This is me. Living life to its fullest.

This is me. Living life to its fullest.
I'm young, single and making the best of life :) Why NOT travel!?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting to Paris

So excited I'm leaving for Paris tonight! But it's so complicated to get there. Check out my groups' transportation plan:

Bus to train station ---> train to Central London ---> coach to Luton Airport ---> plane to Paris --> subway to our hostel

Our train is at 11pm and we are going to bum around London until 3am which is when our coach leaves to the airport for our 6am departure. We didn't want to spend more money on a hostel in London when were only going to be there for a couple hours, so we're taking the latest train out to London and killing time at pubs before our coach leaves. It will be interesting walking around the city with all our luggage in the middle of the night.

Thursday night out

Since I've been here, I've been lucky to find such a good group of friends [LEFT: Potluck girls-Nicole, Laurel, Lauren, me. Missing: Isa, Alex and Mei Ling]. Every week (or ALMOST every week rather) we have potlucks and everyone takes turns bringing the main dish, appetizer, dessert, wine...wait why am I explaining this? I'm sure you know what a potluck is, it's not brain science. Anyways, last night I was on the dessert train and was craving ice cream, which we devoured....Vanilla Toffee ice cream...damn that's delicious! This was our 4th potluck already and they are always interesting. I absolutely love our conversations that range from abortion to relationships to art to British history to complaining about how stupid the school system is here. Last night our topics were sibling relationships, the lack of men selection here in Brighton, planning for future travel trips and writing in journals about this study abroad experience....which got me thinking about this blog. Yes, I have my moments where I don't keep up (in this case I missed almost a whole month of my trip) but still its nice to know I have something to look back on when I'm no longer here. It's more than just a blog and I'm not embarassed about writing something stupid and reading it later, but it's a personal account about how I felt in that moment or what I did. God knows how bad my memory is (well for certain things). Sure I don't write about things right after they happen, but as more time goes by you lose those "in-the-moment" feelings and its just nice to go back and look over the experience when it actually happened.

Anyways, after the serious dinner conversations, 3 pizzas, a bowl of veggies, garlic bread, 5 bottles of wine and 2 ice cream tubs later a couple of us went out into town. Our plan was to stay up all night and sleep all day today since we we're traveling to Paris tonight and need to stay up for 24+ hours straight. Yeah, came home from Casablanca around 3am ish, and failed at staying up and crashed right before 4am. Although I did wake up at 12pm! Thank god I had no classes today. Casablanca was 2 story club, pretty good vibe. There was a live jazz band downstairs [ABOVE] and dj upstairs. I was a little buzzed from the wine at the potluck, but we couldn't resist the vodka + mixer specials and ordered 2 drinks, plus the vodka and redbull I had at Coalition before ending up at Casabalanca. We were supposed to meet up with some friends for a birthday thing, but the people I called were piss ass drunk and I had no idea where they ended up. Oh well, we had fun nonetheless

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Very Interesting Day

Today after studying in the computer lab I met up with some friends to go support our friend Kolby for is bball game. We had an adventure and had to pick up some "recreational board game" before the game and ended up talking to this wierd but awesome guy about politics. Its interesting what the British think of America. This guy went on about how we are mind-controlled and how people worry more about smoking in public then dead bodies and poverty in the streets. He was telling us about how his friend has some land in the tropics and how he's building this retreat/get-away for people of all backgrounds so we can stand united as one. We were already late for the game, but we listened to his theories because it was rude to leave. In a sense, I'm glad we got a chance to listen, because again it opened up my mind to a new perspective on life. We didn't end up getting the "board game" and went to the game [BELOW] where Sussex lost but Kolby made lots of baskets so that was a plus. After the game I rushed home because I was starving and had left over pasta, fish fillets and cheerios. I know, wierd combo but good I tell you.

