sun setting over lake in florida
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2018: The Year That Changed My Life

I guess you could say it’s a silly title. Every year changes my life in one way or another. In 2016 I chopped off a big chunk of my hair and with that, my insecurities. In 2017 I went to South Africa, Namibia, England, and Greece. I’m still trying to figure out how to sum up 2018 in one sentence. Obviously it’s not going well, so here we are, with an entire blog post instead.

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palm tree on road in florida
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Surviving the Road Trip from Jersey to Florida

I can now officially say that I have survived my exams! With the semester finally over, we are sinking into the heart of a New Jersey winter. Most of the time I imagine winter to be scenic and romantic, with towns blanketed in snow and quaint lights lining the street – you know, the typical Hallmark scene. But then December and January roll around and quickly remind me that it’s a lot more bare trees and layers of sweaters than I remember.

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alleyway in bristol at night
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6 Nights in Bristol

I decided to call this 6 Nights in Bristol because after all of the traveling, trying to count how many full days I was there is kind of a struggle. Half a day Wednesday and half a day Tuesday, does that count as one full day or two? Should I count the minute I got to the airport in Heathrow or not until I got off the bus in Bristol?

ANYWAY, 6 nights, 7 or 8 days in Bristol, whatever you want to call it, and I still wish I had more time.

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bristol england
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On Bristol, Health, and Travel

I’ve come to realize that I have a love-hate relationship with Bristol. I love her, but she hates me. Sam tells me that Bristol hates everyone, so at least she doesn’t discriminate.

It all started well enough. Wednesday we went out for sports night which was a doozy, with lots of dancing and happy-blurry memories. Unfortunately, I soon came to realize that my left ear still hadn’t relieved itself of the intense pressure from being on the plane. What started out as a dull ache on Wednesday had become both painful and deafening by Friday. Since then I haven’t heard a single thing out of my left ear. 

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standing at a doorway in bristol
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…And so It Begins, Bristol

After an hour’s drive to the airport, a seven hour flight, and a three hour bus ride, I finally made it to Bristol! Needless to say, I’m very happy to be taking up the English way of walking everywhere because I think I’ve forgotten how to use my legs after so much sitting.

Sammy has an extensive week meticulously planned out for me, so I needed all of the extra sleep I could get on the bus and plane. Today, frisbee practice right off the bus. It became clear very quickly that I have no hand-eye coordination and should stick to soccer. As for tonight, a warm homemade dinner from Sainsbury’s before Sam shows me how the frisbee team does a night out. 

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packed suitcase with passport
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How to Pack for England in November

After my slow and grueling countdown, it’s almost here! In less than 48 hours I’ll be on my way across the Atlantic Ocean and heading back to my second home, England. The days have felt like weeks and the weeks have felt like months, but it’s finally here and knocking on the door.

You would think that with all of this excitement building up I would’ve had my bags packed weeks ago. As a college student, I can tell you that is certainly not the case. Procrastination is a lifestyle. But we college students thrive under pressure.

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