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:

Toronto, Canada (Day 1 and 2)

I have never done so much nor had so much fun in just the bit of time that I have spent at a place like I have here.

My cousin, her two college besties and I, road tripped from New Jersey to Canada with only knowing where we were staying.

Not a day was planned out. We obviously made a list of things we had to see and do but other then that, it was all up in the air and I absolutely loved it.

The trip to Toronto, Canada started at 4 am and ended around 12 pm. I was only living on three hours of sleep so I could barely keep my eyes open but we made it (thank god).

It was actually kind of peaceful, driving. Everyone else was passed out while I just played my jams cruising down the winding roads (which I didn’t realize how dangerous they could be even if you tried to stay at the speed limit).

The car ride was spent either sleeping, stopping at Dunkin, getting gas, gossiping, jamming out, or searching up what to expect when we got to the border.

Right when we got to Canada, we screamed our heads off because we couldn’t believe that we actually did it.

Us, 19/20 year olds, going to another country all by ourselves. It was a pretty big deal to us at least.

After driving further into Canada, we went to a restaurant around our Air B and B called Loose Moose. They had the best burgers ever and it was super artsy.

After that we got to our Air B and B and slept for a few hours since we were all pretty exhausted.

We woke up, made more food, and went out to the town. We looked up different bars we could go to and went for it.

The first bar we went to wasn’t really for the younger crowd but we still hung around and had a good time.

The next bar was called the Underground. It was covered in different colored lights and bras were strung across the ceiling like decorations. Music blasted from the speakers and from the moment we stepped into the place, we couldn’t stop dancing.

We had an amazing time meeting very different kinds of people. The night ended with a visit to Tim Hortons (which is kind of like a Dunkin Donuts mixed with a Wawa). As we tripped and stumbled our way back home, we couldn’t stop laughing and talking about everything that happened earlier in the night.

I didn’t know Kristina’s college friends all that much but we definitely got to grow closer from all the memories we made. They are the sweetest, most kindest people.

That was just all the first day and the second day would be even better.

We spent the second day going to the CN tower, it was so beautiful to see the city and everything that surrounded it. We also went to Ripleys aquarium that had a 360 view of the shark tank which was pretty awesome.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant that Drake, the rapper, had been involved with (he named it). It was so delicious and a bit more expensive than anything else we ate in Canada but definitely worth it all.

Our day turned into a night spent at a Harry Potter themed bar called, The Lockhart. If you love Harry Potter (even just a little bit), you HAVE to go here. From drinks to the posters and art that covered the walls, it made you feel like you were truly in Harry Potter.

We only have two days left here but I plan to spend all of them the right way. I can’t wait for more memories to be made. I feel so lucky to be able to even experience this and do it with amazing people who truly bring out the best in me.

Love,

Here is the video I finally got done:

Gracie’s Wish

My beautiful little sister made a wish to go to Disney World and it was finally granted!

The smiles and laughs that I have seen and heard from her, have brought so much warmth.

My sister has been through a lot in the little time that she has been on this earth. From hospitalizations to missing months of school because of Cystic Fibrosis, she is always in pain and suffering.

These moments with us on vacation are the things that I hope can make her forget about all the pain she faces on a daily basis.

I wish I could leave her in these beautiful moments forever, where she is so unbelievably happy and carefree.

I would do anything to make that possible for her.

The trip has been absolutely amazing so far. Make-A-Wish has been awesome in making sure that all of our travels have been smooth and successful (especially when it comes to getting in the express lanes for rides).

We are residing at Give The Kids The World and let me just tell you, the people who volunteer and work here are the kindest people you will ever meet.

They have really made the stay here so comfortable and stress-free.

All the volunteers want to do is help you in any way they can, whether it’s bringing your food to the table or making you ice cream or even doing your hair and nails. All they spread is love and positivity to every child and adult they interact with.

Give Kids The World has events going on constantly such as birthday parties of characters or Christmas nights. They have horseback riding, movie nights, arcades, rides, pools, golf, fishing, you name it they probably have it somewhere around here.

So far we have been to Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Universal Studios: the Island of Adventure in just two days.

I had my go-pro with me since the beginning of our journey because I want my sister to remember these moments.

To remember that there are so many amazing moments in life that outweigh the bad.

That she has a family that loves her and adores her. A family that will always be there for her.

So I made a video, that way when the pain is too much or she just wants to look back on all the things we did, she can.

I love you, Gracie. Always.

Part 1:

Part 2:

So many memories made that will never be forgotten.

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The Super Bowl

The Eagles winning was the most amazing thing to happen to Philadelphia.

The pure excitement that came from people was contagious.

People crying, people screaming, people who were just so incredibly happy.

Although I am not a true Eagles fan (family raised me into the Giants), my heart swelled with warmth looking at everyone around me.

A smile never left my face and I made so many memories in just one day.

My friends and I decided to go to Philadelphia right after they had won the Super Bowl. We were apprehensive at first because we saw it was crazy from the news and the Snapchats people posted.

But you only live once, right?

These memories would be nothing without the amazing people in them. I am so fortunate for every single person in my life.

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