Back Across the Pond

‘Twas a cold and blustery week, but one I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Last week, I had the absolute privilege (and I do mean privilege) of going back to my third home, the place that started this whole thing: London! I went with my friend, Ilse, who is no stranger to my blog posts. We arrived last Monday and unfortunately had to head back home on Friday, but we made the most of it.

I would like to apologize in advance for the photos that I have (or lack thereof) as they are mostly coming from Snapchat/Instagram. Something we did not anticipate was how windy it happened to be last week, especially after London received a full seven days of sunshine and 80-degree-weather the week prior. Just my luck, right? Between the wind and the random sprinkles, my camera had to spend a lot time tucked away. Nonetheless, we still pushed through and this is what we got up to!

◊ Westminster: Zone 1 (Circle, District, and Jubilee lines)
On Monday night, after an unsuccessful shopping trip on Oxford Street, we jumped over to Covent Garden to explore and get Nando’s (of course)! We continued in the Westminster borough on Tuesday still fully jet lagged, but on a mission. For those who do not know, Big Ben is currently under construction and will be for the next four years. 😦 You can still experience the magic from House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey though! We then took a 15-minute walk over to Buckingham Palace where a woman mistakenly took us for British women (yay!) and strolled through Green Park before heading over to Soho.
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Continue reading “Back Across the Pond”

The Travel Bug

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not, in any way, to boast about or show off my travel experiences over the past couple of years. I know that traveling is not feasible for everyone for various reasons, but I want to share how it can be possible even on a budget.

Is it just me or does it seem like in the last year or so, traveling has become sort of a trend? With all the different discount websites/apps and opportunities through college and internships, it makes sense. But why? Why, all of a sudden, is everyone rushing to travel the world? Well, for me, taking that plunge to travel to a different country was life-changing. I know, it’s cliché to say your study abroad experience was ‘the experience of your life,’ but it truly was for me. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, you already know this.

Before I studied abroad, some of my friends claimed that, besides the financial component, they did not have the desire to travel, that they feared missing out on a semester on campus. At that point in my college career, which was midway through junior year, I definitely understood; classes were not beating me down, I made some amazing (and life-long) friends, and I finally had someone to drive me around and explore L.A. (thanks, Cynthia!). But I had been dreaming of studying abroad since I went on a spring break art trip to France and Spain in 2009 and my senior trip to Italy in 2012. By 2015, I felt it was my last chance to see what was out there without any obligations in life.

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Château de Versailles

I know some people have been bitten by this travel bug recently, especially with apps like Instagram where people can consistently show off their amazing travel shots. But some people, even with the financial means, see it as something that will be a luxury to them later in life after they have worked a few years. Here is my suggestion to all of you: if you can, TRAVEL NOW. I say ‘now’ because if it is something that has crossed your mind that you have consciously decided to put off for a few years, your experience will be totally different than what you are imagining at this stage in your life.

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Pont des Arts bridge

Like my friends, my family had to suffer through my endless talks about London and other countries I visited. My parents are completely content at this stage in life in not having seen the world, but even my brother never thought much about traveling since having his senior trip in 2010 to Costa Rica. He explored the idea of studying abroad in Japan during college, but ultimately didn’t. Like most people, it was mainly a financial thing, but after I persuaded [re: forced] him to go to London with me last summer before I started my internship abroad, he said it was the best trip of his life. Still, this trip would not have been as great as it was had we not planned as much as we could.

Here are five ways you can make traveling an option sooner than you think: Continue reading “The Travel Bug”

Articles Abroad

For those wondering where they can see what articles I wrote and collaborated on for The Handbook when I was abroad, here you go:

What To Do This Weekend 22nd-24th July
Alfresco Cinema at Bluebird
Morning Glory Brunch at 100 Wardour St.
An Alternative Night Out with Hemsley and Hemsley
What To Do This Weekend 29th-31st July
Top Celebrity Hangouts
Summer Hits South West London
Gin Tasting at The Punch Room
Olives Restaurant at The Bailey’s Hotel London – What We Thought
Balans Soho Society Café Review – What We Thought
Casa Havana Brings a Taste of Cuba to London
Breakfast at Albion Clerkenwell Review – What We Thought

Hope you guys enjoy reading these as much as I enjoyed writing them!

xx, AE

Week of Wonders

Week of Wonders

The main question among my program-mates (?) this week has been, “Why did you decide to come to London?”

While we all had various reasons, we all agreed that we mainly wanted to travel and experience something new. This became a segue into a conversation about the significance and impact of traveling. We agreed that, beyond the financial component and other circumstances that may prevent people from traveling, we couldn’t imagine a life without traveling now that we have done it. Yes, London itself is not new for me, but I am constantly discovering new things in this grand city.
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My roommate, Colleen, and I visited an exhibit this week by Yayoi Kusama titled “sculptures, paintings & mirror rooms.” It’s amazing how tiny rooms of mirrors can not only draw crowds, but also create such beautiful imagery. This exhibition is on a random street near Angel which only makes it feel that much cooler and somewhat exclusive. That’s one of the things that I love most about this city–there’s always something to do or see. Something is always ‘on’. Continue reading “Week of Wonders”