Saturday, June 27, 2015

All the questions.

I've been doing a horrible job of keeping my two blogs going but I INTEND to start keeping up with them. 

I've been home for almost two months now and I still haven't quite figured out how to sum up my time abroad. I get asked about how my semester was and to tell all about it but everyone seems to want the small talk version so it usually ends up with a response something like "Good" or "It was great, really interesting." Im still working on answering that.

What I have managed to answer and have gotten quite tired of answering is "why would you take the same classes in England, as you could for cheaper in Eau Claire?" Or "I can't study abroad because only people who's parents pay for it are able to go." Well, if you want to do something than you will find a way. 

Now for that first question, I believe that the experience outweighs sitting in a classroom at home or reading a textbook. Of course, there was still textbooks and classrooms but there was also a whole new environment and more places to go explore and experience. In my opinion, EXPERIENCES are what really matter and that overrules the costs.

For that second question, once I finish my undergraduate, get accepted to graduate school and then graduate from graduate school...I will have a whole lot of debt to pay off. Granted, I did get some donations towards my time abroad..It wasn't even 1/4 of the costs. My parents do not pay for my schooling and they did not pay for my time abroad. They supported me and helped but I will be paying for it later on. Student loans and budgeting are what got me there. If you want to have the same experience, you will find a way and you will have an amazing time. I promise you any future debt will be worth the experiences you will have.

On that note, my time there was great and you can read about it in any of my previous posts. It was a fabulous time. I missed being home but I loved being there. So, if you want to have some sort of experience the I for it..YOU ARE CAPABLE.

Keep your love on.
Erin



Monday, June 1, 2015

Pouvez-vous dire macaron?

Yesterday afternoon, I attempted and mostly successfully recreated the wonderful flavors of France. I made macaroons, bringing back the wonderful flavors and experiences I had of France and Europe as a whole. I made lemon macaroons with a lemon curd filling. I plan to try different flavors in the future but these turned out quite fantastic. They taste similarly to lemon bars but mini, cookie versions with the most fabulous texture. Can you say macaroon?

Yes please!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Back Home

I am home and I am fully adjusted to my normal time zone...MOSTLY..other than a slightly different sleep schedule (I haven't managed to sleep in once since I've been back). This just means I've had more time to catch up on all the shows I've been missing, be crafty, cook, bake, wander, eat, and enjoy all the things that we Americans love so much..GREASY PIZZA..and BACON! Although, I could definitely go for some french macaroons, or gelato, or fish and chips...all things that I plan to figure out how to perfect..or find somewhere that has.

Speaking of gelato...I never posted anything about my amazing time in Italy. My mom and Scott (for those who don't know this would be my spectacular my step dad) came to pick me up from my semester abroad and I spent three nights and three days showing them around London which was a little crazy at the time (Congrats to Kate and Wills on the beautiful Charlotte). After that adventure, we went and discovered Italy together, five nights in Positano and three nights in Rome. Positano was incredibly beautiful, Rome was also beautiful...both for different reasons as the environment is quite different between the two. Here's a few pictures to sum up our wonderful vacation:


 



 








I've now said goodbye to Europe. Hopefully, maybe..someday I will go back. And if not I will go discover some equally wonderful place. I will continue to explore, adventure, and wholeheartedly fall more and more in love with this planet and all the amazing places here. I will go camping or I'll take a road trip or hop on a plane to visit my new friends in Kentucky or Indiana or I'll go to Florida or Hawaii...or right back to Europe. I will miss Europe..just like I missed America.

For those who are interested, I will start posting on my other blog Psychertizing again..strictly psychology related posts..but that doesn't add many limitations. I'll also continue to post on here..if I can remember to keep up with it. It will be random posts, no main theme...the crafts i'm making..the food i'm cooking..what I'm doing..who knows...keep checking in and you will.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I Wholeheartedly Am In Love With The World.

Hello darlings!

