way there I think. Just a few more trips in the next 8 years and I will get to that goal!

But for the trip I am on now, I have had such a blast. Yesterday we went on a tour of Dachau. It is hard to say that it was a good time but it was definitely enlightening and eye opening. It was definitely a somber day but I think everyone should experience what we saw yesterday. We had a small group guided tour which lasted all day, I would do the tour again, there was so much that our tour guide knew that we would never have found out. We got to tour the barracks, actual gas chambers used, and the crematorium. Visiting such a place was just absolutely chilling knowing what went on during those 12 years. Dachau was a concentration camp for all 12 years from 1933-1945 when the camps were liberated. It was one of the first to be built and the first permanent one to be made. Over 43,000 people died there, and that is just a low estimate. Probably the saddest thing I saw was the mass graves called “grave of many thousands unknown” because they cannot track ash back to who is buried there.

While visiting the Memorial Site was not something enjoyable, it was one of my highlights of Munich. Munich overall was so much fun. The Beer Halls were a blast with locals singing and dancing to tunes and watching servers carrying 6 liters of beer in each hand- so impressive. We definitely ate our fair share of sausages and sauerkraut and drank enough beer for a long long time.

Right now I am on our bus ride to Prague. We get in this afternoon and will check into our hostel. Joey- one of the guys I am traveling with tomorrow night so tonight is our last night with him until our time back at St. Thomas. But JJ and I have until Tuesday in Prague and then Berlin until Friday!

Then I will be able to have real clean clothes, non bottled water, my own bed to sleep in and a car to drive around. I would give up all of these things in order to travel abroad again though.

I hope to post at least a few more times on this trip, definitely when I get home again to see how I am adjusting.

I do have one more paper to write for class, but I think that can wait until I return to Minnesota. Three more classes to go until graduation! Target here I come!

German Takeover!

So it has been about a week since I posted but it has been a crazy week and when I did try to post my keyboard had died! But anyways these past few days have been awesome. With class ending I have had so much freedom, while we might not have the intense history lessons, exploring on our own has been a lot more relaxed.

Budapest was an awesome city, definitely one of my favorites. The people were so kind, unlike places like France where everyone automatically hated you because you were American. The cars stopped for pedestrian, which was way different from Istanbul where we were playing frogger with cars. Monday in Budapest we all did our laundry which was definitely needed, I had not done laundry since Rome and I was running out of clothes to wear! We found a place where we could drop off our clothes and just pick it all up in the afternoon and it was not crazy expensive. While our laundry was getting done, we went out to explore the city. We went to the Chain Bridge and crossed over to Buda, our hotel was in Pest. Then we went to the biggest thermal baths in Europe, the Szechenyi Baths. There were 15 indoor pools, 3 outdoor pools and 5 saunas. It was a nice and relaxing afternoon in the pool. Since it was chilly outside, the hot baths were amazing. Of course we all forgot our swimsuits so we had to rent really attractive ones. I rocked a one piece while the boys got short shorts to swim in. On our way home from the baths we stopped at Heroes Square. We had a paper to work on for our class which we did that afternoon. That was paper 4/5, we still have one more left but I am not thinking about that until I am home next week. That night in Budapest we went out to the ruin pubs again and drank the Szimpla beer which was brewed in Budapest and danced to the DJ.

Our next day in Budapest, Tuesday, we slept in and went out to lunch at a super famous cafe called the New York Cafe. It was recommended to us by a friend who studied abroad in Budapest. We went to the market and explored that afternoon. We were told also to try langos, it is like deep fried dough with toppings. We found that and it was delicious. Definitely a local treat! That night we caught the night train to Munich. It left at 9pm from Budapest and got into Munich at 6am. The train had 6 beds, but with all of our luggage if we had any more than 4 in our room it would have been way too tight. We all actually fell asleep and it was a decent night’s sleep. They woke us up at 5:30 with coffee and we were right in downtown Munich. I would recommend it and would do it again, but make sure you get a 2-4 person room so you can have space for all of your stuff.

