Back to the USA

As I sat on my bed no longer home, but back at school again, I realized that I have been back in the States for an entire month now.

After spending about three months in a foreign country, coming home is an incredibly strange experience. When I left to go abroad, I was expecting some sort of culture shock or home sickness, but was lucky enough to not really experience too much of either of those things. Being abroad made me incredibly happy, and I loved many of the challenges that came with being abroad. Continue reading “Back to the USA”

Cities and Coasts: Dublin

About a year ago one of my best friends, Alexis, and I realized that we would both be abroad in the following fall semester. This is something we had both dreamed about for years and had often joked about the possibility of meeting up in a foreign country. Through those years, it all seemed silly and impossible. What were the chances that we would 1) both be studying abroad at the same time and 2) actually meet up somewhere foreign?

Despite all of this, Alexis and I managed to beat all odds and figured out a way to make it work. In late October we solidified plans to meet over thanksgiving weekend in the beautiful country of Ireland. Words can’t describe how excited I was. On the night of Black Friday I boarded a plane to Dublin, ripe with excitement for the weekend to come. Alexis was arriving a few hours before me with her friend Taylor from school. We were staying at Taylor’s family friend’s home and so they headed there to drop off their things and headed downtown.

After a few minor mishaps, we were finally reunited on the streets of Dublin. We ended up meeting near the train station and did some exploring around the area. However it wasn’t long before we ended up on a train to Malahide to rest for the night.

Reunited! Taylor, me and Alexis :)
Reunited! Taylor, me and Alexis 🙂

Continue reading “Cities and Coasts: Dublin”

Picture Yourself in a Town on a River: Liverpool

After a month of educational weekend trips, I jumped at the opportunity to get out of dodge for a long weekend in early November. This trip was especially exciting because I was flying to Liverpool, England to meet my incredible Dad!

My flight was early on a Saturday morning, but I was in Liverpool before I knew it. After some intense questioning from Border Control, I apparently convinced England that I had no plans to wreak havoc and was able to leave the airport to meet up with my dad. Lucky for me, it was just a walk across the street to the airport hotel.

Once I got settled into the hotel room, we were off to explore Liverpool. Getting to downtown Liverpool proved to be quite the experience all weekend. My brave father decided to rent a stick shift car for the weekend, making for an interesting time of driving on the left side of the road, while driving stick left handed. While he did a great job (I mean, we’re still here after all), I’d be okay with never doing that again.

We eventually found our way to downtown Liverpool though and got to explore the dock after parking in an impossibly small parking spot. The waterfront was my favorite area by far. Although I think that is true for me for pretty much every city I’ve visited so far. We spent the next couple of hours getting a feel for the area before grabbing dinner and retiring for the night.

Liverpool waterfront
Liverpool waterfront

Continue reading “Picture Yourself in a Town on a River: Liverpool”

Ticket to Ride

June 27 was a crazy day for me. Most importantly, I made my way to the Polish Consulate in New York City. Here is a look at how I went from Syracuse to New York City to Pennsylvania in 24 hours!

12:50am: I arrive at the Syracuse Regional Transportation center. After asking a worker there which gate my bus will be at, I discover that the Megabus actually picks up outside, in front of the building. Kind of weird, but I head out front regardless. My bus is due at 1:35am.

1:35am: No sign of a bus yet (ugh), but I pass the time by talking to two friendly women that are also taking the bus to NYC. At this point I’m crossing my fingers for a electrical plug to charge my phone and a window seat.

1:50am: The bus finally arrives. Now I am oh so ready to go to sleep until we arrive. As the bus pulls up, I see that it is filled to the brim and is weirdly a double-decker bus. I quickly find a seat (unfortunately not a window seat, boo), plug in my phone (but there are electrical plugs, yay!) and get ready to knock out for the ride.

Next, the bus driver gets on the intercom to announce that we will be stopping at the next exit to take a 30 minute rest stop (seriously?). We finally get moving again at 2:30am.

Megabus - view from my seat
Megabus – the exciting view from my seat

5:00am: I’ve been able to catch an hour or two of sleep. The Megabus is incredibly uncomfortable. All I want is a foot rest (take note, Megabus workers). We stop again for another rest break. I’m starting to get anxious as I check my phone’s gps and realize we’re still 2.5 hours away from the city. At this rate we won’t be there until ~7:45am (as opposed to the advertised 6:35am arrival time). Thankfully, my appointment at the consulate is not until 8:30am. Continue reading “Ticket to Ride”