Thanks 2016

2016 Reflection:

Would I even be a travel blogger if I didn’t do a 2016 review???? Here’s a quick reflection on my favorite moments of 2016:

  1. Brought in the new year by coming home from my second trip to Sedona AZ. Determined that this would not be the last time I saw this amazing place.
  2. Started 2016 experiencing the love and generosity of my friends and family as they funded my trip to Tanzania, Africa. Spent January living in a third world country helping people in remote villages receive free medical care. Hiked Mt Kilimanjaro, hiked through waterfalls, swam in hot springs and spent 4 days camping in the African safari.
  3. Spent my spring break crashing my parents 25th wedding anniversary vacation in Hawaii. Still feel slightly bad about that but such an amazing trip of kayaking, jumping off cliffs, snorkeling and hiking with my favorite people.
  4. Traveled up and down the east coast watching my brother finish his collegian baseball career.
  5. Camped out at Firefly music festival for the third time with some incredible people where I saw my all-time favorite band, Kings of Leon after attempting to see them 3 OTHER TIMES. Got muddy, got hype and got burritos. Successful musical festival to say the least.
  6. Spent my twenty first birthday in Charleston, SC with my favorite people in the world drinking mimosas, going on ghost tours and stumbling around that amazing city.
  7. Ended the summer with the fam in Spokane, Washington watching my brother play profession baseball. Felt pretty freaking proud. Spent some time in Idaho on a boat while we were there too.
  8. Ended the year traveling for the past four months in Europe- UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain and Norway. Did fun stuff like camping at Oktoberfest, EDM music festivals, dog sledding, jumping off mountains, hiking through canyons, biking around the Holland country side and so many other adventures.
  9. Finally, I’ll bring in 2017 surrounded by my favorite people in the entire world and appreciating their presence more than I ever had.

2016 has been the best year yet and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has coming for me.

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Bittersweet endings

My semester in London is over. **Sobbing** I just took my last final exam and only have one more paper to write until I part ways with this beautiful city. It’s been such a whirlwind of an adventure and cannot believe it has gone by this fast. Here’s a quick summary of some of my favorite moments that happened over the last month of my visit:

  1. My best friend from UD came for thanksgiving break. We went to some islands off the coast of southern Morocco.
  • We jumped off mountains, hiked through canyons, ATV’ed up to the highest volcano/mountain in Spain.
  • Jumped into the clear ocean with some nudists.
  • Got lip tattoos (probably the only tattoo I’ll ever get sorry Mom).
  • Overall, it was an absolute adventure of a lifetime. 10/10 recommend visiting Tenerife.
  1. I went on a solo weekend trip to Tromso, Norway.
  • I spent an entire day getting thrown off a dog sled onto a frozen lake through the most beautiful snow covered mountains with purple and pink skies.
  • Successfully saw the Northern lights while eating smores around a fire on the side of a lake in the middle of nowhere Norway.
  • Stayed out until 6 am with new friends from my hostel and hungout with some of the coolest European I’ve ever met.
  • Walked home in a blizzard.
  • Spent the next day going to the top of a mountain to see the most beautiful view of the city.
  • Best self-discovery experiences of my life. 10/10 trying something on your own for a change.
  1. Spent Thanksgiving with my roommate from home in the UK.
  • Ate the lamest British TG dinner- realized how much I appreciate my Aunt Linda’s mashed potatoes and apple sauce.
  • Felt pretty sad facetiming my family as they were all together.
  • 10/10 would recommend never being away from your family for Thanksgiving.
  1. Spent some time in London
  • ice skating in Hyde Park, Winter wonderland, touring Tower of London, visiting museums, afternoon tea, Santacon, attending theater performances, exploring as many little neighborhoods as I could
  • realized what it felt like to be completely broke and financially dependent on my parents for EVERYTHING

I really can’t believe this experience is coming to an end. Since I was in middle school I have been (not so) patiently waiting to live abroad and explore this part of the world that I was so curious to see. I think that I’m done with cities for a bit now and am starting to crave some nature/ west coast lifestyle to refuel my next year.

When they tell you that studying abroad will change you as a person they aren’t joking. This experience has taught me so much more than I ever thought was possible and I’m externally grateful for this opportunity. Now it’s time to spend some qual time in 2017 with my family, friends and bank account. Peace out London. Hopefully I’ll see ya soon.

December 12, 2016

London, UK