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Time May 5th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I am officially back in Chicago! It really hasn’t been hard to me to adjust to life at home (I loved traveling, but it is definitely nice to not be living out of a suitcase right now!), but I have had a bit of jet lag/over all “tiredness.” I was warned about getting reverse culture shock, but I don’t think that has really happened either– I am definitely happy to see the $$ though, & I’m sure my bank account is too! It was a bit hard to get back in the swing of driving rather than taking the tube/bus everywhere but I would say I am adjusting back into home life nicely. All is well! Until next time… x & o’s, Lo.

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& That’s a Wrap!

Time April 29th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I think travel teaches you a lot of things & no this isn’t the post where I tell you all how much I have changed & have had a coming to being from living abroad for four months (that all comes later- kidding). But, I do think traveling when you’re young does teach you a certain amount of things that you could never learn in a classroom, so here is my list of what I have learned in the past four months (also lists have totally become my thing these past few months)…

1) Time flies. I feel like I stepped on the plane to London yesterday. To look back & think of all I have done & how different (& the same) my life is is absolutely nutty. There are things that were so beyond important to me four months ago that I hardly think about nowadays. Travel has taught me that what is meant to be in your life will be in your life- it is usually out of your control & time will show you this.

2) Timing is everything. In relationships, in life, in general. In checking into your hostel on time.

3) I read this really awesome article about treating everyone you know as if they would be gone from your life within a day. What would you say to them or what wouldn’t you say to them? I’m 100% guilty of being young & thinking I’m invincible. I have met people abroad who never got to tell someone they love how much they love them because they were guilty of “YOLO”-ing their life away & something either happened to the other person or they slowly slipped away. I never want to live with a regret like that & I promised myself I wouldn’t. Plus, people don’t get told how amazing they are nearly enough so maybe I was really just put onto this earth to tell others how cool they really are?

4) Texting is stupid. I’m sorry, but it just is. Also my texting hardly worked while abroad so this was probably a good thing.

5) Never pretend not to care about something when you really do. You look like an idiot to everyone (seriously) & miss amazing opportunities this way.

6) There is nothing better than a kind stranger, especially when you are lost in a foreign city. I promise to be more tolerant of the tourists in Chicago now!!

7) Laughing is contagious & the best way to bond with people- especially people from all over the world.

8) The people who drive you absolutely insane are the ones worth keeping around. Being nutty about someone or with someone is great- mediocrity is not. Why be with people who only make you laugh once in a while when you could be with people who make you laugh every.single.day??

9) Working your butt off does indeed pay off. I’ve found an indescribable sense of confidence in having a job & knowing I’ll be able to take care of myself. Independence is one of the greatest feelings ever.

10) My parents are not just great parents but great people. When traveling & out of my comfort zone I saw them in a totally different light & in different cities together- these people have fun together- 30+ years of fun to be exact.

11) I’m really, really lucky to have the group of friends that I have. No seriously, I have a wonderful group of girlfriends that I can count on day or night & I have realized how rare this is in the world. No one is interested in competing with one another, just in encouraging one another. I used to think this was what all friend groups were like, but I’ve realized how incredibly lucky I am to have each & every one of them.

These past four months have been some of the greatest of my life, but home is where my heart is & I can’t wait to see everyone (& my cat) in a week! For now, I’m off to learn how to surf on the beaches of Portugal! X’s & o’s.

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Spain!

Time April 11th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Where I went: Madrid & Barcelona

Do I recommend it? Yes– especially Barcelona if you are a beach bum like me! Think of it like Florida, but better…

 

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Future Londoners!

Time April 1st, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

As my time winds down here (whaaaat) & other people are preparing or looking to study abroad in London (which, if you’re even considering it, you most definitely should) I thought I would dedicate a post to a few helpful tips.

iPhone- If you have one, you should unlock it & pop in a UK sim. A lot of people just turn their phone on airplane mode & only use it when they have wifi, but in London I would say you absolutely need to have a phone with data. You will be really happy you did- this city is absolutely huge & it helps with busses and the tube. I would recommend downloading the app “Citymapper.” This will help you find tubes, busses, and just generally help you get around the city. It is great & most everyone I know uses it! You can buy a sim card at any phone shop here- there are a million so just compare prices when you get here (relatively cheap too).

