A (Belated) 春节 Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

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Loyal readers (so, probably only my mother) I owe you an apology. Why? Because I have failed, quite comprehensively, to do anything out of the ordinary this Chinese New Year (春节 – Chūn Jié), much to my chagrin. I’ve been a boring Hong Kong tourist.

It wasn’t for lack of trying though. Promise. Continue reading

How to Speak Chilean, by a Gringa

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I stepped onto my 15-hour flight to Santiago de Chile feeling reasonably confident with my Spanish. Never mind nine years of studying it at school and university, I had five months of experience of living in Spain under my belt. Although I’d been warned by a few Latin Americans I’d met in Salamanca that Chilean Spanish was notorious for being one of the hardest- if not THE hardest- to grasp out of the entire Spanish-speaking world, I naively thought to myself, how different could it be? Continue reading

Skiing: A very specific list of what not to do.

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img_9194Howdy, all you fabulous readers! Wow, what a crazy few days it’s been! I just got back from skiing at Sunshine Ski Resort in Banff and I must say I’m shattered. It was an extremely eventful and stressful trip and I’m still not entirely sure I’ve recovered, but overall it was an absolute blast! So whilst it’s still fresh in my mind, let me tell you all the things that went wrong and give you a few pro tips about what not to do when you go skiing. Continue reading

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

How a Year Abroad can make you Happy – Derren Brown and Stoicism

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If you’re not a philosopher, then Derren Brown’s new book, Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine, may be a pleasant surprise. It’s an accessible foray into stoicism, an ancient greek philosophy that’s gaining momentum in the modern day amongst philosophers and non-philosophers alike. Returning to Hong Kong this week, one element of stoicism that he touched on seemed particularly poignant in the context of a year abroad: appreciating those things in our lives that we take for granted. I want to explore, briefly, how a year abroad can facilitate such reflexive activity. Continue reading

Vancouver: The Dream I Never Woke Up From

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Hello guys!

Somehow today represents my two month anniversary of studying at UBC in Canada and I can’t believe just how fast it’s gone. Since I last wrote I’ve been to Banff, Victoria, Seattle, joined a sorority, had fun at frat parties and had an abundance of more amazing memories, which secures to me that choosing to study in Canada has been the best decision of my life. Not only is the way of life less stressful here (and the academics have been easier – Durham works us extremely hard!) but I am just overall a much happier person because of my experiences and the people that I have met here. Continue reading

Myanmar for Reading Week! Study Abroad Trips!

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Fuelled by a meal of deep-fried locusts the night we’d arrived, our second day in Myanmar (formerly Burma) was about one thing only: Schwedagon Pagoda. ‘Schweddy,’ as one friend affectionately nicknamed it, is a huge Buddhist temple adorned by 3,000 rubies, 8 tonnes of gold plate and is topped off with a 76 carat diamond at its 100m tip. It is by far the most incredible structure in Yangon, the capital. Continue reading