School issues

Since I'll be traveling the next two weekends and all my assignments aren't until the last week I decided to be a good student and start on them early. Therefore, I've been spending the last 3 days on campus forcing myself to read and start my paper and presentations. Its going all right...I guess you could say. Its just so hard to get motivated when I'm here and then I'm going to be traveling soon! Ah! No worries, I just need to get a 40% to pass my classes, and I'm pretty sure I can handle that. The sucky part is that I had to change my graduation date from March to June for the UW. Since I'm only here for Spring Term and the academic year is usually Spring and Summer term, I still have to turn in 2 major papers in April via email. Even if I did turn it in early, it won't be graded until May which means the grades won't be transferred to UW until then...thus making the possibility of graduating in March close to zero. It's not a big deal though, and after going back and forth with my UW Psych advisor, Sussex Psych advisor, UW international student advisor, and Sussex international student advisor it seemed like the best thing to do. I won't have to register for Spring quarter when I get back and I can still walk in June which is what my original plan was in the first place.

Major Update!!!

Wow. I offically suck at keeping a blog. This is what happens, I make journal and then slack off writing in it. Well ever since the snow all melted, the weather has been on and off between sunshine, cloudy days and a little bit of rain...not as much as Seattle rain, but just to the point where it drizzles.

Where to begin? The month of February has gone by like a blur, and I can't believe its almost over. I only have a month left here, and I'm going to make the most of it. Travel plans have changed instead of going to Bath and Stonehege (both Roman remnants in England), I'll be visiting an old high school friend in Rome. I figured the real Rome was worth the switch, plus I'll be seeing Emma again! This weekend I'll be in Paris with a group of friends- there's 7 of us all together I think: Clark, Cameron, Kolby, Sean, Nicole, Rosie and me....yeah that's 7. Plus some another group is going the same time we are so we might meet up with them. I'm so excited to visit the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the catacombs and Centre Pompido! I still can't believe I'm in Europe, it seems surreal. Most of my friends here are staying the whole 2 terms and will be here until June so they are traveling during the break- Sussex gives 3 weeks off in April. But I will be back at home by then studying for the GRE's, applying for grad schools, getting psych experience, volunteering, working and doing my scholarship project---> which I shouldn't worry about that now and focus on living my life in THIS MOMENT.....finishing school here, enjoying England, and traveling to Paris, Rome and Barcelona at the end of the month after finals week.

Since my absence from this blog I've been watching a lot of online tv...surfthechannel and are my favorites- watching the complete 2 seasons of The Tudors (Henry Cavill who plays King Henry's best friend is my new celebrity crush by the way) and now I'm almost done with the second season of Private Practice. I love Kate Walsh's character Addison! Plus watching the shrink on the show is intriguing because that's what I want to get myself into eventually *sigh*.

Besides gluing myself to online tv, I've been trying to keep healthy. Ever since I got here I've been eating so much and not watching the kind of foods I do eat...which means I feel fat. Since the gym on campus is too expensive and not worth paying for the short time here, I've found ways to work out like cardio kickboxing from youtube, yoga poses, and running around the neighborhood. The hills here actually hurt my feet but I did find a track the other day that seems perfect for laps! I've also been eating lots of whole grain, yogurt, pasta and veggies.

Besides my diet, money has been a bitch since I don't have a job here and figured getting one is pointless since I'm not here that long. I came here to enjoy, not work so that's what I'm doing...its just hard to spend all this money when I have no regular income. I just have to face the fact that I'll be broke when I get home and will need to work ASAP. Most of the spending was my birthday week and week before since I went out a lot, but the experience was worth it: Pre-drinking at my friends house (where I downed a bottle of vodka mixed with some cranberry. yeah, not a good night for my stomach), dancing at Oceana with heels that hurt, dinners for my friends bdays, pre-drinking on campus, the lameness and lollipops at Audio, Font (the coolest bar ever beausse it was originally an old church), and Spanish tapas for my bday dinner.

Hmmm, Saturday was a good day. I met with some friends (Clark, Nancy and Enkrii) to get some afternoon tea in Rottingdean, a nearby town. I didn't realize that teahouse has been there since the 1500's! Crazy how old everything is here! After tea, we explored the beach and took some fun pictures, threw rocks until they shattered, practiced our model walks on the path, and then took the bus back to town and got some Shakeaway (shakes mixed in with any candy). Check out their menu. Oh but the day wasn't over! We went out later that night to a gay club called much fun! I had a blast except for when a drunk guy pushed me off the platform and spilled a drink all over my purse. Not cool at all.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow day!

