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 đź’› 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

I Am Free!

After all of the grueling days spent with fevers and an endless amount of pain, I am finally free.

I got out my PICC line out along with stopping all of the antibiotics and I couldn’t be happier.

I feel good, for once. My lungs don’t feel as though a pile of bricks is on them. I am no longer coughing to the point that I throw up. I am able to actually stand and go about life without possibly fainting.

I am also happy to announce that I am officially going to England this summer. It was a spur of the moment decision I made a month or so ago, I was able to get in all the documents, forms, and payments. Now it is official that I am heading off and I am so so excited.

I will only be gone for three weeks where I will take a creative writing course of some sort to get credits. I do not know what to expect but I do have family over there so hopefully, they can guide me if everything gets to be too much.

I love traveling and I always will. Being admitted through the dates that I was supposed to go on a trip was absolutely devastating. But you can’t plan for things to happen (now I know to always purchase travel insurance), life works in its own way.

In the hospital, I just kept thinking of getting away and seeing the most beautiful views in England.

Speaking of when I was in the hospital, I couldn’t tell you how grateful I was for all of the people who stopped to visit me. Even though it wasn’t that long of a stay, people came to see me and it meant the absolute world to me. So to those special people, thank you so so much for giving me company, cards, sweet treats, etc. I will always remember it and cherish you.

This admission was different than most because I truly was going about my medical decisions by myself. I spent every night alone and handled my doctors without my family. I actually felt like an adult for once and yes, it was terrifying but it kind of felt good too.

Twenty is really changing who I am and I am just going along with it.

Love,

 

 

The Little Things

A little bit of a life update: I am currently in the hospital for a lung exacerbation and it sucks. It sucks more than the usual sucking because I had planned on traveling this week. Timing is the absolute worst especially when you try to plan things out, even more so, when you have a life-threatening lung disease.

It is now two days since I stepped foot into the emergency room of the hospital. I was in pain; every breath seemed to exert far more energy than usual, my head throbbing, sweating and then growing cold again, and my cough left me huddled in a ball trying to hinder the pain as much as I could. It honestly felt like it would never end.

With my mom by my side, we sat in the chairs waiting. My name hadn’t even been called to put in the system. I held a box of tissues in my sweaty palm while a mask covered my face making it even harder to breathe. And then the tears just came pouring down, I couldn’t stop them.

It was another one of those life-defining moments. Those moments where it seems you are looking at yourself from a third person view. Seeing myself, pale, hunched over, having shameless tears that were slowly absorbing into my mask. This was the Caity I didn’t want to see nor did I like seeing.

I wanted to be the glowy, happy Caity that only had to worry about school, her job, and the people in her life.

I wanted to be the Caity that could travel to any place and be okay.

But that wasn’t me and the reality of it all is this Caity is always going to be around. Cystic fibrosis is going to have an impact on me for the rest of my life. It will always be a part of me.

So although I may not like seeing myself in such a state, I have to accept it.

Because the thing about us, as people, is we forget that we are human beings.

Human beings that go through so much, the wear and tear of the soul and the body. Every day we are constantly faced with a challenge and it might not be a life-altering one but it still affects you and everything in your life.

You aren’t perfect and that’s 100% okay. Because it’s in those moments where you feel at your absolute worst where you truly see how strong and amazing you are. It shows that you are real and struggle and I find that beautiful.

I still don’t know for sure how long I will be in here (I will keep you all updated). I still find ways to appreciate the little things like getting sour patch kids or having amazing people come and visit me to make my day. The love from my family and friends through every platform (texts, phone calls, Facebook posts/comments, etc.) mean the world to me and I am so grateful for the people in my life.

It’s really the little things that help you push through.

Love,

Fate

“If it’s meant to be, it will be.”

This is a saying that I have a love/hate relationship with.

It makes me frustrated because you have the power to change your life at any moment. You can make things happen. You don’t just let life take the wheel and hope for the best. You can make it happen, yourself.

But after multiple times of musing over it, using it to understand problems, and just life itself. I came to realize how true it all is.

If something is meant to happen, it will happen. Regardless of what you do to hinder it or make it occur.

Do you ever hear those stories where a married couple talks about how they met, it all kind of happened by chance? They either worked at the same store or she dropped her wallet and he was the guy who picked it up and gave it back to her or they just happened to sit next to each other on a plane and hit it off.

All of these moments I had thought were just occurring by chance but maybe it’s really what was meant to happen. Even if these people didn’t meet in that way, they would have just met in another way because it was always the path they were meant to take.

All of these stories led to love and then the rest of their lives together. And that’s when I believe in the saying. That’s when I believe in fate.

It’s a hard concept to fully believe when you go through awful situations and painful heartbreak.

But maybe it’s time to just let go and just know that you are going to be okay. You are going down the path you are meant to be in.

Maybe its time to put your faith into the universe, into fate; as naive as it may sound.

Love,

Toronto, Canada (Day 3 and 4)

The journey continued into our two final days in Canada. The third day was spent exploring Toronto as much as we could. While the fourth day we squeezed in one more sight before heading back home.

On the third day, we went through the Fashion District, Kensington Market, and the Distillery District. The beginning of the day was spent in the Fashion District where we went in a bunch of different antique places and vintage clothing stores. To see all the different fabrics and designs dispersed through the clothing of different stores was fascinating. We were always welcomed with big smiles and questions as to where we were from.

From there we went to the Grafitti Wall. It was below zero but we were able to get a few pictures and tried to admire the artwork as much as we could. We also spent some of our time at one of the biggest malls I had ever been to, the CF Toronto Eaton Centre.

Our next stop was the Distillery District that had a plethora of shops and art. We had stopped in a building filled with art that had four floors. There were artists that had their doors open so people could come and admire their work. We talked to a few artists who explained their pieces to us.

The final night came to an end in a Mexican radio bar with Modelos, quesadillas, and some churros. We packed the car ready to leave for the next day. Upset that we couldn’t spend more time in a place where we made so many memories and laughs.

We woke up at 7 am prepared for the long drive but of course, we had to go to one last place to adventure; Niagara Falls.

Let me just tell you, if you have not been here before, it is a must that you go some point in your life. It was the most breathtaking view I have ever seen in my entire life. Driving up the road to see the very edges of the falls and the blue hues that resonated, was astounding

It was so beautiful.

We walked our way through the path, eager to see Niagara Falls in its entirety. All you could hear was the crashing of the water. You felt complete and utter peace. The water was an unexpected teal blue with darker hues interwoven within it. An eerie mist arose from the falls and made it even more breathtaking.

After seeing that, we picked up a few things from the souvenir shop and continued our eight-hour drive.

Canada, thank you for all of the amazing moments you gave me. You were the first place I traveled to without any supervision. You were the place that truly threw me into needing to travel as much as I can.

Don’t worry, I am coming back. Whether it’s this summer or next year, I can’t wait to make even more amazing memories with you.

Love,