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    Travel Diary: Barcelona

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    Ciutadella Park / on the metro / Cuitadella Park / lunch at Juice Dudes / Arc de Triomf / Jardins de Laribal

    Warning: very long, photo-heavy post ahead.

    One thing I absolutely should not have been doing right before the most important exams of my whole degree, was go to Barcelona for the weekend. That said, I did it anyway and I have absolutely no regrets.

    I have been meaning to post this for several months now, as it was all the way back in April that I visited, and I had got to the point that I wasn’t going to any more. But, Barcelona is of course still there and people are still going to visit the same places as I did, so in a way it is a bit of a timeless post that I figured I may as well anyway. Plus I got to enjoy looking over all of my Barcelona photos again which now means I want to go back.

    My best friend from university (and former flatmate until she ditched me) was on a year abroad in Spain as a requirement for her course, since she studies Spanish. Of course, this is very sad because it means that I had to go a very long time without seeing her when I was used to seeing her practically every single day of my life and sharing a bathroom with her. But it does have it benefits, mainly that I got to travel to Barcelona for the weekend a few weeks ago to meet up with her. She got a bus in from Logrono in the north of the country where she was staying at the time and we met in Barcelona.

    I have never visited Spain with a person who actually speaks the language before, and let me tell you it makes the absolute world of difference. I absolutely love the Spanish language and have always wanted to learn it, and that weekend had just made me want to do it even more. Because she had visited Barcelona once before with her boyfriend a few months ago, she already had a fair idea of what there was on offer and what kind of things we could do. Plus, she has a far better sense of direction than I do and I would probably still be wandering aimlessly trying to figure out how to get the metro back to the airport if I hadn’t made her send me detailed instructions.

    I did a photo diary of my time in Hamburg in January, which turned out to be a popular post, so I thought I would do the same for Barcelona. Read more

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    feature, life, lifestyle, personal, student, travel

    Life Update

    life update.pngHello, lovely people! How are we all?

    It has been quite a while since I last posted anything – since April, I believe – so I thought it might be nice to get back into the swing of things by way of a little life update since it is all go go go right now.

    These past couple of months have been VERY BUSY INDEED. I have finished up my degree and am now just waiting on results which should be with me any day now (I have been refreshing the page roughly every five minutes all week), and just have my grad ball next weekend and graduation at the end of the month to go. Crazy.

    These past four years have absolutely flown by, and I know that I made the right decision with my choice of course and university. It has been stressful, of course, and there has been many a tear shed, but I am so grateful for all the things it has allowed me to experience and achieve, and feeling eternally lucky for the people that I have met along the way.

    Also…I GOT ACCEPTED INTO MY MASTERS.

    Ok, I have been telling everyone I have been accepted, and then I remember that I need to actually pass this current degree first and meet the condition of a 2:1 which is definitely doable (famous last words). I have even been conditionally accepted into not one but all three of the universities I applied for which is such a reassuring feeling since it was very heavily weighted on portfolio work. Everything going to plan, I will be heading back to university in September to study an MLitt in Creative Writing. Yep, more words. Can’t get enough of ’em.

    But, after graduation, and before I start my masters, I have another exciting project up my sleeve (apparently there is a lot of room up there, eh) – I am spending my summer in Fiji!

    On the 1st of July I will be flying out to the tiny South Pacific to live in a rural village and teach English, Maths and sports in a school. I will be working with a group of other UK university students so I won’t be alone out there, and it is being organised through an ethical volunteer charity called Think Pacific. I know there is the whole debate over white saviourism with this type of expedition, but Think Pacific are quite unique in their outlook by only going where they have been asked to, rather than just turning up and declaring that they are ‘here to help’. They also work in conjunction with the Fijian government to ensure the work that we are carrying out is the work that is actually needed, in order to ensure a better start to life for the kids in these rural areas who are at a disadvantage to those in cities where there are far more opportunities available and much higher quality schooling.

    Since I was going all that way, I also figured that it would be a shame not to do a bit of travelling afterwards, especially since the flights were so expensive! So, when the month in Fiji is complete, I will then be flying to Brisbane in Australia with a couple of other people from the project and travelling down the coast to Sydney over the course of two weeks. I am SO excited for this. Mind you, I haven’t met these people yet so I hope I like them considering I’m now going to be stuck with them for an entire six weeks…

    In other news, I also recently visited my best friend who is on a year abroad in Spain. We met up in Barcelona and the most fun weekend I have had in a very long time. It has been months since I last seen her, which has been quite the adjustment considering we have lived together for the first three years of university after being randomly placed together in student accommodation in first year and moving into our private rented flat the next year. I am not going to go into too much detail about this trip though because I am planning on doing a travel photo diary like I did for Hamburg in January. Stay tuned!

    And I think I will leave it there for now. I’m looking forward to being able to read for fun for a couple of months rather than constantly sticking to class reading lists, so I feel like I have got a bit of my old mojo back. Exams and dissertation writing was an incredibly stressful time, even more so than I could have imagined, but now I have finally reached a point of recovery that it isn’t too painful a topic to speak about.

    In typical me fashion, I also have a good bit of motivation suddenly (now that exams and my entire degree is finished, OF COURSE) so I am hoping to channel that into getting back to blogging and preparing for my impending trip.

    Hope you didn’t miss me too much!!

     

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    lifestyle, personal, recommendations, travel

    TRAVEL DIARY: 21 hours in Hamburg

    hamburg.jpgHello! Do you still remember who I am?

    I haven’t been blogging much the past month or so, while I got back into the swing of things with uni after the long Christmas break. I am now halfway through my final semester of classes in my four-year-long degree which I CANNOT BELIEVE I am even saying right now. I really love my classes this semester actually, especially my one on Victorian Gothic literature (Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, The Island of Dr Moreau, some Sherlock Holmes, SO MUCH GOOD STUFF) so it hasn’t even been much of a task making myself sit down at my desk and crack on with it. It makes such a difference to your productivity levels when you really love what you are doing, doesn’t it.

    Anyway, now that I truly have the hang of it again and am back into a good routine, my blog can return from its place on the back burner. I have missed writing on here!! I have a couple of blog posts planned for the next couple of weeks, including a book review on The Wicked King, if you aren’t sick of those already from every other book blog under the sun (although I could read people’s thoughts on Jude and Cardan all day long).

    Today though, I wanted to tell you about a very exciting and last minute trip I took a couple of weeks ago with my flatmate courtesy of Ryanair flight sales.

    Yep, I went to Germany for the day for the same price as it would cost to get the train home for the weekend.

    Warning: long post ahead.

    hamburg 1hamburg 2The week before we went, or even knew we were going, my flatmate got an email through advertising cheap Ryanair flights as part of their January sale. It started off as sort of a joke, wondering where we could jet off to, and we started looking at flight times without really caring about the destination. Most of them didn’t suit because they didn’t fit around our university classes, and since we are semi-responsible adults now we didn’t want to miss anything so close to graduation. Then we spotted one to Hamburg in Germany that meant we would only be away for a day in total, and a few minutes later we were booked. Read more

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