I have seen many people do their 2015 A to Z, but as this blog originally started as a study abroad blog, I thought I’d do one last post to cap it off. Without further ado, the A to Z list of my study abroad experience.
A – Auschwitz | My a is Auschwitz. It was a place through all my travels that both intrigued me and hurt me. After seeing everything in history, it was unbelievable seeing it in real life.
B – Beatles | There’s no denying that England + The Beatles have a nice relationship. Liverpool is the birthplace of the iconic band. Abbey Road is one of the most famous album covers in history. I love all of the beatles things you can find.
C – Camden Market | Camden Market is a crazy place. You can spend over a day in this giant market. It was an hour from my campus and I still visited more than five times. I bought cheap souvenirs and pretended I could afford the beautiful artwork.
D – Dublin | Dublin was not somewhere I was able to spend a lot of time, but it is where I got to hear live traditional Irish music for the first time.
E – Express, Pizza | Restaurant, my favorite. Pizza Express was my favorite place to eat in England. I once went to eat there by myself, I liked it so much. mmm. I miss it. Do you think they deliver?
F – friends | I never thought I’d come back with so many new friends. Not only British friends, but many friends from all over the world. Australia, Poland, Norway. I also made seven new friends with the girls from my school that I traveled with.
G – grandma | My grandma skyped me at least three times a week, and it got more frequent around mid-November. She really likes to keep in touch with me and it was killing her that she couldn’t call me. She would Skype me and we would talk for at least an hour. She even met all my friends in the kitchen.
H – Hyde Park | Crazily enough, I didn’t get to Hyde Park until December. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I wasn’t able to see it without the Winter Wonderland set up, but I did go to that three times. I loved it. A mix of a German Christmas Market and a carnival. The park itself is beautiful.
I – Imperial War Museum | The coolest museum I’ve ever been to. I’m sometimes iffy on history, but war history can be very neat. They have entire floor on WWI and a big Holocaust exhibit. I saw a piece of the Berlin Wall and a destroyed piece of the WTC from 9/11. It is a very neat museum.
J – jardín | Spanish for garden. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid were one of the most beautiful things I saw in Spain. I had a ton of fun just wandering around, and I could translate everything on the map.
K – Kraków | Has to be the coolest Eastern European city – even if its the only one I visited. At the end of November, the Christmas Market was in full swing and we spent the equivalent of $25 each on a five-course meal with alcohol. Beautiful.
L – LONDON | Obviously, London is my L. I lived there for three months. A city I have come to love and can’t wait to return to. “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
M – mom | One of the coolest parts of my trip was when my mom was able to visit at the end. I was able to show her my favorite places and my new city, plus go on a trip to Ireland with her.
N – new | When you take a trip like this, everything is new. Even if you have been to that place before, you see it in a new perspective. You aren’t a tourist. You live there. And that’s new and exciting.
O – Oxford Street | I’m not a huge shopper, but I absolutely loved Oxford Street. Even though it was too many people for me, they had every store I could ever need in one area. It was definitely a day trip. Primark, Lush, Nike, etc., etc.
P – packing | Packing is a life or death situation. As in, if you can’t pack, you’ll be paying too much money – anything over 50 pounds is a fee, if you can’t fit it in one checked bag it’s a fee. Thankfully, I had my mother to save me with the suitcase we call “Big Bertha,” because it is just absolutely massive and weighs 13 pounds on its own.
Q – Queen Elizabeth | Gotta love the Queen. No, you do. She’s everywhere. You just get used to it after a while, but it will be amazing to see what happens when she is no longer the Queen since she’s been there so long. I love her. She’s immortal.
R – Roehampton | The tiny little London district in the southwest, all the way in travel zone 3. It spans about the length of the university campus plus some, and is nestled between Richmond Park, Putney and Barnes.
S – Stansted Airport | Ugh, I hate Stansted. It’s a 45-minute journey from Central London, but it’s home to the cheapest flights. I flew in and out of there four times. It basically became routine. I knew the place by heart – not that it was that big.
T – Tube | Ah, the Tube. The wonderful magical thing that I caught in Hammersmith after a nice 72 bus ride there. You never know what you’ll see on the Tube. I was on the Piccadilly Line and some guy vomited right where I was standing before I grabbed an empty seat. I hate the Piccadilly Line.
U – university | The main reason I was there. Although it sounds like I didn’t do much for school, I did. I just didn’t have a lot of homework, only reading – which I can do pretty quickly, especially when I have things to do in London.
V – vino | A girl’s best friend, wine. Let me tell you about this dessert wine in Rome. It was called sexy wine. I had both red and white wine (unlimited) before this, so my judgment might have been altered, but I think it might have been the best thing I have ever had. That entire meal was the best.
W – Westminster | Where all the fun touristy things are in London. Buckingham Palace, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, etc. are all in Westminster.
X – xenophile | I am a self-proclaimed xenophile. I love foreign people, cultures, places, etc. It is so cool to go to a place you’ve heard about all your life and experience it for yourself. I love comparing cultures to my own. Everyone’s different.
Y – yes | A simple three-letter word can go a long way when you’re studying abroad. Want to go to camden market? Yes. Want to stay in and hang out with your flatmates? Yes. Want to got to Poland for the weekend? YES.
Z – zestful | No, not like zesty spices, or whatever. Zestful as in full of energy or enthusiasm, like I was the entire semester. I think when you have an experience like that, it is hard not to be enthusiastic the entire time.