Tastecard- London is expensive but there are ways to get around this! My friends and I all got Tastecards, which gives you a discount on a ton of restaurants (half price!!) in the city. It’s a great way to save money while still eating out. Amazing deals & amazing restaurants. You can apply online & get a free three month trial.

UniDays- Gives you different discounts at different stores. You should absolutely apply for it!

Travel- if you know where you want to go, book it early! I cannot tell you how many people told me that traveling in Europe is “cheap.” It may be in other parts of Europe, but London is a ginormous city & expensive to fly out of (not ridiculous, but it adds up). RyanAir & Easyjet aren’t as terrible as people make them out to be! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve woken up at 4 am to catch a flight, but it was beyond worth it. Travel as much as you can, but still take the time to know London. I know people who travel every weekend they are abroad- isn’t the point of going abroad getting to know a foreign city really well? If you wanted, you could do something different in London every weekend you are here!!

Primark- The best place to buy cheap bedding, towels, anything in general you left in America. It’s kinda like their Wal-Mart but better…

Markets- Portobello Road, Camden, Borough, Spitafields, Brick Lane… look em up & go!

DesignMyNight- a great app you can download on your smart phone that will help you plan your night based on location, price, & what you’re looking to do!

Money- Yes, it is really expensive here. Very expensive actually. But, I wouldn’t have traded studying abroad in London for any other city in the world. Every culture is here & I have met people from all over the globe without having to travel outside of the city! I cannot tell you how many people told me not to study abroad in London because of how expensive it is. I am so glad I didn’t listen to them & did what I wanted to do. This is an amazing city & there is plenty of stuff to do for free. If you are smart about your money you will be more than fine. London is one of the greatest cities in the world & there is nothing better than being young here! Don’t let someone convince you not to come here because of money.

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Visitor!

Time April 1st, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I realized I haven’t post in a bit, which is pretty convenient because I have been really, really busy enjoying life & trying to keep up with it! I finally have some time to sit down & update (you’re welcome, Lee)…

Two weekends ago I was lucky enough to go to Budapest, which quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world. Most everyone there is friendly & Jaci & I had super good weather while there. Lucky for us, we were even there on Hungarian Independence Day so we got to be true Hungarians for a day & celebrate with the locals! While there we also did the Szchenyi Baths (spell check), ruins pub, & walked the whole city. It was a great weekend.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to have my best friend, Rachael visit. We did all of the touristy things and then some. It was great to have her– there is nothing in the world like a true best friend!

In three weeks time my program is over & I will be leaving London to travel off (& on) the map for a bit. This experience has gone by so quickly and I can’t believe the date is finally approaching that I will be leaving this city & everyone I have met here. There has been no better decision I have made in my life than the one to study and live abroad.

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Buda!

Time March 24th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Where I went: Budapest

Where I stayed: Maverick Hostel (anyone going to Budapest, I highly recommend)

What I did: Szchenyi baths (spell check me on daaaat), ruins pub, lots of traveling around the city

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. One of my favorite cities I have been to thus far & not a huge tourist attraction (yet)

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PS I love you, Dublin

Time March 10th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

This weekend found me in the wonderful city of Dublin, Ireland visiting one of my best friends in the whole world, Katie! We started the weekend celebrating Unofficial, a UIUC holiday that is all about celebrating St. Patty’s day a week early. The day was filled with a lot of laughs, friends, & all around good times. I would say it was definitely one of the best days I have had abroad so far. After a looooong Friday, Saturday found us walking around Dublin sight-seeing with two of our other friends from our sorority, Vivian & Kim, and going to the Guinness Storehouse! I tried my first Guinness & wasn’t able to finish it… really hope someone picked it up & enjoyed the rest for me! On Saturday night we were lucky enough to go to the Beyonce concert for our friend Ethan’s birthday. She. Was. Amazing! I highly recommend going to one of her concerts for anyone that is considering it. It was worth every penny (er pence) we paid!

I’m back in London for a few days then off to Budapest for the weekend! X’s & o’s- Lo

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Amsterdam!

Time March 6th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

This weekend found me frolicking around the crazy-not-real city of Amsterdam! I say it’s “not a real city” because I felt like I was living in some sort of odd bubble while I was there. People there are much friendlier than anyone I have stumbled upon in London Town and seem to always want to strike up a conversation or help you find where you’re going. The Dutch were great people. While there I was lucky enough to go to the Anne Frank House, which was extremely moving and another reason as to why Amsterdam is so surreal. There is so much history there it is amazing. My friends & I ate our way through the city at their wonderful restaurants (if anyone is going you MUST go to Winkel 43 & The Pancake Bakery- Google ‘em). We also did the Heineken Tour where my friend Emily & I became “certified pourers” (it only took me 8 tries). It was another great weekend in the wonderful land of Europe!

