The Latest

View of the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf from the Emirates Air Line (also known as the Thames cable car) across the River Thames in London. 
Every time I’m in London, I have a completely new experience. I had no idea that this cable car existed until I just happened to be staying in a hotel right next to it. Most locals don’t make use of it, probably because tickets costs twice as much as a standard tube journey…but COME ON. Look at that view. It’s priceless. Obviously, if you’re scared of heights, I wouldn’t recommend climbing into a little box dangling from a thin wire 90 meters above water. But otherwise, this is one of those underrated attractions that gives you a view every bit as spectacular as that from the London Eye…but for a fraction of the cost. 
Apr 20, 2014

View of the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf from the Emirates Air Line (also known as the Thames cable car) across the River Thames in London

Every time I’m in London, I have a completely new experience. I had no idea that this cable car existed until I just happened to be staying in a hotel right next to it. Most locals don’t make use of it, probably because tickets costs twice as much as a standard tube journey…but COME ON. Look at that view. It’s priceless. Obviously, if you’re scared of heights, I wouldn’t recommend climbing into a little box dangling from a thin wire 90 meters above water. But otherwise, this is one of those underrated attractions that gives you a view every bit as spectacular as that from the London Eye…but for a fraction of the cost. 

The plus side to English rain? Rainbows. 
Apr 14, 2014 / 1 note

The plus side to English rain? Rainbows. 

What I would GIVE to be back in Leeds during Christmas time. 
Apr 13, 2014 / 17 notes

What I would GIVE to be back in Leeds during Christmas time. 

The cemetery at Bolton Abbey.
Apr 6, 2014 / 5 notes

The cemetery at Bolton Abbey.

Missing the English countryside today. Sigh.
Mar 8, 2014 / 8 notes

Missing the English countryside today. Sigh.

Feb 26, 2014 / 1 note

Studying/Living Abroad: Advantages in the Workplace

So I’ve been back in California for about three weeks now, and let me tell you, the job search struggle is REAL. I’ve worn a pantsuit way more times in the past few weeks than I’d care to count, and pantsuits are fundamentally at odds with who I am as a person…so I’m definitely ready to be employed now. Anyone hiring? ANYONE?!

Anyway…

While I am still waiting to hear back from most of the companies that I’ve interviewed with, I can say that I have had quite a bit of success in being contacted in the first place to set up an interview. And I think a large part of that has to do with my experience living and studying abroad. People are naturally intrigued by international experience; it shows independence,  cultural sensitivity, curiosity, and is a really unique bullet point on an otherwise normal-looking resume. And this is why it’s always a good idea to study abroad if you have the chance.

One of the first things the hiring manager or recruiter will ask when I meet with them is: Why did you spend time in the UK? This, ladies and gentlemen, is your time to shine. It’s your time to tell them about how you’re always trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and learn about new cultures, and interact with people from all walks of life. You can tell them about how you are adaptable and able to jump into any situation at the deep end and still manage to swim. And a lot of the time, if you’re interviewing with a more senior member of the company or an executive, they will have been lucky enough to travel the world too, and it could be a great way to find common ground and spark conversation.

All I’m saying is, studying abroad during college is totally NOT a waste of time or resources. There are so many ways to market the skills and experiences you obtained during your travels (minus learning how to say “I’m drunk as f***” in another language). And if you intern or work during your time abroad, even better! Having experience in another country definitely gives you an edge over the competition, because many college students spend their years focused solely on getting in, spending four years doing what they have to do, and getting out. But not you, my fellow wanderlusters. You can go out there and make your mark on the world (or have the world leave its mark on you, which is probably more likely), and come back home to open doors that wouldn’t necessarily have been open otherwise. 

Just some food for thought for anybody who is currently contemplating or debating going abroad!

Feb 14, 2014

York, England

View from the steps in front of the Sacre-Cœur. This will forever be one of my favorite memories from my whirlwind adventure in Europe —sitting in the sunshine with people from (literally) all over the world, while a chipper old man with a guitar and a microphone led all of us in a singalong to With or Without You by U2 (I don’t particularly like U2, but it was a really nice moment). Regardless of what language people spoke, they all seemed to know every lyric to that song. I also remember appreciating the fact that while individually none of us were great singers, when we all sang together, we were like a mad-harmonizing international choir phenomenon. 
These are the kinds of experiences that I live for, the kind that make me feel so incredibly lucky to be young and able to travel. One day I’ll wake up and have kids and a mortgage and responsibilities (blech), so I want to make the most of these carefree twenties. Responsibility schmesponsibility. Try saying that one out loud. 
Feb 9, 2014 / 18 notes

View from the steps in front of the Sacre-Cœur. This will forever be one of my favorite memories from my whirlwind adventure in Europe —sitting in the sunshine with people from (literally) all over the world, while a chipper old man with a guitar and a microphone led all of us in a singalong to With or Without You by U2 (I don’t particularly like U2, but it was a really nice moment). Regardless of what language people spoke, they all seemed to know every lyric to that song. I also remember appreciating the fact that while individually none of us were great singers, when we all sang together, we were like a mad-harmonizing international choir phenomenon. 

