Thoughts From Abroad | Part 16

31 January 2014

1) Couple sitting at the table next to me in cafe:
Man: "I don't know if I should take the job. It's in Texas."
Woman: "Is there even anything to do in Texas? I thought they just sat around shooting stuff all day."

2) There has been a debate on the best Nando's flavor. I'm team Mango & Lime.

3) Did you know that the River Severn (Bristol's main water source) has the second highest tidal range in the world? That's crazy!

4) It's been stupid cold here lately, but no sign of snow. 

5) I have officially finished Peep Show and moved on to The IT Crowd. Gotta love British TV. 

6) People take coffee art very seriously here in Bristol. 

7) Kid at work when I told him we were studying things from Victorian times: "You're American, you don't know the answers".

8) School is officially in full swing and I couldn't be happier. It nice to have something to do again, let alone something I enjoy. 

9) My best friend Leah is coming to visit me in March, another friend Meagan comes in April, and my family comes in May! AHHHH! I'm so excited to show everyone Bristol!

10) I'm officially offering Sponsorships! Seeing as this little blog baby of mine is still growing, I wanted to offer affordable and easy ways to sponsor. Both options are cheaper than cup of coffee, and are great ways to get your blog on my reader's radars!

Happy Friday!


29 January 2014

- a strong desire to travel.

In 2011 I packed my bags and moved to London. While the move was only for the summer, my experiences studying abroad changed my life forever. I had been bitten by the wanderlust bug, which ultimately led to my return to England just four months ago.

When I returned to the states, I was craving travel. I felt this overwhelming urge to pack my bags and drop myself into another culture. I wanted to see more and do more! But I was not the only one. I learned very quickly that my fellow American and Canadian friends who had studied with me in London were restless at home as well. 

Overall, we experienced a feeling of not fitting in with our home culture. We were in this limbo, knowing there was a whole world out there to be explored and conquered. There was something so thrilling about living in another country, and coming home proved to be very anticlimactic. As for me, I was beginning to develop a resentment towards aspects of daily life that were being taken for granted. When I moved back to England, I finally felt at ease. My constant craving for culture and history was filled. 

I was not the first or last person in my 2011 study abroad program to make a life changing move. A significant amount of us packed our bags for new surroundings.

Texas to England.

Canada to Australia. 
Michigan to California.
North Carolina to Kentucky. 
Florida to England. 
Canada to New Zealand.
North Carolina to England.

I don't know if there was something in the water at that university in London, but we were all bit with the wanderlust bug. There's something special about a person who leaves the comfort of their home to create a new life somewhere else. It makes me incredibly happy knowing I have friends across the globe creating successful lives of their own. 

Happy Wednesday!

Brandon Hill | Bristol, England

26 January 2014

Since arriving in England some four months ago I've come to the realization that you have to enjoy the little things. It's easy to overwhelm yourself with tourist attractions and what not, but the best way to enjoy your new city is do as the locals do.

Brandon Hill is a hidden gem. Just around the corner from my flat, it's easily missed if you don't know it's there. Brandon Hill has become my 'relaxation' spot. Not so much lately with the cold weather, but if it's a beautiful day you can most likely find me sitting on a bench, people watching. The hill provides some of the most amazing views of the city, and it's easily one of my favorite places in Bristol.

One of these days I'll climb Cabot Tower, but trust me when I say climbing to the top of the hill is exhausting enough.

Happy Sunday!

I'm officially offering Sponsorships! Seeing as this little blog baby of mine is still growing, I wanted to offer affordable and easy ways to sponsor. Both options are cheaper than cup of coffee, and are great ways to get your blog on my reader's radars!

Thoughts From Abroad | Part 15

24 January 2014

1) I started eating meat again (after two years of being a pescatarian). Yesterday I had a fried egg burger with peanut butter on it. 

2) I met Brendan Cole. He's a dancer on Strictly Come Dancing and unfortunately I had no idea who he was until someone told me.

3) We've had a mixture of amazing and dreadful weather lately. Rainy days = a very unproductive Sara.

4) The University of Bristol has an American football team. Words can not describe how happy this makes me.

5) It's been 4 months since I moved to England and I still don't understand why the letter Z is pronounced Zed...

6) What I'd give for a little beach time right now. Anybody want to fly me to Australia?

7) I made fajitas... and they were delicious. Why am I always talking about food?

8) I know I said this last week, but I really need to start thinking about my dissertation.

9) Classes officially start on Tuesday. While doing absolutely nothing has been fun, I'm ready to get back to reality. I've been in the library pretty much all day preparing for the upcoming week. Yay for being productive!

10) Thank you everyone who commented and showed me love for Bristol Vibes! It's nice to change up the pace every now and then. If you haven't see it yet, watch it here.

And so the semester begins.
Happy Friday!

Bristol Vibes

21 January 2014

After days and days of rain, the sun finally decided to come out and play!
I initially grabbed my camera to snap some pics and what not, but one thing led to another and before I knew it I had filmed enough for a video!

I'm calling it Bristol Vibes
That's a cool name, right?
Anyway, I haven't decided if I want to do more videos like this or not, but I thought it would be a nice change to see some video footage of life here in Bristol!

Happy Tuesday!

Clifton Observatory | Bristol, England

19 January 2014

On my little walk around Clifton Suspension Bridge, I also found myself wandering around Clifton Observatory. If I'm not mistaken the building is actually for sale? I'm not sure, but unfortunately I could not get inside. The view on top of the cliff was amazing, and if it hadn't been so chilly I would have spent hours there. 

