Top 5 Moments in Salamanca

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As my time in Salamanca comes to an end, it’s time to look back on the blissful highs and hilariously tragic lows of my first semester abroad in Spain. Exams, losing just a few of my personal belongings, frustration at Spanish bureaucracy, language barriers and homesickness aside, the innumerable highlights by far outweigh the lows. Since there were so many memories to choose from, I decided to pick moments and trips I hadn’t mentioned in previous posts! Continue reading

Top 10 Moments (so far)

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15000762_1170867532969204_8375154948438180072_o-1Hello again fabulous readers!

As the semester is coming to a close (it’s the last week, where has the time gone?!) I thought it would be nice to go through my highlights of the semester. There is an unreal amount of great moments but I miraculously managed to narrow it down to 10 so you won’t get overwhelmed by how much fun I’ve had. Here goes…don’t forget to scroll over images! Continue reading

On Food. Or, the beginning of an entirely inadequate summary of culinary fun in Hong Kong.

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All I had hoped for and more is true: ‘Hong Kong’ can confidently be labelled as synonymous with ‘good food’. The melting pot of cultures, styles and traditions means that you can’t walk more than a hundred metres without passing a veritable melange of international eateries. My claim – that if you want to eat well, you should be here in Hong Kong – is a big one, but I’m confident that I can justify it based on only two weeks of experience and the limitations of a student’s budget. Continue reading

Just Food

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I was drafting a post about the week after exams. My friend, Fiona, came and stayed with me for 46 hours (we only had to buy one transport ticket, bonus) and we visited the entirety of Rome in that time. I also ate more pizza than I ever thought possible, but it’s Italy so why waste the opportunity!? However, I was flicking through my camera roll the other day and I came across quite a few photos I’ve taken of food. So, for a bit of variety and sparkle, this post will be dedicated to some memorable meals I’ve eaten. Continue reading

Amman: Observations of a Country Boy

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It occurred to me a couple of days ago that most of my posts – discounting the rambling ones – are anecdotal more than informative. You lucky folks at Durham Students Abroad get the edited highlights, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster over at the mothership ( But that’s only natural; you can’t spin a good story out of a constant streak of facts. And I tend to let my heart bleed all over my writing, so to speak, for good or ill. So I thought I might give you something factual for a change. It’s a little run-of-the-mill as topics go, but I can’t help but feel a few detailed observations on what life is like in Amman might not be such a bad idea. It’s the kind of thing I was trawling the internet for in the weeks leading up to my arrival here, now over a month and a half go. Obviously, we’re talking about a city, and a capital city at that; such places are very much what you make of them. If you’re prepared to go out and make a good time for yourself, you’ll probably find it. That’s as may be. At any rate, that takes a stronger will than mine. Continue reading

Drowning in Hummus

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The guy behind the desk at the Ali Baba Cafe must have the easiest job in the world right now. It’s just gone half-past three in the afternoon and the cafe is buzzing. Anywhere else on a lovely summer’s day like today, there’d be half-finished cups of coffee on every table and the smell of something baked to perfection in a back room, and the guy behind the counter would be buzzing about like a bluebottle trying to balance the lunchtime rush hour. But I’m in Jordan, it’s the height of Ramadan, and my stomach will vouch for the total absence of anything resembling food. And still the guy sits behind the counter, watching what I can only assume to be Youtube video after Youtube video to pass the time (R Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet would be a good shout). Basically, he’s getting paid to do what most students do every night. Like I said, the easiest job in the world – which is more than can be said for being an Arabist. Continue reading

Let Loose From Calgary! Time to go Travelling and Surviving in San Francisco

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I made it to San Francisco!

So it’s been around three weeks since I left Calgary and what a jam-packed adventure so far! It’s been quite the whistle-stop tour of the west coast; stopping off in Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle. Right now I’m currently residing with my sister in San Francisco and have been here for around ten days. It’s been wonderful to stay in this quirky, diverse and gritty city whilst attempting to get to grips with its often surprising and eccentric inhabitants. Nevertheless I can’t help but feel the occasional pang of longing for my Canadian friends across the border. I will miss Canada for all its charm and courtesy (and there’s no Tim Hortons here either!). America feels far more dogged and rough-edged than its polite and reserved neighbours further north. Continue reading