These are the kinds of experiences that I live for, the kind that make me feel so incredibly lucky to be young and able to travel. One day I’ll wake up and have kids and a mortgage and responsibilities (blech), so I want to make the most of these carefree twenties. Responsibility schmesponsibility. Try saying that one out loud. 

I’m finally over the jet lag, but the withdrawals are getting out of hand. Take me back to the perpetual gloom! I’ve had enough of this sunshine!
Feb 8, 2014 / 1 note

I’m finally over the jet lag, but the withdrawals are getting out of hand. Take me back to the perpetual gloom! I’ve had enough of this sunshine!

The best hot chocolate in Leeds
Feb 4, 2014 / 2 notes

The best hot chocolate in Leeds

Feb 3, 2014 / 6 notes

What I Already Miss About England

I’ve been at home in California for less than 24 hours. It’s now apparent to me that I left my heart in England. 

1. My other half. Going back to having a long-distance relationship with 5000 miles between us is harder than it ever has been. After spending six months living together, the fact that we once again have to coordinate Skype conversations around our 8-hour time difference seems so unfair. We’ve done it once, and we can do it again, but it’s not a walk in the park.

2. The scenery. Driving past old brick houses and churches is far preferable to sitting in traffic and watching litter blowing in the wind on the 91 freeway. 

3. Radio 1. As I was driving around town today, I realized just how shitty American radio is. No matter what station you turn to, you’ll be guaranteed to hear the same five songs at any given time. Or you can be a real rebel and tune into country or mariachi music. I miss hearing songs I actually LIKE on the radio, and discovering new music because British radio DJ’s are just so cool. And much more amusing than their obnoxious American counterparts. 

4. Public transport. Is it weird that I miss just being able to hop on the bus? Or even being able to WALK to the store? Suburban life means that driving is the only efficient and acceptable way to get anywhere. And seeing as how I haven’t driven in six months, I’ve been really nervous and granny-like behind the wheel today. 

5. Waitrose. Judge me. It’s my happy place. I even got a Waitrose card. 

6. Fruit pastilles. None of the mediocre candy here can satisfy me in the same way. 

7. Trash TV. It’s way funnier and, in a strange way, seems classier than American trash TV. Brits make TV shows about the most mundane things, but make them so entertaining that you can’t help but watch every week. Shows like Come Dine With Me, Gogglebox, and Take Me Out really stand out in my mind. I’m also upset that I can’t keep watching The Undateables. 

8. British humor. Sarcasm, wit, and self-deprecation. Everything I will now miss in my daily human interactions. I was introduced to the show Peepshow a few months ago and damn, Mark Corrigan is every English person on some level. 

9. The total lack of interaction between strangers. Don’t get me wrong, I love how friendly Americans are. As soon as I landed back in the country I was astounded by how readily people initiate small talk and smile at you. It’s just part of our culture, and I appreciate it in most circumstances. But there are times, like after I’ve been traveling for 24 hours straight and am completely jet-lagged, when I just want to buy my extra-pulp orange juice without launching into a full-blown conversation about the virtues of different fruit juices. I don’t know if English people are just feigning their disinterest and apathy or if they genuinely just can’t be bothered, but I rarely had to endure small talk with any strangers that I came into contact with. I kid you not, I sat through an entire hair wash, cut, and blow dry without even the slightest need for awkward conversation. 

10. Everything. I don’t know…there’s always going to be something so alluring about Britain, something that keeps drawing me back. After nearly two years of living there, I know that it’ll always be a part of me. 

I wish all buildings looked like this.
Jan 30, 2014 / 9 notes

I wish all buildings looked like this.

Houses in Bowness-on-Windermere.
Jan 30, 2014 / 1 note

Houses in Bowness-on-Windermere.

Not exactly high tourist season in the Lake District.
Jan 30, 2014 / 11 notes

Not exactly high tourist season in the Lake District.

The cutest store dedicated to Peter Rabbit and the works of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria.
Jan 30, 2014 / 8 notes

The cutest store dedicated to Peter Rabbit and the works of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria.