You Studied Abroad? What did you learn?

I went on a number of different weekend excursions  while I was abroad.

1. Manchester, England

When I started my Manchester adventure I was a scared girl. I was naive, unsure how to navigate trains, what to do when one loses her wallet or various other tragedies that could succumb her life.  I learned how to navigate to my hostel without technology, how to remain calm when tragedy strikes, and how amazing the nerdfighter community really is.

The Nerdfighter community can be amazing sometimes.

2. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Dublin, Dublin, the things you taught me. The most important thing you taught me was that if I didn’t want to do something I should do something on my own. I went on the Guinness tour, which was fun, but not something I was truly interested in. I regret not spending the day on my own exploring the city, seeing the bog bodies and other museums. (Which I wouldn’t have had to pay €13 to get into) So future Clara don’t forget to do your own thing it’s okay to do your own thing.

Some of my friends who I went to the tour with.

While Howth isn’t exactly considered part of Dublin, it still was a part of my trip to Dublin. Howth taught me that no matter how hard something is I shouldn’t give up. I was climbing the cliffs of Ireland when it was cold, rainy, and muddy while wearing Keds (I didn’t know I’d be climbing things otherwise I wouldn’t have worn Keds let alone brought them) without a proper coat. When I wanted to give up I couldn’t. My friend told me to keep going and it’ll be alright. If I wouldn’t have kept going I most likely would have gotten in a worst mood instead of ending up at the top of the cliffs seeing it in the sunlight with happiness.

On top of the world in Howth.

3. Rome, Italy

I learned one thing before I left England for Rome and one thing while in Rome (beyond numerous other things). I learned that if you’re going to sleep in an airport you probably aren’t going to sleep well. We were forced to sleep in Stanstead Airport outside of London and only one of us slept. She also slept the entire flight and fell asleep around 5.30 that night. I really don’t understand how she could have slept that much. Although the only sleep I got that “night” was on the plane, sight seeing is fun regardless of the amount of sleep you get. Plus you never know who is who when they’re dead right Cora?

Pizza, Wine, and the Colosseum. What else could a traveler want in life?

Also, I learned that if it’s four in the morning and you’re catching the bus always follow the tourists. They have an inept instinct of where the bus is going to be. So if its like four or five in the morning take the sketchy construction zone over the sketchy side of the train station.

4. Galway, Ireland (And surrounding-rural- area)

I went to the Galway area with my Irish friend who lives there, during Saint Patrick’s day. I observed the Irish Saint Patrick’s Day traditions in a rural community and a larger community. In the rural region the children all gather around and do a parade through the small town area and then preform dances in a community center. It was absolutely adorable. In the larger communities they hold larger parades, much like Americans, only the Irish mock their own political current events.

My friend’s back yard.

It was interesting to see how the Irish culture was similar and different from the American culture. I indulged in how they consumed their traditional heritage, which was something that was taken away from them for so long. It inspired me of how the new generation was soaking what was left up.

The smaller rural parade.

The Little Old Lady With Pink Hair.

Back in February I took a trip to Manchester, you know the one where I lost my wallet. (Now its coming back to you.) My train home (because we ended up getting new tickets) took me (supposedly) straight through from Manchester Piccadilly to Winchester Station. But as it was a fairly wet winter there was delays and train changes.

I ended up having to get off the train at Lemington Spa and taking a bus to Oxford. I learned that I had been in the area before on that bus. I continuously saw motorway signs for Warwick Castle, a place I had been almost 4 years ago. Anyway, I got to Oxford. By this point I had little to no train experience so I went up to one of the staff members who looked like they knew what they were doing and he told me which train to take. But the real part of this story happened when I sat down outside in the winter wind waiting for the train.

A little old lady with bright pink hair sat down beside me. I broke the unwritten rule of no contact on the trains (while really that’s just the tube but I’m going to put it here because it makes the story like 30% more dramatic). I told her I really like her hair. Let me tell you it was perfect. She told me the story of how it came to be pink. One of her daughters was having a child and she died a strip of it pink because the baby was supposed to be a girl. She ended up going in to get it touched up and they did her whole hair like that. She liked it!

Meeting her taught me about how the unexpected might brighten your day and to never take life to serious. One is to live life as if there is no tomorrow. If this grandmother decided to dye her hair then I should be allowed to be spontaneous with my travels and my life.


(This is part of a series of reflective posts mainly because I became over ran with homework)

Abort Abort There’s Water In The Boat

I have no clue where that title came from. I have a blog post that’s semi done but not enough time to write it down. I’ve got a lot of work to do in the last month…. and not enough time to do it. Sadly that means I’m going to have to slow some of this blog down. So I’ll leave you with a selfie and tears as  I have no clue when I’ll update again.

I’ll catch you on the flipside,


not a selfie I know but still. It was like 6 in the morning. bear with me.

Man Man Man Mannnnnchester

Right, so I went to Manchester last week and the whole tragedy of my missing wallet happened. We’re just going to leave that behind and focus on the other aspects of the trip because I’m tired of telling the story over and over and over again. (I mean I had to tell all the Americans, then all the Irish, then my other friends. It was really just a hassle.) Beyond that, like I said I had a really good time. The night before I lost my wallet, I met up with Matt, Hannah’s boyfriend/my friend, and we walked around Manchester waiting for Hannah’s train. (She has the worst luck when it comes to trains and myself.) We were waiting a bit.

Piccadilly Gardens.
Chinatown at night! I say Chinatown Chinastreet.

To be fair she never has this luck when I’m not involved in this situation.We walked down to the Curry Mile. Its where they have a mile of Curry restaurants and such. Forgetting it was valentines day, we went into a restaurant slightly under-dressed and had curry. I had some form of lamb curry and it was super delicious. You’d have photos if I had a phone and could have instagramed it but because I lost that we’re both at a loss.  So after that we wandered the town saw canal street and I saw them off to the train station where I then went back to my hostel and slept until the morning. The next morning I met up with people and we hung out! I got Taco Bell. Which is where I lost the wallet. While we went on a journey to sort out my train booking, we happened to cut through the giant mall like thing. We happened across a giant Yeti and took a photo with him then carried on.

Oh look a yeti. Would I lie?!

The rest of the night after sorting out my ride home was spend in the pub that I was miraculously able to get into without any ID. It was probably the most geeky pub you will ever be in. They played Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the musical episode) Had a TARDIS in the Corner and a Dalek in the other. Overall it was a good night you know beyond losing my wallet during the day.

Ohh classy pub photo. Photo cred Hannah because I was too flustered to actually take pictures.

The next day I checked out of my hostel after being awoken a couple of times throughout the night by some intoxicated Australian girls. (If you’re in a hostel with Australians be weary they are rather loud intoxicated or not) Also, they were really nice in the morning. I meandered Manchester for a little bit until the train was meant to leave. I got some old books rather cheaply and a cute shirt. Overall I’d go back to Manchester. It’s “the most American city in the UK”  according to Matt or well something along those lines. Any way I’ll probably update the blog at least once maybe twice this week in order to procrastinate.

I’ll catch you on the flip side,


5 Lessons Learned in Manchester.

This past weekend I went to Manchester. It was an absolute blast and the story is going to come to you in a few parts because there were so many things that happened.  Now I bet you’re wondering why this is titled growing up quickly, mainly because I had to change my level of maturity rather quickly this weekend. First off I was traveling alone. This was the first time I had truly went somewhere on my own. Even on the plane I had a companion on the same flight. I had a train ticket from Winchester to Manchester with a transfer from London Waterloo to Euston using the Tube (underground). I did every part of my train journey successfully. Once I arrived in Manchester, I found and checked into my hostel by myself (I didn’t have any maps just my gut and the instructions that the hostel had put down on their website). But misfortune happened on Saturday. I lost my wallet (it was like smushed to death in a trash compactor).

