15 May 2014

New Life, New Blog

So I've done some updating!
I figure this blog is less about my study abroad adventures now,
and more about my actual life abroad.
So I may as well change things around - make a fresh start.
(And by fresh, I mean a much less of chaotic mess,
and with better pictures.
But hey, there's some good stuff in those past posts,
so as ridiculously long and unorganized as they are,
I just don't have the heart to change the way I wrote it then)
 
My life abroad.
I always thought that was what was supposed to happen,
but the fact that it actually is happening? Will never be real to me.
It's been a LOT of work.
A lot of tedious and terrible work. 
A lot of planning. It seems that all I do is plan now.
Heather and I have been budgeting and house-hunting - all the time.
There are few things that frustrate me more than trying to plan life when you are on an entirely different continent.
Calling costs sky-rocket when you make international calls to estate agents.
There is also a 5 hour time change,
so I've been woken to up quite a few 5AM phone calls from agents who don't understand it's not 10AM here too.
There's also trying to understand all the extra fees we may be paying on top of our rent.
And speaking of rent, there's that ridiculous exchange rate.
For ever British Pound, we are paying around $1.60.
Which makes a £600 per month flat, over $1000 for us.
I have come to the conclusion that I will forever be comparing and converting for the rest of my life.
And there's no other way to describe that than just plain 'that sucks.'
BUT
We dug these graves with smiles on our faces.
I've never been so happy and motivated to do such annoying work though.
We just booked our flights last night - and I'll have to add it is a one way flight.
So it's officially OFFICIAL! As if it wasn't before when I applied and got accepted and have been doing everything else.
I have an official ticket an official one way and life in three months my life can start againnnn!!
 
While all of this is going on, I've still been living in Florida with my family.
I work as a nanny here. Like a professional babysitter.
And I get to hang out with some pretty amazing kids - I work daily picking up, driving around, and watching a 7 & 11 year old.
And I have to say, I absolutely adore them 
And for something that doesn't exactly sound like much of a job, I'm making pretty great money.
And with everything going on, making money is VERY necessary right now.
 
I've been living here for a little over 6 months now.
It's great to be in the sun and on the beach - incredibly relaxing, even when you have a not so relaxing day.
I feel like I've been on a really long summer vacation, which I guess with the fact I'm going back to school, I kind of have been.
But I miss Kentucky more than I ever thought I could.
It's very true that once you leave a place, you realize how special it is. Kentucky will always feel like my home,
And I will say without hesitation, I do think that Louisville is the greatest city in the country.
And speaking of, my best friend is coming to see me in two weeks after an entire year apart, and I can't quite explain how EXCITED I am!
I want to say the longest we've been apart is around 3 months since I left Louisville in 2009.
A very successful long distance relationship, I'd say.
So going an entire year, I'm pretty surprised one of us hasn't needed to go into therapy for separation anxiety.
 
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Because friends who wear ponchos together, stay together.
 
The rest of my tiny group of amazing, amazing friends are also coming in July!
Makes me so happy.
These girls, who all have full time, real-world, big girl jobs, give up their vacation days to come down and see me because I can't afford to go up and see them.
Now, the beach might have helped a little with their decision to visit...
But I do have to say, I feel pretty lucky to have people like them in my life.
 
Paul McCartney started his 2014 tour this past month in South America.
He's coming to the USA in June-August.
I'll try to contain my excitement but
I'M SEEING HIM THIS SUMMER IN FLORIDA!!!!!!
I got to see him when I studied abroad in 2012, in the Royal Albert Hall.
And this past October, when I met him. When I shook hands with Paul McCartney.
Just saying that always makes me smile.
Anyways, it was all amazing (obviously),
but I have never experienced the full-blown, fire-exploding, confetti-shooting, Macca-fied tour.
I'm seeing him in Jacksonville at the end of June.
I don't think I have ever been so damn excited for a show.
 
Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 8.02.08 PMI've never spent so much money so happily.
 
I leave for London on August 16.
I feel like my life has been put in pause while I chill out in Florida and figure things out.
I would have never imagined taking a 'gap year' and moving home before starting my life in the real world.
But I would not have changed a single thing in how everything has worked out.
I've got three months left here, and with so many big things happening, I've got a feeling it's going to be a great summer,
but it's also going to fly right by.
 
I think this is a pretty pointless post,
but my last post was in February.
So I figure with an updated blog, I might as well update it with a post.
So I'll just end this with some hopefully not-as-boring pictures of life these past few months.
 
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15 comments:

  1. Hi lovely! Thanks for commenting on Rhyme & Ribbons earlier! Where did you study when you were abroad and where are you going in the fall? How exciting! x

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    1. Hi there!! I studied abroad in 2012 at the University of Westminster, and I’ll be returning there this fall for my Master – counting down the days to finally get back! It’s just amazing over there, isn’t it?

      Thank you for checking out my blog as well! xx

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  2. Your adventure sounds so exciting! The UK is an amazing place with so much to see and do.
    You’ll definitely always be comparing prices, whenever I want something now I am like that is X Australian dollars which means it is X British Pound and some times I think how much!!! Then buy it anyway!!!
    Looking forward to reading more about your adventures as you get ready for the move :-)

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    1. I’ve began coming to terms that there will ALWAYS be comparisons and conversions in my life >:( but to move around the world and experience so many things, I’ll take it! and like you said – I can convert all I want .. but I’m probably still going to buy it regardless!
      I’m so excited to get back to the UK – I really do feel like I’m home there :)
      And thank you for checking out my blog too! I find so many American expats to England, it’s very cool to find a British expat to Australia :) Something different and exciting to read about!