Wednesday was our first full day in Munich. We got to our hostel around 7am and dropped all of our stuff off in the luggage room. While being tired, we found some breakfast and decided to explore the day. We caught a train to Bavaria and visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. It is about 2 hours outside of Munich but definitely worth the trip. It is the castle that Disney was based off of. I did not wear the right hiking shoes and was slipping everywhere on the snow and ice. But it was all worth it for the pictures we got!

We definitely lucked out and our hostel is LITERALLY across the street from one of the best beer gardens in Munich, the Augustiner. They are the only beer house to actually brew their own beer, and the brewers are still local and native to Munich. We went there Wednesday and Thursday nights and will be going again tonight!

Thursday we got up and visited the BMW factory and museum. We got a factory tour of the place they actually manufacture most of the BMW cars. Munich is the HQ for BMW. We got to see all the models of BMW and see cars going through the whole manufacturing process. Definitely cool to see! Thursday night we decided to be tourists and visit the Hofbrauhaus, the most tourist beer hall in Munich. They joke it is 90% tourists and 10% workers. I am glad we went, but I liked the local one better. the Hofbrauhaus was more expensive and too touristy for our liking.

Today, Friday, was a fun day as well. (Munich has definitely been awesome!) We did a morning walking tour of the city, which was over three hours long. It stopped at all the major attractions and gave us a lot of insight about culture and places to go in Munich. We got to see the Glockenspiel. They told us it is the second biggest let down of a tourist attraction in Europe. At the hour the bells ring and characters move around but the bells are out of tune and saying the characters move around is a long stretch. The tour was definitely a good way to see the city without wandering around aimlessly though. The tour ended at the beer gardens so of course we had to get lunch and beers at a local beer garden. But hey we have done some other things than drink, I promise!!

Munich has been amazing and we still have quite a bit of time left here! We have reservations at 8:30 for the Beer Hall across the street and a few of our other St. Thomas friends arrive this afternoon so it will be fun to go out with them as well. Tomorrow we will be doing the tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp, which will be super interesting.

Sorry for the long post! But we have just been so busy and doing so much that I have hardly had time to update my blog.

One more week until I get home! Miss everyone!


Now the fun begins…

Class is officially over! I am currently typing this from Budapest, Hungary after taking a three hour nap. I could not be happier, I loved the class overall but my goodness it was exhausting. We had to wake up early everyday and toured all day from 9-4. It was a great learning experience but definitely exhausting.

Turkey was so fun, definitely recommend everyone to go there if they have the chance! On our first day in Istanbul we toured the Hagia Sophia, Yerebatan Sarayi, two archeology museums, and the Blue Mosque. We had some traditional Turkish food. The food experiences were definitely an experience upon themselves but it was awesome. I was always glad to have boys around me, it made me feel safe. But a lot of what is said about Turkey is extreme, in daylight it was such an amazing city with so much culture and buzz about it. That night we went out to a club in Istanbul but we went over to Asia Minor, so I have visited two continents this trip!

The next morning was an early morning, especially after going to bed at 5am! Maybe that is why everyone on our trip is getting sick, we don’t sleep.

The next day in Istanbul we toured the Topkapi Palace and two more mosques of the Islam culture. We also got to visit the Egyptian spice market and the Grand Bazaar. Those markets were amazing, I found so many souvenirs for people back home! And some for myself as well. Since they have some amazing tea, I HAD to buy some.

For our last night, we had a farewell dinner with everyone from our trip. It was a nice way to end the trip. Who knew that in only two weeks I could get so close to this many people. Most of the students on the trip go to St. Thomas with me so I will get to see them around but I also made a lot of friends from Pennsylvania, and who knows when I will see them again.

I think the story of the trip happened this morning though. Everyone left at different times for the airport. And of course everyone hung out and drank together the night before so everyone was sleep deprived and possibly still a little tipsy. My roommate had a flight that left at 6:30am and she left for the airport at 2:30. I got a knock on our hotel room door at 3:30 saying that she had accidentally taken my passport. Not the best news to wake up to. So at 3:30 this morning my friend Katie and I took an hour round trip ride to the airport to go get my passport from Jenna.

Thank god I did not have to leave for the airport until 6am so I had time to figure it out. But we flew out of a different airport than her so it was a slightly sticky situation. But I made it to Hungary so it all worked out!

We got into Budapest around noon today and checked in to the Radisson here. It is a great hotel with a great location. We took a nap when we got here because it was DEFINITELY needed. After that nap we went out to the bar area of town to check it out.

Tonight is an early night for us but tomorrow we are heading out to tour the city! Hopefully doing the baths and seeing the city. Along with doing laundry, because that NEEDS to be done.

Off to bed now! I will be home in 12 days, it is bittersweet! I miss Chipotle, driving, and not living out of a suitcase but I never know when I will have this opportunity again. Gotta live it up while its possible!

But one last thing- for these next twelve days I am traveling with boys the whole time! Yikes right? But hey I will always be safe. These guys are really great and I have been traveling with them the whole class already!

Wish me luck!

Last Leg of the Trip

Well we have successfully landed in Istanbul. We only have a few days left on this trip and it has flown by. Since my last post we have done so many incredible things.

We headed to the Greek island of Crete and stayed in Heraklion which is a small coastal town. It was definitely different from being in Rome or Athens. Almost our whole time there it was raining, which was the only bummer. Our time consisted of running the streets and hoping we wouldnt get blown over. Our one day trip in Crete was supposed to be a tour of Knossos which is a Minoan archeological site. We sprinted through it and instead took a road trip to the Southern coast of Crete where it was supposedly not raining. That wasn’t completely true. We definitely still got wet.

Then today we flew to Istanbul from Crete with a layover in Athens. We really have had our fair share of traveling and flying this trip. It has become a love hate relationship that is for sure. I am a pro by now about security and customs since we have done it so many times.

Tonight is our first night in Istanbul and our hotel is completely five star beautiful. It is right in the tourist district which is nice so it is not as sketchy to go out and explore. But there is a full Turkish bath, sauna, steam room, and spa here. They are hoping we don’t want to leave the hotel and I think they may have succeeded.

I have to say I am a little hesitant to be in Istanbul but going places outside of my comfort zone is good for me. Outside of this class I would never have come to Turkey and I am thankful that I actually have decided to come here.

We have three nights here and then the real fun begins. No more waking up before dawn to walk twenty miles around the city. We have definitely burned off all the carbs we ate in Rome.

This trip has absolutely flown by and it has been amazing. I can only hope that Turkey is just as amazing as the past few places. I am sure it will be, we are going to the Hagia Sophia tomorrow which I am very excited about. Then Saturday we get to visit the Blue Mosque. Just to name a few places!

One thing I learned, but I may have already said is that Americans are LOUD people. I know I am loud but my goodness we are like herding cattle when we get all 40 of us together. It is so loud and we constantly get shushed by people on the street. I guess that happens when you mix alcohol with college students.

I hope everyone has been braving the cold back in the states, it has been pleasant here for weather- I haven’t worn my winter jacket since London!

Wish me luck in Istanbul! XOXO

Gone Greek

Well Greece has been amazing so far! We landed in Athens on Thursday and stayed in the city for a day and a half. We toured the Agora and Acropolis- which is the home to the Parthenon! We then did a weekend trip through Mycenae, Olympia and Delphi. We got to see all of the archeological sites and museums there from honoring Zeus to Apollo. It was super informative, but sometimes you can only see so many temples and theaters! My goodness!

I am so glad that I got to visit all of the places though, they are definitely beautiful cities that I would not have visited on my own. They are such historical landmarks that are amazing, we even go to see one of the seven wonders of the world in Olympia! Even got to see where the Olympics started as well. Such good areas!

We have definitely experienced the culture of Greece as well. I cannot count how many gyros I have eaten these past few days, but they have been so delicious.

We have had one paper for our ‘class’ we are taking here- I got a 90% and with my senior slide I am so very happy with that. Just three more papers to go! And I am about to submit my second one in tonight. Sometimes I forget we are out here for class and not just to tour the countries.

Our time here has absolutely flown by, we are over halfway through with our class! We end the 18th and leave for Crete tomorrow morning then fly to Istanbul for the last three nights of class. I am so excited to see both of those areas. Crete should be beautiful and most likely our last area of warmth for my trip.