The faculty at Harlaxton have asked us to write a short paper on what it is to be a global citizen in relation to the experiences we have had here. I've decided to share what I wrote with you all.

"A global citizen is someone who shares values both with their hometown or home country and with the broader world around them. They want to understand the culture and perspective of other individuals. A global citizen possesses a variety of characteristics. They are a well-rounded individual who is brave, persistent, and empathetic. They seek to understand the world around them and seek the beauty within different places. They are respectful and take part in experiencing the cultures of the different places that they visit, often going out of their comfort zone, but they also embrace their own culture. They are also reflective of their experiences and share their experience and cultural awareness with others around them, spreading both joy and advice (as cheesy as that sounds, it's true). Through my time at Harlaxton I was able to improve and strengthen these characteristics.
 I was able to both expand my appreciation for the United States, and the different personalities we find within the states, and for different personalities throughout the world. I was able to travel to Norway where I interacted with so many wonderful and friendly people from simply a mom on a train to fellow adventurers toboggan sledding at Korketrekkeren, a 2000-meter long toboggan run with a 255-meter drop. Now, this was terrifying for a girl with a fear of heights who tends to not be much of a risk taker. That's what studying abroad is about though and how you become a global citizen, you take risks and you participate. In Ireland, I went out and experienced Dublin culture at night, at one of the pubs that was not in the Temple Bar area and it was the best place I found there. I met amazing people from Scotland, Germany, and of course Ireland. We danced, we sang, and overall we got to hear about a variety of individual’s interests and why they were there, experiencing Ireland. In France, I separated from the group of students I had been with and ended up lost with a dead cell phone and I managed to navigate my way around, to find a way to charge my phone and meet up with another group. I ended that night with champagne and a French baguette on a boat cruise. I found that the French are not nearly as rude as they are stereotyped to be; in fact they were very friendly and understanding. I learned that sometimes not knowing where you are is the best way to truly come to understand and respect another culture. Although I learned that on multiple trips as I got lost in Ireland, London, and Bath as well. Sometimes, simply wandering around is how you find the best, most spectacular things. Getting lost may be the best thing I’ve done, as you get to explore things that aren't typically suggested and you get to learn more about yourself and what you can do.
I have interacted with so many wonderful people and have explored so many beautiful places. I have experienced what it is to truly appreciate both the world and the people around me through my trips, my classes, living with an amazing and diverse group of people for four months in an old English manor, both the tourist attractions and the less expected places, and through so much more. I have learned what it truly means to be a global citizen. Most of all, I've learned more about myself. I have not found my self as I have always been here, I have simply learned more about who I am and what I care about. I have fallen in love with the world around me, and I highly recommend that you do the same. If you can be fearless, generous, and open hearted then you can be a global citizen. As my meet-a-family (Eric and Pat Whittaker) told me, just keep you love on."


I have thirteen more days until I say goodbye to Harlaxton, thirteen more days until I take my last British studies exam and meet my mom and Scott in London, and 24 more days until I am home in the magnificent midwest. This has been my temporary home, and I have thoroughly loved being here but I love my home and I am incredibly excited to go back. I intend to continue to blog after I arrive in the states, I'm not sure what about yet but most likely just whatever pops into my head surrounding my daily life and my caffeinated adventures. There will at least be one more post on here surrounding Italy and my return home, that I can promise. After that... what will be, will be and I'm sure it will be wonderful. Just keep your love on.

Love to all,
Erin

Monday, March 30, 2015

Paris!

Paris, France is an absolutely gorgeous place. I do not even know how to sum up this weekend into a few paragraphs. Instead, I will provide you with pictures and list a few of the things that I experienced:

1. The Louvre
2. Notre Dame
3. Sainte Chapelle
4. Musee de L'orangerie
5. Eiffel Tower
6. Nighttime Boat Tour
7. Amazing food- tiramisu, escargot, fresh baguette, macaroons, etc.
8. The Lock Bridge
9. Musee Rodin

Among many other wonderful experiences wandering the streets and shops of Paris, France. All of these things were absolutely amazing; they are indescribable. It was an amazing weekend!








Monday, March 16, 2015

"Amigas, Cheetahs, Friends For Life" - Amigas Cheetahs

Hello all! 

Barcelona, Spain is an absolutely incredible place. It's also quite terrifying with being one of the top places for pick pocketing. No, I did not lose anything but I was made a target at one point. High fives for escaping that. I had two full days in Barcelona, and a few hours in London before our train back to Grantham on Sunday.

I stepped into the Mediterranean Sea, and was unexpectedly attacked by a small wave. The beach was beautiful, chilly and sunny. I braved the wind and cold water long enough to take some pictures and experience the sea. We also walked up the stairs at Park GĂșell, walked through the port, walked around a park, and walked. through the vendors and streets. There were so many beautiful views and places, and so many shops for souvenirs! For part of Saturday, we had a wonderful Harlaxton Alumni who is now living in Barcelona show us some sites as well as join us for some delicious tapas.

Park GĂșell was quite high and allowed for an incredible view. After we left there we got caught in a hailstorm which was definitely an experience, and much more memorable than the brief rain showers. Of course this was all unexpected and I had left my umbrella in our hostel, luckily I had a rain jacket and a couple of the girls bought some cheap umbrellas earlier that day. We also walked through the Arc de Triomf, which was quite gorgeous and increased my excitement for France. The outside of the Sagrada Familia was highly detailed and amazing to see. This remarkable cathedral will not be finished for years, I can't remember the exact date but the Spanish like to take their time. All of these places, among many others I haven't mentioned, were absolutely gorgeous.

On Sunday, we happened to go to Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the guards which was quite chaotic. I much preferred when I went the first time and could easily take pictures and take in all of the details. We also wandered around Big Ben, London Bridge Area, and Trafalgar Square. By the end of the afternoon, I was absolutely exhausted as we had to wake up at 2AM London time that morning to get ready,catch a bus, catch a shuttle, and navigate through the Barcelona Airport to land in London around 9AM
 
Love to all!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Just waiting for Mr. Darcy by the Roman Baths...

Hello Lovelies!!

I spent the weekend searching for Mr. Darcy. In reality, I spent the weekend shopping and exploring Bath, Stonehenge, and Salisbury. Jane Austen lived in Bath for two years and based a couple of her novels on Bath. While I did not actually go to the Jane Austen Center, I definitely was finding the inspiration that she had lived off of. Bath is a gorgeous city full of stores upon stores with a few historic sites placed in between. Bath is a shopping center with the streets lined with stores and street carts. It was wonderful. Of course the Roman baths were an absolutely phenomenal site to see as well! There's also an exhibit surrounding the baths with old artifacts that are highly interesting to see. It's always fantastic to see history instead of just hearing about it. They were absolutely remarkable. The water tastes horrible though. They have a sampling area and although it's free, I would definitely rather pay to have some filtered water. It was so full of the taste of minerals, it tasted like we were drinking rocks...something I would prefer to avoid. The baths were amazing though, the whole city of Bath is quite amazing.

On our way back to the manor on Sunday we stopped at Stonehenge and Salisbury. Stonehenge is so much more incredible to see up close than I had anticipated. I almost didn't go on this trip, but I am so glad that I did. I got some fantastic photographs of Stonehenge and the sheep that were wandering nearby. If you can go to Stonehenge, then I recommend that you do. You only need an hour to take it all in and explore the gift shop, plus the drive there. It is completely worth it though. We also stopped in Salisbury where I got the most fantastic Apple crumble and ice cream. We also quickly stopped by the Cathedral there. Unfortunately we only had an hour in Salisbury so I was unable to see one of the original Magna Carta copies, maybe we will see one somewhere else. It was still a fantastic place.

No plans next weekend so I will be watching Netflix, studying, and searching for summer jobs or internships. A relaxed. no set plans weekend at the manor will be excellent.








Love to all!
Erin