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  3. I can’t believe you’re moving abroad in August too. My plane for Norway leaves on the 11th! So cool! What will you be studying in London?

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    1. Awesome! I can’t wait to read about your adventures in the Arctic! One reason I love travel so much is that you find these places you become so passionate about – I love reading about people who find that and then work to make their dreams come true. Too many people have that ‘I could never do that’ mindset, when you really can do about anything if you want it bad enough!
      I’ll be getting my Masters in Management in London – it’s a year long program, and I’m hoping to use the year also to work towards work sponsorship after I gradate to make it a permanent stay. It’s risky and probably a little financially careless, but I’m so determined and want nothing more, that I’m sure it’s going to work out!

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    2. Thank you! Yes that’s exactly what I think. Even though it may be hard and challenging and a financial risk (if you’re not in the military) to move abroad, if it’s your dream you should do it rather than dreaming about it the whole time and pitty yourself because you wish you could do it. You can! And what’s life if you don’t take risks every now and then? I’m looking forward to following your preparation in the next 3 months. I’m lucky to not have to apply for a visa and to not have all the stress that goes with it. I “just” still need to figure out my finances and think about whether or not I want to apply for a semester abroad in the US, which would mean yet another loan….., and keep my fingers crossed that I get a room in one of the student hostels I applied for. Apart from that I only have to enjoy the remaining time I have here which is the worst part as time just flies by…..ohhh it’s just so exciting that you’ll be doing the same as me at exactly the same time :)

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    3. I would ABSOLUTELY be sitting around thinking about what it would be like if I took the chance. It’s stressful, and confusing, and frustrating, but I am so happy with life and what’s to come that I know it’s all worth it!

      I’m taking out plenty of loans for my school, so I always say go for it if you can! Everyone is in debt, so why not just join in with the rest of em :-) I hope you do go and spend a semester in the US – I’m sick of it here, but I am from here hehe – the US has sooo many things to see and do!

      Very exciting we’ll be going through the same things together – can’t wait to see where life takes you!

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    4. “Everyone is in debt so why not join them” is a great way to look at it :D I suppose student loans are pretty normal in the US considering the horrendous study fees you have there?! In Germany it’s unfortunately anything but normal and everyone warns you about the consequences…..but maybe it’s just that I live in the countryside and people are conservative and don’t understand why anyone would want to move abroad, let going into debt for it….but yeah, I think a semester in the US would just be awesome and probably even good for a later career so that I should be able to pay everything back…. hopefully :D
      I’ve never been across the pond…..or to London! There’s so much I still need to see. Awesome that you can live in London. Must be really really cool!! :)

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    5. Oh yes – everyone here is in debt! It’s funny, the exchange rate from the 1 British Pound is almost 2 US Dollars, and even with that huge rate, it’s STILL cheaper to study in the UK. Basically, the USA’s schooling system is a little wacko when it comes to tuition and things. But don’t let that stray you away from studying here for a semester – it’s a great experience, and you won’t have to deal with that burden as much as the American students do!
      I think of my move to London as that as well – hopefully in the long run it will work out with the loans I’m taking out!
      Especially if you haven’t been over here, you have to! And even if you don’t end up studying here, you need to make a visit anyways! I always love listening to people talk about their experiences in the US and how fascinated they are by some things that I’m so used to! But I guess that’s the same way with the things that amaze me in other countries..
      I visited Germany once, but I was only in Munich for a weekend – even with that short time, I absolutely loved it! There are so many places on my list that I still need to see too!

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    6. Yeah most people go to Munich when they’re in Germany, though I’ve never been there. But you should visit Berlin next time you’re here but you’ll probably travel Europe anyway once you’re living in London! :) If I really end up in the US then it will be in Montana. So far cowboys and the Rocky Mountains are the only things that come to my mind when thinking of that place :D Oh and Hannah Montana :D I’m pretty excited though what the reality will be like! Where in the US do you come from?

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    7. Montana!!?? What will bring you there?! That’s very funny, I remember when I was in Prague I met a bunch of Aussies and one guy told me how he’d lived in America and it was Montana too! I’ve never been to Montana, but I do know it’s very spacious and gorgeous outdoors – kind of like you said, cowboys and mountains! :)
      I’ll be coming directly from Florida, but I’m originally from Kentucky. I’ve jumped around the US a bit and lived in Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Florida, and although they are great places, I still keep trying to get out to the UK!
      Remembering back, I think Berlin was initially the city I wanted to visit, but we were doing a three week Eurail/backpack trip and Munich was much closer to the rest of the places we were visiting. Hopefullly this time around I can make a visit!

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    8. I’m doing my Masters in indigenous Studies and could take courses in Native American Studies in Montana as the two study programs have a cooperation……no idea if it’s actually gonna happen but I’ll definitely apply and then we’ll see ;) so you’ve visited the Alps and Italy too? then Munich is of course the better starting point…..but now Berlin is closer to London :)

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    9. Oh wow – very cool degree! I’ll be crossing my fingers for you! We’ll be trading places between the US and Europe heheheh .. I spent a couple of days in Interlaken and then to a few cities in Italy, yes! I absolutely LOVED Italy more than I even though I would – it’s gorgeous there. And yes, with Berlin being closer, it will definitely be my go-to visit spot in Germany!

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    10. Thank you! I hope you’ll be having a fantastic time in Berlin if you visit but I’m sure you will! :)

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