Funny thing that happened to us in Athens a few days back- my roommate woke up with bumps and was very itchy all over her legs. We were convinced it was bed bugs. If you have ever had bed bugs- you know how horrible they are. I would never ever wish that upon someone. They are horrible. But thank god we realized she was having an allergic reaction to something like the detergent. So after a night of moving rooms and searching for bugs in beds we finally got a good night sleep without any bumps or bruises. Hallelujah we are free from bugs (hopefully for the rest of the trip too)!

I really would recommend to everyone to study abroad, do whatever you have to do to get across the pond while you are still young. It is such a learning experience about yourself and who you really are. From classes to learning how to travel, I have learned more about myself my two trips abroad than I ever have in college.

That is all for now. But one last thing- GO PACK GO! We watched the game out here last night and Rodgers pulled it out for us!!

Hello Athens! And so much more.

Well looks like you guys are getting a second dose of me in a just a few days! The Vatican and the museums were unreal. I had already been there but seeing the Sistine Chapel and all of the art was still a once in an lifetime experience. It was such a great day to go to the Vatican. We climbed to the very top of the St. Peter’s Basilica- about 600 steps up to the top and got to see the best view of the city possible.
After we got done with ‘class’ we went shopping in Rome (because we had to). But of course during our walk back we got absolutely soaked by the rain. I think it was a sign that we weren’t supposed to leave yet. We got our last bit of Italian food and gelato and said our goodbyes to Rome last night.
There was another IAU study abroad trip where we were staying in Rome and were supposed to leave for Paris yesterday but there was a terrorist attack that prevented them from going. Don’t worry mom I will be safe! No going to Paris for me- never liked the city anyways!
This morning we headed out for Athens. It was another hour added to our time- so we are now 8 hour difference from Minnesota. It’s kind of a difficult thing to be! But we landed and checked into our hotel and got some yummy Greek food.
Now we are settling in and trying to figure out which clothes are clean and dirty. Living out of a suitcase is not exactly ideal for me.

Random thought of the day:
Now my parents do not take me seriously when I say I want to move to Europe. But after discussing it with so many people it has become so much more real. Question for everyone out there- I am supposed to start at Target on June 22 and I can either go to Australia for a few weeks before Target OR just move to London after graduation and work there forever.
Mom and dad- don’t kill me.

I have an addiction to traveling and straying away from a corporate job is absolutely terrifying to me. But I am only young once right?

Everyone please tell me your opinions. I need some help, and time is of the essence. Being out here has only made me want to drop everything and never come home (but I only have 12 credits left for my degree so I have to come back)

I will post pictures another day but we are heading out to go take Athens by storm.


When In Rome!

Well I have been slacking a bit on this whole blog posting business, I guess. It has been an amazing first few days of our trip and we have been insanely busy. But I have finally found some time to update you all on all the crazy and amazing things we have been doing out here!!

Last update was New Years Eve- we went to the New Years Fireworks in central London that went off at midnight to bring in 2015. It was such a great sight, definitely something that I will remember for the rest of my life. That was a late night and we slept in super late! Much needed.

New Years Day was our last day in London :( We went to all of our favorite places from when we studied there and packed everything up. At 4:45 on Friday morning our cab picked us up for the airport. That was one of the longest days of traveling. We landed around noon in Marsailles, France to meet up with the beginning of our class!

Starting last Friday my January term class officially started! Woohoo! I am taking a theology class that travels around Southern Europe- I am in Rome now and we travel all around Greece later this week and end in Istanbul. We met our whole class on Friday and got to know each other with bottles of wine in hand. Saturday we flew to Rome to start our actual class. We checked into our hotel, which is right next to the Vatican, literally steps from it. But is has VERY spotty Wi-Fi so when you get it you have to use it!

Sunday was our first day of “class”. We did about 15 MILES OF WALKING that day. We traveled everywhere. And it was a rough day after a long night of going out in Rome. We saw things like the Circus Maximus, Roman Forums, Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, and Musei Capitolini. We also got to experience some traditional Italian foods and gelato! It was definitely a plus to being back in Rome. My favorite part was seeing the Colosseum again and getting to walk around with the crazy tourists. I did buy a ‘selfie stick’- it is a stick you attach your camera to that goes out about 2-3 feet for a better picture taking experience. Dad- I bartered it down from 10 to 5 euros, I know you would be proud!!

Monday was another full day of walking, in the double digits again for miles. We got to go inside the Colosseum and did a full day walking tour of Rome. Saw things like the Trevi Fountain (which is under construction :( ), lots of churches and temples as well. We had a full group dinner at our hotel which was so amazing of chicken, potatoes, pasta, wine, and creme brule. So good! We went out in Rome to the bars that night, when in Rome, right?

Then today is Tuesday! We got up bright and early to go to Pompeii! It was such a great time and experience. It was a 3 hour drive there but definitely worth it. We walked around for the whole day with our professor who knows more about history, religion, and architecture than anyone that I know. We were supposed to leave on the bus at 8am but our room woke up at 8:07am because we slept through our alarms. I don’t think I have ever gotten ready that fast in my life. We sprinted to the bus only to realize we weren’t the last ones to the bus.

We are just hanging out in the hotel now, going to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basillica tomorrow. We leave Rome for Athens on Thursday.

We also get our first paper to write tomorrow. I forgot this is class. But I have met some amazing people on this trip. They are currently harassing me while I write this. Not quite sure why I am friends with them. Just kidding. I am not sure I have laughed more in my life than with these girls.

A few things I have learned:
-I am pretty close to being cold blooded- everyone here is in winter jackets and I am out touring Rome in a sweatshirt and jeans
-I have an addiction to WiFi, it is a highlight when we have access to the internet
-Americans are VERY loud, it is not just a stereotype
-I know for sure that I want to live abroad, whether it be right after college or three years out or grad school- I am absolutely in love with Europe

Hope this entertains you for a while! I am having the time of my life over here. My flight home is on the 30th, hope to see you all then!

Last Days in London

Hi all-

First of all I apologize for my misspelling for the last post. It should have said “I Found My Home” and since I do not have my computer out here I have no idea how to change it. But London has been everything I expected and more, so much fun and I would love to be able to work out here someday.

Last post I was sitting in my hostel bar with the friends I made, it was such a fun time. The next day, Monday, we went to our old school and visited the staff who went on trips with us and made London the experience it was. It was great to see them and reminisce about past times and catch up. Then my friend JJ and I went on the London Eye. Definitely worth the wait. The view from the top is incredible and you can see all over the city.

That afternoon, I got to meet one of my cousins and his wife for drinks. I have not seen my cousin Patrick in years. His wife is originally from London and they are here on holiday. Such a coincidence! So for a few hours we met and chatted with them about everything you can imagine. It was such a great time to be able to spend time with family over the holidays.

That night we went out with JJ and Ty’s host sister in Camden and went to a bar there. My sleep deprivation is definitely catching up with me.

Tuesday I took a roadtrip to Essex, about an hour from the city. The driver is on the opposite side of the car over here, it really threw me off the whole time I was riding alone. And they drive on the opposite side, I only had a few heart attacks along the way. That afternoon I went with a few girls from London out to a shopping center and shopping the afternoon away. That night I needed a night of good sleep so I went to bed early while the boys took a night out on the town.

And that brings us to today! I checked out of my hostel early and am now at my old homestay from my last trip to London. I will be here for the next two nights. It is definitely nice because I will not have to lock my stuff up and will be able to take a nice hot shower!

Tonight is New Years Eve! Not 100% sure what our plan is all day but tonight we are going to the fireworks in Central London. From the past videos I have watched, they are incredible. That will be a great way to ring in 2015!

Friday we leave for Marsailles, France for the start of our 16 day long ‘class’ throughout southern Europe; France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. Wish me luck!

And to continue on with the tradition here are a few things I learned:
-British, Australian, and American English are all very different. The words I have learned these past few days are comical to say the least.
-Living out of a suitcase is less than desirable
-British LOVE American accents

Happy New Years to you all! xoxo


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