So far I have been pleasantly surprised with England's winter. However, people keep telling me "it's been a mild winter, just wait a few weeks and it'll be really awful". I guess we'll just have to see!

Happy Sunday!

Thoughts From Abroad | Part 14

17 January 2014

1) I'm almost tempted to say Bristol has skipped winter and gone straight to spring. It's been beautiful here lately!

2) However, I would like just one major snow this year. Just one BIG snow so I can go sledding for the first time.

3) And it's also been raining. Nonstop. I don't mind the rain here because it never rains for more than an hour straight. 

4) My American Horror Story Asylum experience so far:

5) I should probably start reading things for my dissertation now that I have a little free time...

6) I went into Primark and bought one item. I'm learning self control.

7) I need to plan a day trip for sometime this week. Any suggestions of places to go around the Bristol area?

8) If you haven't seen this video, you're missing out. Bad British Commentary

9) I have come to the realization that the most deadly animal in England is the cow... Just think about that.

10) I was pleased to see the History MA gang last night. We are all slowly trickling back to Bristol, and there's nothing better than discussing possibilities of us all failing our essays over drinks.

Here's a picture of me being a cool kid back in the day.
Happy Friday!

Clifton Suspension Bridge | Bristol, England

14 January 2014

The last few days have been kind of weird for me. 
Weird in the sense I was sleeping until 2 in the afternoon and only getting out of bed for food. 
I blamed it on jet lag, telling myself it was okay, I'll get back on schedule soon.
But I realized today that it wasn't jet lag. The reason I felt so crappy was because I had been sitting on my butt for the last few days watching hours and hours of American Horror Story. 
So when I woke up at 1pm today (oh the joys of having a break from school), I made a conscious effort to actually get up and go do something. 

It was such a gorgeous day I decided to catch a bus up to Clifton Suspension Bridge. I would have walked, but who am I kidding? I wanted a little fresh air not a mountain hike. 

Clifton Suspension Bridge is 245 ft above River Avon. It was finished in 1864, making 2014 its 150th anniversary year. 
I have crossed it twice, once by foot and the other by car, so didn't feel the need to walk across today. The area surrounding the bridge is absolutely beautiful and I found myself wandering around for an hour or so. 

It's amazing what a little fresh air can do for you!
Happy Tuesday!

Thoughts From Abroad | Part 13

11 January 2014

1) I apologize for my brief absence from the blogging world. I was back in Texas for the holidays, and to top it all off I had 3 essays and 4 medieval transcriptions to finish! To say I have been busy is an understatement.

2) I'm back in the UK! Woohoo! Although I loved being back home for a few weeks, it's nice to be in my own routine again. If you haven't noticed, I'm extremely independent and function best when on my own. 

3) I don't think I've ever said this before in my life: it IS possible to eat too much. I've eaten so much the last couple of weeks. Goodbye American portions!

4) Having said that, I will miss margaritas and queso. And kolaches.

5) Over the break my old roommate and I planned a trip to Ireland when she comes to visit me in April!

6) I forgot how nice it is to walk out of the house in yoga pants and a t-shirt without being judged. Gotta love the casual sorority look.

7) Y'all. The Olympics are about to start and I have no TV. What. The. Heck.

8) I think I've beat jet lag... I think.

9) It's weird to think that in 8 months I would have turned in my dissertation and completed my masters program. Time to start panicking yet?

10) I'm never one to make New Year's Resolutions, however there is one task I would like to accomplish in 2014. Travel outside the UK more! My first 3 months in England were an adjustment period. Now that I am comfortable living abroad, I think it's time for me to travel Europe more!

Happy Saturday!

Throwback | Mexico

06 January 2014

I'm attempting to organize my life.
And when I say life, I mean the 'Travel' page of my blog. 
Most of the countries I have visited were pre-Bristol in my Pocket. I thought long and hard about how I should include some of those travels, and it dawned on me: Throwbacks.
So grab a cup of tea and enjoy the lovely pictures of me in my awkward years.

June 2009: Age 18
Cozumel & Progresso

I have been to Mexico on four separate occasions. Unfortunately, pictures get lost as time goes on. I've been on a desperate search for pictures from these first two trips, and have had little success. This was my third trip to Mexico.

I'm about to tell y'all something rather embarrassing. But my life's an open blog, right?
You are about to enter a no judgement zone.

I joined Girl Scouts when I was 6.
Yes, most American girls are Girl Scouts at some point.
However, I was a member up until I graduated high school.
My troop and I decided at a very young age that we wanted to save our cookie money and go on a vacation the summer before college. It probably seemed like a silly idea at the time, but we stuck to it.
By the time high school graduation rolled around, we had actually saved enough money to go on a cruise! Our cookie money paid for a cruise!

This was my first trip abroad without my parents. It was a big deal for me, even if I had been to Cozumel before. I stand by my opinion that cruises are the best vacations. Between the food, the people, and the destinations, you seriously can't go wrong.

I had so much fun on this cruise, I actually ended up doing it again with my college roommates in 2013. That however, is a post for another time.


New Years Eve | San Antonio, Texas

01 January 2014

There's no place in the world like San Antonio, Texas.
I lived in San Antonio my freshman year of undergrad and absolutely loved it. Since I'm back in Texas for a couple of weeks, my family decided to make the short drive to SA for New Years Eve.

Mi Tierra Mexican Cafe, located in Market Square, has been my favorite restaurant for as long as I can remember. Its atmosphere is unique and its food is INCREDIBLE. It's always a must stop whenever we're in San Antonio. 

Happy New Year everyone!