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English Countryside on My Mind

Time February 25th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

This weekend found me in the English countryside at Stonehenge and Salisbury. The first part of Saturday morning was spent driving the two hours to Stonehenge to stare at well… some stones. If you ever find yourself at Stonehenge (which I do recommend going to see), make sure you bring a fun group of people. I luckily went with a great group of friends from my house and we laughed our way through Stonehenge. It really was cool to see but the first thing they say to you when you get there is that “no one really knows where the stones came from.” That sorta threw us all off, but nonetheless it was interesting and we all had some good old fun in the English countryside (Stonehenge yoga is really in these days for those wondering). Definitely nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of London Town.

After Stonehenge, we headed towards Salisbury, a quaint little town about a half hours drive from Stonehenge. We got to walk around and see the town as well as go to the Cathedral of Saint Mary (Salisbury Cathedral). This church has the tallest church spire in the UK and has the best surviving of the four original copies of the Magna Carta. It was a great town to see and the church was absolutely stunning.

In a few days we are off to Amsterdam to explore & take over the town for a quick 72 hours- wahoo! Hope everyone at home is doing well! X’s & o’s- Lo

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I’m Really Lucky (& grateful)

Time February 19th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

I am one lucky girl. A very lucky girl at that. I haven’t had much time to update my blog with a good post so here’s to hoping this will be an interesting one…

I have been here for almost two months now (what?!) & every day here brings something new. This weekend I am off to travel around the UK for a bit & after that my journey(s) begin to Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Budapest, Madrid, Barcelona, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Switzerland, Seville, & Portugal (I’m tired just thinking about it). After Portugal I am headed back to home sweet home- USA. Time is flying by here & I can’t believe the opportunities I have been presented with. I have always had the travel bug & I never thought I would be going to one of the places I just listed let alone all of them.

Most importantly though, I’m starting to feel like a complete local in London now, which is great but also a bit odd. I say this all the time to my roommates but I really feel like I am going to wake up in Chicago three months from now & have dreamt up this whole experience. That is how amazing my time has been over here. I say it is odd because being a foreigner in a different country is really weird. I’m not used to being the foreigner. Many people say that when you’re an American in London, you’re hardly a foreigner. I couldn’t disagree more. London is a melting pot of different people from all over the world & sometimes that can really test you. There is not one culture here, but 8 million people from a whole range of cultures.

I realized I never really posted about who I live with & see everyday- my roommates! I’ve been super lucky because they are amazing (seriously, if they sucked I wouldn’t take the time to write about them…). We are from all over America- Katie hails from San Fran, I’m from Chicago, & Emily is from Connecticut. I think the hardest thing about leaving home for me was not knowing who I would be living with- these were people I was going to need to share my space with for four months! You know those people you didn’t know you needed in your life, then they just show up & you aren’t sure how you all hadn’t been brought together before? That’s kind of how I feel about them. It’s hard to think that two months ago we were all complete strangers & none of us had any idea the others existed. They are butt-kicking, great, people-who-actually-care-about-your-happiness girls. I had been particularly upset about something the other day & they listened to me rant for ten minutes straight (seriously). They then made me laugh for a half- hour straight- they’re those kinda girls. The awesome ones.

A lot of people have also asked me if I’ve gotten home sick yet- especially the locals. “Is it hard being so far away? Isn’t it sad missing family events? How did you come here knowing no one?” Yes, I do miss home, but my life at home is still there (sorry for those of you that thought you were rid of me!). I’m from a great city where I have an amazing family & wonderful friends (is it obvious that I am really lucky??). I think it’s natural to miss people & things that I’ve never had the opportunity to miss. Life here is amazing, but so is my life in Chicago (you can breath a sigh of relief now mom & dad). I am really lucky, happy, & grateful.

This post is much longer than I intended & it is definitely past my bedtime at this point so I’m signing out for now… x’s & o’s- Lo.

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Valentines Day Visitor

Time February 19th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Another amazing week has flown by over here. I can’t believe I have been here for almost two months now. Absolutely nuts!

