La Petite France

La Petite France

If you read my Brighton blog post, you will know that I opted not to write a blog post about the extent of the London side of my London/Paris birthday trip. Well, I am doing that today again because I have already discussed Paris on this blog, and frankly we didn’t do anything significantly different for this trip compared to my last one; however, I do want to tell y’all about my day trip out of Paris to a different French city: Strasbourg.

Strasbourg gets its name from being on the border of Germany, so it has French and German influences–mainly in the architecture. It was about a two-hour, high-speed train ride out of Gare du Nord in Paris and roundtrip was about $82 per person. Initially, we wanted to go to Brussels for a day to hit three countries in two weeks, but the overall cost and amount of things to do seemed more attractive in Strasbourg.

To be honest, there is not a lot to do in Strasbourg. It is pretty small and the main attraction is the architecture because it looks like it is straight out of Beauty and the Beast (though not the exact location the movie is set in). We spent most of our time taking pictures and walking around because thankfully the weather was amazing that day.

Continue reading “La Petite France”

Keeping it ‘100’

It’s my 100th post!

Naturally, fate would have it that my 100th post would have a focus on my YouTube channel. By the way, if you aren’t already subscribed, you should do that now! So, the title of this post comes from the basis of a series I started this week on my channel called, “Let’s Unpack.” The premise of this series is to discuss, or ‘unpack,’ personal experiences I have had in my travels, but with the help of my friends who, too, have had the opportunity to travel often. Each episode will center around a theme with the first episode talking about my experience interning abroad; I filmed this with my intern abroad roommate, Colleen, who has become one of my best friends and was also featured in my Barcelona vlog.

As a disclaimer, everything expressed in these videos are our personal opinions based on our personal experiences and encounters–hence ‘keeping it 100.’ I thought it would be great for you all to see something beyond the vlogs and from various points of view. Though I created the channel to be an extension of this blog in order to bring my travels to life, I am also transparent about other things that I go through on this platform. I just want to continue that trend when it comes to talking about certain aspects of traveling. Not to mention, it’s nice to have content for the huge chunks of the year when I am not gallivanting from place to place.

Continue reading “Keeping it ‘100’”

Rainy Day in Brighton

Rainy Day in Brighton

I am [sadly] back from my 10-day Europe birthday trip, but I could not wait to get a new blog post up for you guys! This time around, I am not going to write a blog post about London as I have done that quite a few times on this blog, but a vlog will be coming in the very near future! However, one of the five days we had in London was spent on a day trip to the coastal town of Brighton. In typical U.K. fashion, it was gray and rainy in this town called Brighton, but–as always–we didn’t let it stop us.

After an emergency layer-shopping trip because we were underdressed (hence the gray long-sleeve), we headed to Nando’s for lunch and down to the beach before the rain hit.

Though the town does not have much to offer besides the main shopping center, the rocky beach, and the Brighton Pier, it’s a cheap and quick option for a day trip out of London. Seriously, the train ride was only an hour and it was $28 per person roundtrip!

As with most places in the world, I am sure it is a lot more lively in the peak summer season or when football (read: soccer) is on. Though I do not see myself visiting again, I would still highly recommend as a day trip option if only to explore more of the U.K.!

What are some other quick day trips in and out of London y’all recommend? Manchester is definitely in the books, but I’m curious to know more. Let me know in the comments!

xx, AE

25 & Feelin’ Alive

Ever since I can remember, I have always been excited to be 25. I didn’t have any feelings about 18 and even 21 didn’t feel significantly different. But something about 25 always felt complete. Now that I am 25, I can feel a difference, but I also know this change has been developing over the first four months of the year.

These days, my priority is learning to be unapologetically myself. Though I continue to freak out about little things, I am trying to develop it as a habit. I am undoing a decade’s worth of ‘performing’ for others. I somehow convinced myself that if I act how I think others want me to act (read: agreeable), people will like me, but that has never proven to be true. Instead, I was left with empty relationships wondering why they were not reciprocated and instead focusing on what I could do to convince them they need me in their life. This led to many, many mistakes and countless heartbreaks. Why should I convince someone they need me? How does it benefit me to beg someone to keep me in their life? It sounds like common sense, but once you get stuck in a pattern, it’s hard to pull yourself out. Now, I can see more clearly.

When I was picking a senior quote in high school, I settled on a different quote than my first choice by Judy Garland; I should have followed my gut because my first choice is now more resonant than ever:
Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

I like to think this quote burrowed itself in my subconscious because I knew there would come a time when I needed to be reminded of it: that time is now. I must admit that sometimes I catch myself wondering which part of my personality is really mine or, instead, long-term adaptations of people who have come and gone throughout my life. The important thing, however, is to focus on the person I am now and the person I aspire to be.

I know 25–and life after–is not going to be smooth-sailing, but I am looking forward to the new challenges in this next quarter of life. I am excited for bigger changes and pushing myself out of my comfort zone as I start to love and accept myself for who I am. I have wasted the bulk of my 25 years on Earth hiding, both literally and figuratively. But now is the time to have courage and live in my own skin.

I have absolutely no idea what happens next or why I even expect that something will happen. All I know is that if 24 marked the year of letting go, 25 marks the year of new beginnings. Or better known as, “The Year of Alexa.”

xx, AE