RIP Spiderman Wallet. You will be missed. (Seriously what’s with me and losing things on this trip?!)

Luckily I had friends who I was meeting with. When I lost my wallet, I lost my hostel key and everything. All I had was £1 to my name left over from my laundry day. Luckily, I had my iPad on me and was able to call home using the wonderful technology called Skype. (seriously without modern technology losing things would cost more than an arm and a leg, like three!) So in reality, I was stranded in Manchester without train tickets, money, or happiness (I’m just kidding I was proper happy.). Luckily, I had friend who I could trust to loan me money for a train ticket home and helped me get money from the Western Union/find the Western Union.  Seriously my friends are theeeee best.

Lessons of the day:

Don’t panic, you’ll get everything under control.

Regardless of your then current situation or how bad it can be it will all work out you’ll be able to get where you need to be without pain and effort. I stayed calm and cool surprisingly and every thing worked out.

Women’s pockets are pieces of crap.

Seriously, I’ve lost both my cell phone and my wallet because of women’s pockets. Why can’t they actually hold stuff instead of letting them fall out and get eaten by bushes or trash compactors.

If you see a wallet getting swept up or on the floor pick it up and see whose it is.

I feel like that one’s a bit self explanatory but seriously you could save someone a heart ache and the rest of the day. (cough cough cough Stephen cough cough cough)

Sometimes the weirdest situations make for the greatest stories.

I mean who else has a story of how they were meeting friends in Manchester and lost their wallet?!

Stay light hearted!

Seriously when you’re making jokes but still being serious you can’t help but laugh. There’s nothing you can do but hope it all works out. Seriously if someone says anything just make a funny joke or remark about it, you’ll have time to be bitter about it when you’re dead or get the situation under hand.


With that those are some words of wisdom I’ve gained from the weekend. Be excited Friday and possibly Monday more details of my actual weekend. (If you’re in Manchester I’d totally check out the Hatter’s hostels the one I stayed at was pretty phenomenal)

I’ll catch you on the flip side,


What’s a blog post without a selfie. Seriously I couldn’t make this too serious.

‘Rubber Duckie, you’re the one, You make bathtime lots of fun’

Unfortunately this post isn’t about bathtime or Rubber ducks but about my trip to Bath, England! 1st lesson is don’t say a short a otherwise your British peers may giggle and laugh at you. When I say may they will and when I say giggle and laugh I mean mock intensely for the rest of the night. (I’m partially kidding, but seriously) This was another toury thing like the one to London. I still haven’t really ventured on my own yet, but

I use this gif too much.

We hopped on the bus at like 9 am and everyone slept until we got to Bath. We went on a brief (like an hour and a half) walking tour. We saw the Royal Crescent (basically posh housing), different forms of architecture and buildings. We walked through the Guildhall in which I met the queen and saw Obama.

Ooooh the Outside.
Me and my Bestie the Queen.

We finished the tour in front of the Bath Abbey and the infamous Roman Baths (which is what the town is named from). The Baths are especially important because they come from a natural hot spring. We decided to go grab some food before we went to do the Baths. This is when I tried my first Panini. (My sister would be proud, actually she is just so you know) After the Baths we roamed around the city finding small trinkets and what not. I ended up getting 2 scarfs for the cheap price of £4! It was fantastic. I’m just going to leave you with some pictures and snarky comment!

Look where I could have gone!
Delish panini from Costa!
We didn’t chose the Rhombus lyfe it chose us.
Rhombus club!
In front of Bath Abbey!

I have just a few more words to say.. so I lied. I’m posting this on Thursday because I have loads of traveling to do this weekend and in order to promote it’s just easier for this to happen today instead of the fourteenth. I’m probably going to change the date to Thursdays anyways we’ll see. I’ll leave you with what my mum would say is a normal picture and

I’ll catch you on the flip side!


Awhs, aren’t I cute?!

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