I got most of today's to-do list done...including mailing my postcards, finishing Breaking Dawn (OH-EM-GEE), and buying Paris tickets (Feb 28th-March 2nd)!!!! After a full meal (I cooked rice, corned beef hash with potatoes and eggs for myself) I'm in a food coma and just want to take a nap. I just have 2 articles to read by Thursday. Since campus was closed today due to the snow (stuff I'm pretty familiar with after the blizzard that hit Seattle this past Dec), I played outside like a little kid. I guess I could enjoy it more since I didn't have to drive in it like back at home. My host sister, Mercedes, and I built a mini snow woman (above: I say its a girl because it looks like she has boobs and I got pink lint all over her from my mittens), threw snowballs and the dog Jack (which he caught in his mouth), and had a snowball fight with my host brother, Lawrence, his friend, Lee and my hostdad, Martin. It was a good bonding my moment, because I sometimes feel akward being part of their family.

After a nap, I plan to get some reading done, (I doubt it but I always have time tomorrow, especially if campus closes again), and then I'm meeting up with a friend and WALKING to town for a movie since the buses are down today. It feels pretty far, but my only worry is that I don't fall and slip in the snow...I swear I'm such a klutz, especially in this weather! Mercedes is playing her music really loud downstairs as always (her room is directly underneath mine) and the song is "You down with OPP...ya you know me" haha. Speaking of music, I've been listening to this artist non-stop since I discovered her on someone's myspace this morning. These are my top 2 favorite songs of hers, and I absolutely adore her music...its just so soothing, relaxing and happy at the same time. Just puts you in a good mood :)

We Will Not Grow Old by Lenka

Knock Knock by Lenka

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Snowed in the First day of Feb

Wow. I did absoutely nothing today. Pretty much stayed home and read. I was going to go for a jog in the park but then a snow flurry started mid-day and my plans were ruined. Not as bad as home which reached a couple feet of snow in just a small amount of time, but enough flurries to stick to ground at least. Oh! I did do some kickboxing and a little ab workout since I had to stay indoors, which got me a little bit energized.

Yesterday I explored Brighton with my friend Nancy. I should have known the snow was going to hit today because it was absolutely freezing yesterday, but at least it didn't come down when we were walking along the beach. The wind on the otherhand...I almost froze my hands off trying to take pictures and not wearing gloves. I wonder if its possibls to get chapped hands from the cold because that's what it felt like when I got home, they were chapped and chappped lips from the all-powerful wind. Anyways, we walked around town and the waterfront looking at the Brighton Pier which has its own minicarnival including food stands and rides, the beach overlooking the English channel, and Old Steine which included some fountain and the Royal Pavilion (below) and looked like Aladdin's Palace to me.
For more pics, check out my facebook album.

Its funny here how everyone goes out on the weekdays so Friday or Saturday nights aren't so special, most people actually stay in or do something low key. This past Friday my friends and I were trying to think of something low budget because we had just gone out the night before so we had a potluck at my friend, Lauren's house. It was just chill- pizza, bread, salad, cupcakes and lots of wine. I think we went through like 3-4 bottles, and still wanted more. We're going to try to make it weekly and have everyone bring a bottle so we'll have enough next time. Mmmm...I love white wine :)

Yes so Thursday night the school had this Pub Crawl where we visited 3 pubs and one club. It was kind of lame, everyone said the first one was way better. The pubs they took us to weren't even that busy and everyone wanted to leave after like 10 minutes there already. I did discover a new drink called a Tuaca shot (above: with my friend, Jen) which has smirnoff and some kind of caramel was strong but delicious which means dangerous and getting drunk faster. The club we went to called Funky Buddha, wasn't that great either, but my friends and I made it fun! Dancing always lightens the mood. I totally thought someone said we were going to the "fucking Buddha" and I thought that was so inappropriate to name a club that, especially since Buddha is a religous figure....until I realized I heard wrong. Oops, my bad.

Oh and I got this care package (below) from my mother earlier in the week. Mostly Asian food like noodles and soup. I love my Mom :)

Goals for the week:
- Send postcards
- buy leather jacket (I've been eyeing one)
- buy Paris tickets
- finish reading Psych articles for my Thursday seminar
- Finish Breaking Dawn (which I'll probably end up doing tonight)