This weekend I was lucky enough to spend Valentines Day with none other than my mom! Er, mum! She made the trek from the negative degree weather of Chicago to London just to spend 48 hours with me. How lucky am I? We spent all weekend walking around London, east end to west end & everything in between. It was a great weekend & I am so lucky to have a mom like her.

Her visit kicked off a very busy rest of the semester for me. This upcoming weekend I’m off to Stonehenge, then every weekend after that I am traveling around Europe (again, this isn’t real life). Life is really flying by over here… Hope everyone at home & beyond is doing well (& keeping warm)! X’s & o’s.

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School in London

Time February 13th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

School is now in full swing over on this side of the Atlantic. I’m really enjoying all of my classes & my professors are great. They are all ridiculously smart people (duh- they’re professors) but also really understanding. They all said they know we are here to learn, but also know that we are here to travel. With that being said though, that doesn’t mean classes are necessarily “easy.” Classes are challenging & long (3 hours for all you American kids who are used to 1 hour lectures, this is quite different)! When you are in the classroom here you definitely aren’t slacking off. Your brain must be switched to “on” the whole time! I have found this to be a really good thing though.

My first papers are due starting this week and from then on I have a paper due every week until I leave. It sounds like a lot (or does it?) but I’ve found the work here to be enjoyable. Professors really think about the essay topics and work they give you because they want you to really learn and understand the subject. There’s truly no “busy work” over here.

Anywho, it’s time for me to go stuff my face with pizza in central London with my roomies so I’m off! X’s & o’s-Loren

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I met Kate Moss

Time February 3rd, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

… okay I didn’t exactly “meet” her. It was more of I saw flashing lights across the street, crossed over & it was her. My five seconds of fame was more like 2 seconds of smiling at her while paparazzi flashed their lights in her face while she just tried to walk down the street. Anyway, for those of you that were wondering the story- that’s it. I was on my way to Starbucks around 8 at night & our paths happened to cross. Musta been fate. She is not extremely tall either & actually seemed pretty quiet (with the paparazzi shouting at her & all- or maybe they were shouting for me, huh?).

Anywho, besides hanging out with supermodels this week, I went to Oxford to visit one of my really good friends, Jack (hi Jack)! Besides picking the worst day ever to visit (it was a downpour & hailing), we managed to have a great time (I also managed to not get hit by a car so that was good too). I made him show me all around the campus (twice) & he now probably has pneumonia because it was so cold & rainy (sorry mate). Nonetheless, it was a rainy day but it couldn’t have been better!

Last night I finally got to see “Lone Survivor”- the movie I have been dying to see since I left America. I’m no movie critic but I highly, highly recommend grabbing a pal & going to see it. The story is truly incredible & we really do live among real life heroes. How people are so selfless truly amazes me (that’s all I’m gonna say because if I keep talking about it I won’t stop).

Tonight we will be celebrating the Super Bowl like the true Americans in London that we are. On Friday two of my sorority sisters are coming to visit then my mom will be here for Valentines Day (yes, she is seriously flying across the world to see me for Valentines Day weekend- if that isn’t love I don’t know what is!). After that I am off to Amsterdam & Wales so it will be a busy month over here! I should probably stop this post as it is now full of irrelevant & run-on sentences (is it obvious that I’m really tired?) x’s & o’s-Lo

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Laughing in London

Time January 28th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

These are getting harder & harder to write. The days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into blurs of memories & fun. I can’t believe I am coming up on a month of being here (whaaaat?!). I say it again & again but time really is flying by here.

This past weekend one of my best friends, Katie, came to visit & she brought along one of my other really good friends, Ethan. They were only here for a night, so we spent the day touring around (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Platform 9 & ¾) & our night dancing to 2000’s hits in Soho. We danced & drank the night away (& I wouldn’t have had it any other way). It was sad to see them go but so nice to have a bit of home in this big city.

Now that I’m a month in a lot of people have been asking me what I have “learned so far abroad.” Typically, I say I’ve learned to look a thousand ways before I cross the street here but after giving it some thought I’ve realized that in these past 30 days I have learned a lot. Whether it be about myself, other people, how to treat others, etc being thrown into a foreign city with a bunch of strangers (6 mil to be exact) has taught me a thing or two:

You must always have a sense of humor & have the ability to not take things personally (my dad always said this to me & I couldn’t agree more, especially now. I was also lucky enough to grow up with brothers who teased me & joked with me all the time. In the house I grew up in you absolutely had to have a sense of humor). Things are going to go wrong. You are going to meet people who are going to want to use you & push your buttons in more than one way. You are going to meet people who you will have a great night with & never hear from again. If you don’t take things too personally/too seriously you are going to have a much easier time in life.

You aren’t going to be best friends with everyone in life but you better always be nice (my mom ingrained this in me- thanks mum!). Kindness goes a long way- especially with strangers. You never know who you are going to meet. I’ve found that with twenty-somethings there is a culture of “oh well who cares I’ll probably never see that person again” (especially in a big city like London) so people are rude & not their true character when they meet someone out. Even though I am totally guilty of doing this, I’ve been trying to be more conscious of it. You never know who you will run into again in life. Don’t ignore people. Respond to people- others go out of their way for you & you should do the same. Most people are good people, so be nice. Understanding also goes a long way.

I really like funny people. It’s not that I didn’t like people who were funny/had a good sense of humor before I went abroad, I just now realize how much laughter can bring people together. If you make me laugh (& pretend to laugh at my jokes) then we will be friends.

If you want to do something- do it. Stop making excuses. If you want to travel, travel (you’ll make up the money at your summer internship). If you want to text someone, text them (if you soon realize they suck, there will be a million more people you meet that don’t). As the days fly by here I’m slowly realizing how quickly time passes.

People always told me the things above but I never fully thought about it or believed the advice until I started living here. Dance with a random person all night long? Text someone I had a good time with to tell them how much fun I had? Become really great friends with people I only met a month ago? I would have never in a million years thought that these would apply to me. I’ve met people here who I don’t know how I’ve lived without (& others who I am happy I’ve lived without, kidding!) but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m done being a philosopher & you have all probably fallen asleep reading this (congrats to those that made it all the way through without dozing off). I hope you all are happy, well, & laughing through life! X’s & o’s- Lo.

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My Date with Harry Potter

Time January 20th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Another week has come & gone in London town & I swear the the days go by faster here than in America…Okay, I didn’t actually go on a date with HP (or did I?) but I need to start being creative to suck you all in to read my blog… Anywho, the highlight of this week was going to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour with my housemates. It is expensive (30 pounds for a ticket), but worth every pence. I dusted up on my wizardry skills & drank some Butterbeer (which is actually really good).  Moral of the story- if you ever get the opportunity to do the HP Studio Tour, do it!

Besides that, school is finally picking up & after I’m done writing this post I am going to have to study for a little while (study? What is studying??). I’m lucky that I’m still interested in the classes I am taking & tomorrow I actually get to go on a tour of the BBC! I’m a dork, but really looking forward to it.

With every day that passes here I seem to love it more. I am slowly feeling less like a “tourist” and more like a “local.” I am slowly but surely finding out all the best & cheapest places to eat, finally received my student Oyster card, & am just awaiting my student discount card (who said you can’t get good deals in London Town?).

I can’t believe I have been here three weeks already- life is really flying by here. To everyone at home (or abroad) that I haven’t kept in touch with- I am so sorry but life has just been going by at 1,000 mph here. Thank you for still keeping up with me & reading my blog, I miss you all a lot & just because I am bad at using my cell phone doesn’t mean I don’t miss you all! Anyway, this is turning into an awkward acceptance speech & I am late for my lunch date with Kate & Will. X’s & O’s.

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Is My American Showing?

Time January 13th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

As my week is wrapping up here & I write to you from a coffee shop in Soho, I can’t help but realize what an amazing week it really was (& wow did it go by FAST). I started classes this week (woo-hoo!) & did lots of exploring. I have found my classes to be really interesting but also really different than typical American courses. I am taking four classes that are three hours each… for Americans that is a looooooong lecture. Very long. I luckily am really intrigued by the topics I am taking & have super nice professors (now if I only I could understand their accents). 

I was also lucky enough to do a lot of exploring in London this week. I went to my first “real” European club & a “proper” pub this week, both very fun experiences. I know the point of studying abroad in Europe is to be able to travel (which I will do in time), but right now I am really enjoying getting to know London in and out. I have always wanted to live here & LOVE it. I am slowly but surely really feeling like a local here even though my American is totally still showing (I need to stop talking on the tube…). I will admit though, I am still getting used to being “international” here. Sometimes I find myself thinking, “I’m not international, YOU’RE international.” I was at a coffee shop the other day & the barista asked me where I was from (my American accent was something she apparently liked) & I told her I was from Chicago. Because she had a hard time understanding my accent, she thought I said “China”… I had to repeat myself several times before she understood Chicago- this was the first time I have really had a language barrier with someone. Before coming here I thought that British people highly disliked Americans, but I have met some of the nicest British people who really enjoy getting to know more about myself and where I’m from. These are the experiences that make my time here that much more enjoyable. London really is a melting pot of a million different cultures and I am beyond happy to be a part of it.

