Packing for 3 Weeks in Europe (France, Spain, and Portugal)

Little Bits & Pieces toothpaste (two of them: one for mornings and one for night with a lot more fluoride), foldable toothbrush from Boots (#nonspon) Vaseline tin, tiny deodorant, nail clippers, Alieve, hair comb, razor, 28 days worth of multivitamins Glasses just in case, backup contacts, contact solution, contact holder (being legally blind is annoying) Concealer, powder foundation, waterproof mascara, eyebrow gel, tweezers, body spray that I got for £1 at Boots Clinique lotion because I’m worth it, hand sanitizer, hair elastics, bandaids Sunscreen.  It says oil free and for face but it STILL make my face super oily, which is why I’m taking the powder foundation 3 squeezy tubes: shampoo, face wash, and laundry detergent Bigelow lemon green tea (am I officially British now? I’m literally packing my own tea) Clothing 1 dress 1 pair of navy tights to wear with the dress (they were really cheap from Primark and […]

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What I’m Reading: April 2017 #1

Books: I finished Nasty Women on the bus from Madrid to Porto, which is a collection of essays inspired by the presidential election and published by a small press in Edinburgh, 404Ink.  Some essays were good, but most were forgettable.  I feel like they could’ve taken a little more time with the selection and editing process. I’ve started Books v. cigarettes by George Orwell, which is also a collection of essays.  Orwell is just so clever I feel smarter just by reading him. I also started If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio, which is inspired by Shakespeare and theatre culture in general.  It’s by a young, first-time author so I’m a little apprehensive about the writing quality, but I’ll give it a shot. Articles: Male authors thank their wives for typing their manuscripts. (And it’s always “my wife”, they never get a name, even though they did the rough work.) I haven’t watched 13 […]

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On the Road Update: London, Paris, Barcelona

Hello friends!  I am currently writing this from my friend’s dorm in Barcelona.  I’m so lucky to have friends studying abroad in different countries, because 1) it saves me money and 2) I’m going to places I normally wouldn’t go.  The plan was to spend my spring break in Ireland, but right now is the perfect time for me to visit Spain which I never would’ve done if it weren’t for my friend here.  And since I’m already in Barcelona, I might as well visit other Spanish cities and boop over to Portugal, right? I’ll write up a detailed itinerary once I get home, but for now I’ll just give you a little update. I spent 4 days in London, on another friend’s air mattress (God bless kind people), and mainly went to museums because they’re free.  I also saw the Cursed Child play.  Shoutout to myself for buying tickets […]

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What I’m Reading: March 2017 #2

Books: I finished Difficult Women by Roxane Gay.  I enjoyed this collection and really loved a few stories, but I don’t think fictional short stories are my thing. I need more time to connect and care about the characters. I also finished When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi on the bus up to Isle of Skye.  This is definitely one of my favorite books and it’s sad that the world will never receive any work from Kalanithi again. For a quick read, I downloaded is it evil not to be sure? by Lena Dunham.  It’s a short collection of her journal entries from college.  They were interesting to read because I love diaries, especially “non-traditional” ones like Dunham’s, but this collection is nothing earth-shattering. I’m also halfway through The Radium Girls.  Hopefully I’ll finish this on my travels next month since I’ll be on the buses for way too long. Articles: Here is the very detailed […]

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A Day in Dumfries

My Saturday began with a rough start.  Not really even a start, because the night never actually ended.  Not in a “party the night away and get a second wind to travel the next day while still drunk!” way.  No.  It was a “I didn’t go out on St. Patrick’s Day because I knew I was travelling the next day like a responsible adult, but couldn’t fall asleep no matter how long I lied there”.  I’m pretty sure I spaced out at around 4:30am, but I know I didn’t get any actual sleep.  I considered not going, but mama didn’t raise no quitter.  So I picked up a very milky coffee from Tesco and walked to the Buchanan bus station. Our first stop was in a roadside town called Moffat.  I walked to the river (River Annan, in case you have a thing for rivers) and sat on a rock as I […]

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confession time: I feel “too young” for solo travel

I’m trying to make plans for my summer.  Eastern Europe.  Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece.  I’ll start from the top and work my way down, flying out of either Greece or Istanbul at the end of the summer or when my money runs out, whichever comes first. *90’s movie record scratch* But wait, back up.  I already have a plan for my summer.  I literally just told you it.  Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece.  Why do I act like I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 3 months time?  Why do I make jokes about my money running out when, as long as I don’t go crazy, it definitely shouldn’t? I’m scared to commit to a solid plan, because in all honesty I feel too young to be going off on my own. This feeling is akin to impostor syndrome, feeling like I have no right to […]

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What I’m Reading: March 2017 #1

Books: I published a TBR post a few days ago about all the books I’m currently reading and want to start reading soon! I’ve read more of The Radium Girls, but it’s taking me awhile.  It’s definitely going to be the book that I only read when I’m on public transportation for awhile. I started and finished Shrill by Lindy West.  I can’t wait for my little cousin to hit the teenage years so I can pass this book onto her.  This is the type of book I wish I had when I was younger. I’m almost finished with Difficult Women. It’s enjoyable and interesting to read but I don’t think short stories are my thing.  I just need more time to connect with the characters, ya know? ALL of Jane Austen’s books can be found as audiobooks on podcasts.  (For iPhones at least, I’m not knowledgeable about the podcasting app on other phones.) […]

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Glasgow Week 10: Robert Burns’ Hometown

Different week, different essays to write.  I wasn’t joking when I said most of my March will be spent writing.  And not the fun kind of writing.  The assigned kind.  I’m trucking along at about 1,000 words of day.  Onward and upwards, amiright? Saturday was a class trip to Robert Burns’ birth cottage and museum.  We also walked around the small graveyard where his parents are buried. We then moved on to Culzean Castle (as seen above), which was really cool and updated.  It can be rented out for weddings for anywhere from £500-£6000.  Which is a lot cheaper than I expected.  The third floor is off limits for the tour because that’s the floor people stay on for weddings/for fun. Sunday was a paper writing day again.  I know I’m here for study abroad but doing actual work is still a pain.  But oh well, I shouldn’t complain.  I need […]

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rest and be thankful

Blame it on my millennial-ness, but I catch myself being way too ungrateful way too often. I find myself getting bored easily.  Spacing out as the beautiful mountains pass.  Taking a nap instead of looking at more sheep (I love sheep). It’s so easy to think “oh it’s just another cloudy day”, “cool, another castle”, or “ugh this class is so boring”. Sometimes, you just need a mountain and a little bit of sunshine to remind you that you are so lucky to be in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, learning at one of the best universities from professors who have their own extensive Wikipedia pages. If you find yourself complaining a little too much or getting down in the dumps, just pull over on the side of the road.  Rest and be thankful.

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Glasgow Week 9: Y’ALL

I’ll be honest, I’m getting bored of writing these weekly updates, but I do like them because they show the passage of time.  But rule one of writing: if I’m bored while writing it, y’all will be bored while reading it. So I’m going to discuss what I’ve been thinking about recently… Accents, economic class, and intelligence. I have a slight Southern accent, I realize this.  My dad is from Georgia and my mom’s side of the family is a mix of coastal Virginians and North Carolinians.  Europeans always, and I mean ALWAYS, comment when I say “y’all”.  But funnily enough, I’ve gotten the most shit for how I talk from Americans who are from the Northeast.  The occasional teasing is fine, I’ll comment on my friend’s Long Island accent sometimes, but people apparently have to say something almost every single time I open my mouth.  With some of them, the Northeasterners, I can tell that […]

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