I love London. I don’t know where the love comes from, really, as I’ve only spent just over a week there on two separate occasions. But, for the past couple of years I’ve felt a strong desire to make London my next home. The Olympics and the spotty coverage I’ve been able to catch as a TV-less American in Korea have only reignited this almost impossible longing. The culture, history, and multicultural community are just some of the reasons why London sticks out to me as a great city in which to live and why it is so deserving of this chance to shine in the international spotlight. For this Flashback Friday I’ll be posting a few of my favorite photos from my time in London to create a London photo essay. While I cross my fingers that someday I’ll be able to call this city home, even for just a little while.
Posts from the ‘Europe’ Category
I believe that solo travel is a great thing. It forces you to get outside of your comfort zone and put yourself into situations you might normally squirm away from. For the OCD planner like myself, it lets me schedule packed itineraries and recite guidebook facts without making anyone want to slap me. But there is a downside to traveling alone. Especially as a female.
That is, unwanted male attention.
There’s nothing worse than that skeezy guy who wants to talk you up as soon as you take your earbuds out. Maybe he’s not threatening to your personal safety, but he’s definitely threatening to your mental sanity. This was the case with my Luccan stalker. Read more
Okay, I wasn’t sleeping on the streets or begging for money, but after I quit my au pair job there was a four week period where I had no place to call an actual home. Making the most of what could have been a stressful situation, I grabbed my suitcase and wandered around Italy and Switzerland for a month. This was my first experience traveling alone and these crazy few weeks can be held responsible for my current aspiration to become nomadic.
The eight places I called home during this time all helped shape my idea of independent travel.
Alternatively titled, the time I was Cinderella in Europe. Without a fairy godmother or Prince Charming.
First off, a lot of people might be asking, what the heck is an au pair? When I told people in the United States of my plans to work abroad as an au pair I was usually met with a confused look. An au pair is kind of a babysitter, language tutor, and cultural ambassador hybrid. Au pairs are hired most often as a way for families to expose their children to mother tongue English speakers. Thus, most of the au pair’s time is spent with children speaking English. You may be required to help with chores around the house or prepare more in depth lessons, but usually you are only expected to do about 5 hours of work a day. In return, the au pair is given room and board and a weekly allowance of what is considered pocket money (in Italy this is less than 100 euro a week). So while you won’t be raking in the cash, by being an au pair in Europe you will be immersed in a new culture and make enough for a few glasses of wine (or pints of beer) on the weekend. Read more
We’ve finally gotten our first taste of spring like temperatures here in Seoul and it has me in anticipation of what is to come. I’ve mentioned it here before, but I absolutely adore the “transition” seasons. Not too hot, not too cold, and in Korea, not raining every single day. There’s nothing better than finally taking off your winter coat,venturing outside on a sunny day, and taking a deep breath of that crisp, fresh air that only spring can bring. Read more
I’m currently reading Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano’s account of Naples’ Camorra crime organization, and my mind keeps wandering back to the day I spent in what many consider to be the blight of Italy’s beautiful landscape. Because Italy is a traditionally Catholic country they celebrate wonderful holidays such as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which falls on December 8. This is the day the big Christmas markets and celebrations begin and is also a day off of work. My friend and I decided to take advantage of this and hopped on a train to see Naples, which purportedly had some of the best Christmas markets in the country. Read more
Have you ever met someone in a bar and hours later, when you said your goodbyes, had plans to visit them? I have (twice, actually). My friends and I were at Scholar’s Lounge in Rome during out first weekend of study abroad. We were casually sipping whiskey and cokes and watching the NFL playoffs when some English guys insisted that we explain this confusing game to them. I’m still not sure if this was just a line or if they actually didn’t know, but anyhow, a few hours later they invited us to come visit them in Liverpool in a few weeks and tour all the city had to offer (spoiler alert: it involves The Beatles). We figured, they were nice enough and, I mean, nice enough is totally reason to cross international borders, right? Right. We decided we would book a hotel as to avoid any awkward situations (as in, we are here to see Liverpool and have fun but none of us want to bone you) or getting killed. Read more