First Tattoo

July 19th, 2018

3:59 PM

England, United Kingdom

Kings Crossing Tattoo Parlor

With a brief Instagram story of my beaming smile and tightly closed eyes laying on a tattoo parlor chair, no one but close family and friends knew the words that were being written on my ribs.

The word, fighter, in the handwritten script of my mother and father. My dad wrote the beginning of the word while my mom finished it off.

I’ve been through a lot in my life living with cystic fibrosis. Situations that have left me weeping in my bed, holding back tears while my body is crying in pain, and times where I questioned if I would ever be able to come back from the trauma I had been through.

Well here I am, aren’t I? Still smiling, still holding a positive outlook in life despite it all.

I am a fighter.

I got this tattoo to symbolize all the strength that I have and the ever-growing strength that will come throughout my life.

I want to look in the mirror and see that tattoo as a reminder of everything I am. No matter how hard things will get in life, no matter how much I think I’ll never be able to push through; I will be reminded that I am someone who never gives up. I will get through anything and everything.

I may only have myself at the end of the day but there is comfort in knowing that I am capable of overcoming.

I will fight to live a long life. I will fight against this disease. I will fight for every single person I love in my life.

I got my mom and dads handwriting because I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I wouldn’t be on this earth, gifted with this beautiful life. They have given me the foundation to live a life that I will be proud of one day. They have covered me with love, appreciation, a home, a family; what more could I ask for?

Getting this tattoo was essential while I was in Europe because I knew it would be a time in my life that I wouldn’t want to forget.

The tattoo artist (who’s card I am trying to find to give credit to) had a family member who also suffered from cystic fibrosis. I had been so nervous that the pain would be too overwhelming and I wouldn’t be able to take it. Everyone had been hyping it up that the rib was the worst place to get a tattoo.

I asked him if it was going to be too painful and he responded with “This is going to be nothing compared to the pain that you’ve been through in your life.”

And he couldn’t be more right. The pain was near to nothing in comparison with a PICC line dressing change or the surgery recoveries that I had been through. It felt like a little bee sting for 15 minutes and then it was done.

A smile was etched on my face the entire time. I was so incredibly happy and content with how it came out and how good it felt to have it done.

 

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Have any of you had one done or have a first-time experience you want to share? Leave it in the comments!

Love,

Beautiful London

I haven’t been blogging on this as religiously as I shoud have from the very beginning of the summer, especially when it comes to Europe.

There was just so much to do and see every day that I truly never had the time to sit down and write out everything I did. I mostly did videos and just capturing every moment whenever I could.

But to say it was life-changing would be an absolute understatement. I have never experienced so much in such a short amount of time.

There was so much rich history hidden in the nooks and crannies of the beautiful London. Three weeks there was no where near enough to explore every inch of the city and what it can bring. No matter how many walking tours or bus tours you do, it is not enough.

The transportation was also very different to the suburb living I am used to. I have obviously been to New York and Philadelphia but you could always drive there and if anything, take a train and subways to get around the city.

In London, driving is not as common (at least not for the Americans who only come to study abroad). So the major modes of transportation were buses, trains, and tubes. We never used a black cab when we were there (they charge by the minute which gets very expensive with city traffic). Oyster cards become your best friend. Especially when you are traveling every single day into the city and into the diferent zones in London.

The food wasn’t too hard to get accomodated to but I did miss a lot of my favorites from home. If you are a Sprite lover like me, just know that the Sprite that is carried in the UK is sugar-free and tastes like absolute crap. Because of this, I am now a Coke lover which I never thought would ever happen. Thats the soda that they had most readily available and sometimes was even cheaper than water!

Another thing, dining out is a lot different than America. Most of the time, you have to seat yourself and ask for menus. You also do not tip like we do in America since in Europe they are paid good hourly wages (that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave a bit of a tip for the good service). You also have to always ask for the check or if you need something, they don’t check on you every so often compared to America.

These were just a few things that stood out to me most when it came to comparison. I could just go on about all the amazing things in London. From the places to the beautiful souls I met throughout the whole experience.

Without the amazing people I met in my program, I don’t know how everything would have went. They were truly friendships that I know will always remain because a bond is made like no other when you travel to another country, knowing absolutely no one.

If you are still reading this and considering studying abroad or just overall exploring the UK yourself, I highly suggest it. It will absolutely change your life and the perspective that you once held.

Love,

Youtube links to all of the other videos I made:

 

My FAVORITE PLACE:

Scotland

If there is a place that I love more than anything now, it has to be Scotland.

It is truly beautiful, inside and out. There is so much history hidden behind the walls and curves of every road. It honestly feels as though you are in a movie or a book. There are so many nooks and crannies; from alley ways to hidden walkways that lead to unique shops and cafes.

You can see the beautiful Edinburgh castle, resting on the edge of a cliff. Looking as if it is about to tip over into the picturesque town. Brief glimpses of the castle pours through the spaces in between buildings.

When we had first gotten here, a smile was plastered to my face. I couldn’t help it, Scotland has a way of doing that to you.

So far we have gone on the infamous Harry Potter tour (which is free by the way), a night ghost tour, Edinburgh castle, New Town, and Old town.

You could sit in a cafe, reading, writing, and even people watching for hours at a time. The streets are filled with stores and covered with merchants in small tents. You also have the entertainers doing magic tricks, playing instruments, or simply just having a very cute dog with sunglasses on.

We are leaving tomorrow and we have sadly only been here for one full day but it was completely worth it.

I am in shell shock and wish endlessly to spend more time here.

Love,

Caity

P.S. here are some pics from the trip 💛 https://breathingwithcaity.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/img_2336.mov

A Whole Other Level of Happiness

To think that only a few weeks ago I was just getting out of surgery to the present, where I am at the most beautiful city is completely insane.

So much has changed in just the little bit of time and I couldn’t be happier. I have only been in England for a total of 5 days and have experienced more than I ever thought possible.

I have met the loveliest of people. All of the people I have met from this program are so kind and loving. We all just have this want to explore and travel as much as we can.

Honestly, I was completely apprehensive about doing this program because I was going alone. But I am so happy with the choice I made. There’s this new level of independence and responsibility that is starting to grow on me. And I wouldn’t have been as open to getting close with other people.

I just scheduled a flight to Scotland with three other amazing girls! How crazy is that?

All of these beautiful people were brought into my life from this experience and have already changed it; I couldn’t be more grateful.

We have done so many things within London and I will go more into detail in the next post but for now, here’s the video I made from the past few days!

Love,

in London, England