This week I also managed to LOSE my credit card. No, I did not get pick pocketed- I, myself, lost my credit card. Luckily, no charges were made on it and I was able to easily cancel it and get a new one. Unfortunately, I am still an idiot so that is something I will need to work on.

The best part (at least for me) so far has been having this experience with people I didn’t know before I came (my roommates, housemates, people I have met here). Half of the fun is in exploring and having new experiences in a totally foreign place with people you haven’t met before- there is no safety net of having someone you know really well & I think that is a really great thing in this situation. The thing bringing you together with all of these people is that you all wanted to study abroad/live in London (or wherever) and that is enough to bond over in and of itself. Some of the best times of my life have been with Americans/locals that I met while over here. Go out and meet new people. It is worth the five minutes of awkwardness in the beginning- I promise.

But in all honesty, the weather has been great & so have the locals. Life is really good here & I still cannot believe I really do live here. London is a great city to be young, grow, learn, and have fun in. Until next time… xx.

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Lo in London

Time January 3rd, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

After a 4 hour flight delay (on NYE), a few inches of snow, & lugging 90 pounds of luggage through the tube, I have finally arrived in London (& received 3,000 extra American Airlines miles, thanks for that AA)! Not going to lie- I thought I was going to pass out along the way. I’ve been here for a total of three days & can confidently say I love my roommates (I have two who are uhhhh-maaaazing), housemates, house, neighborhood… okay, I just love London. I am ridiculously lucky to be living in such an amazing neighborhood with such amazing people. I am the only person from my American university on IFSA Butler- Birkbeck so I had major anxiety about meeting people and making friends, but I really do love the people & this city (I could say it about a million times & probably will).

Anywho, we live in a BEAUTIFUL home (I would say mansion- worth over 3 million pounds, that is close to $6 mil) in Notting Hill. Just to give you an idea of how amazing my neighborhood is… Simon Cowell lives down the road, Stella McCartney (Paul McCartney’s daughter and fashion designer) lives two doors down, & Kate Moss & Jude Law supposedly live in the neighborhood too. If I don’t become one of their nannies for the children by the end of this I will never forgive myself…

We start school on Tuesday so most of our time has been spent at orientation and exploring the city. The tube system has been super easy to use and I (luckily) haven’t gotten lost yet. I also put a UK SIM into my American phone so I am lucky enough to have data, internet, texting, etc… so it has been easy to not get lost & even easier to keep in touch with friends & family. I don’t think it has hit me yet that I won’t be coming home for a while, but I really haven’t had time to be homesick because I have been constantly exploring, meeting people, & loving this city! I will write more when I have a bit more time, but we are off to explore & pub it up for the night (let’s hope that’s a real thing here)… Cheers to a new year (& getting engaged to Harry Styles)!

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An American Girl Headed to London

Time December 10th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | 3 Comments by

As my departure date quickly approaches I can’t help but be ridiculously nervous with extreme amounts of excitement in between (maybe it’s because it is finals week here at Illinois & I really should be studying…). I have always loved traveling & have traveled a lot, but I have never lived abroad. I am moving half way across the world completely alone, am I out of my mind?! Sometimes I think I am absolutely insane for taking this journey, but I am excited to start this new part of my life. I have always craved adventure but it will definitely be hard for me to be so far from the comforts of sweet home Chicago.

I’m slowly starting to pack my life into a suitcase (or two) & I can’t help but be excited for the unknown that lies before me. I cannot wait to live in one of the greatest cities in the world & immerse myself in a culture that is so similar yet so different from my own. I am anxious to meet new people, make new friends, only see the sun a few times a week (ha), finally climb to the top of Alderley Edge in Manchester (got lost along the way the first time, typical) & get engaged to a member of One Direction (hit me up, Harry Styles! That was a joke for those of you who don’t know my sense of humor quite yet…).

I am excited to share my adventure with you all, whether near or far. I will post again once I’m across the pond… Until then, xx.

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