So today we’re going to-well, I’m going to be a little vain, and share with you some of my favorite photos from my international adventures. I’ll talk about what’s happening in the photo, where I am, and why I love it so much.
Rome, Italy 2007
I’m fifteen here, and this was my first time abroad without anyone. I stayed with a family, through an exchange with airline employees. Here I am in front of one of the many ruins in Rome, which as a history enthusiast, I loved. I love the sunlight, the shadows, and my outfit in this shot.
London, England 2008
My mother gave me the most amazing birthday gift for a 16th birthday: a four day trip to London. Here I am at the end of the London Dungeon, a historical tourist attraction that takes you through all the Penny Dreadful history and mythos of the city. I hated it at first. But I was going through a big Sweeney Todd phase, and when we got to that part of the ride, I was fine for the rest of it. Seriously, what a nerd.
Going to France to stay with a family was…an experience. Honestly a lot of it exhausting and frustrating. Eating vegetarian was super hard, I was with a huge group of kids so instead of getting to choose anything I wanted to do, like we’d done for the girl who stayed with us earlier in the summer, I was dragged along doing things I was not at all thrilled about. That being said, there were things we did that while I dreaded, turned out to be fun and I would like to do again. Such as canyoning, and like here, ropes courses. I love the determination on my face, me being upside down, and I remember how triumphant I felt afterwards.
Barcelona, Spain 2009
As part of my time in Europe, I spent a week in Barcelona with the girl I was with and her older sister. This was by far my favorite part of the trip. Hot, hot dry weather, my hair super easy and cute, sun, mojitos, weird parades at 1 in the morning, gorgeous fountain shows. Love my hair in this, love my dark skin, love the memories.
Zurich, Switzerland 2009
The day before New Years, my sister and I flew over to Zurich for a quick four day trip, as that was what we’d asked for that year at Christmas. I commend my sister for being the one in charge at only twenty one, it wasn’t always super easy. But we saw gorgeous snow, cityscapes, mountains, and all the Christmas decorations still up in the city. I love how this tree is decorated, I love my hair in this, and I really hope to take another sister trip very soon.
For my graduation from high school trip, I said so long Wooster, skipped my graduation ceremony, and took off to the Republic of Ireland, to see a very different part of the island. I love this photo mainly because I loved that trip. I’ve gotten to see Northern Ireland many times, but the republic only once, and I badly want to see it again. That smile on my face is so genuine, my hair blowing in the wind, free from high school. Happiness at it’s purest.
Living on the dry, oil driven, forgotten island of St. Eustatius was almost always hell. There wasn’t that much to do, it was only 11.8 sq miles in total, and I didn’t get along with my coworkers. But there were days like the one in this photo that were wonderful. A quiet, secluded beach with just me. Snorkeling. The sun and an idea. This photo helps remind me there were some good things about those long three months, like tings, the ocean, the dogs that followed me around the island. Good things can be found anywhere.
Medellin, Columbia, 2011
Way back when I was only six years old, we had an exchange student from Columbia. She lived with us for a year, and I adored her. Then she went back home, and we didn’t see her for years. We kept wanting to go visit, but in the late 90s and early 2000s, Columbia was not a safe place to visit. Then at last some things began to change, and we finally felt we could go there. Medellin is called ‘garden city’ and there’s a reason for that. It’s lush, beautiful, with crazy nice malls, and fruit restaurants. Coming off the high of finishing LEAPYEAR, I was still tan, my hair was growing out, my smile was big, and my jewelry fab. ❤
Yokohama, Japan, 2012
At the end of my first year at Evergreen, I did three weeks abroad in Tokyo, as part of a cultural exchange. We attended English classes, and other classes, and honestly that part was pretty dam boring. What was really fun was interacting with all the Japanese students. These two lovely students invited me to go with them to Yokohama, a city in the Tokyo area, with gorgeous waterfronts, amusement parks,and shopping centers. I love this photo because I look so darn cute (thanks photo booth filters), and I was really, genuinely happy that day.
In case you haven’t noticed, or don’t know me very well yet, I’m a huge dork/nerd and I will play dress up given the chance. Despite being hung up on a girl that ended up being not good for me at all, I still managed to enjoy my time in Finland. Discovering the character Moomin, eating amazing food and drinking too much coffee, seeing historical sights. I think this photo sums up my happy place: traveling aboard, learning things, and playing dress up
Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2013
See, what did I just tell you in the photo before? This is me not even a year later, in the Belfast History Museum (I think that’s its name?) It’s an excellent museum that I took Sierra back to a year later. Here I am dressed as Sherlock Holmes, because even if the TV series is not good, the character endures in so many other ways, and he means a lot to me. Plus, aren’t I adorable, playing dress up at 20 years old?
I just wrote a post on here about things that baffle me about Germany, and that’s not even including the stuff with my au pair family. But I don’t really feel the need to go into it here. Because one of the most upsetting things about my family not working out, was that I really do like Germany. I was starting to get a better grasp on German, I liked the culture, the food. The landscape. So here’s a photo of me before things started going down hill, surrounded by a gorgeous Autumn backdrop, loving it all.
Northern Ireland, 2014
How many times have I been to Northern Ireland again? Honestly, I’ve lost count. And I would happily go again. It’s my home away from home. In ten years I might walk into my friend’s kitchen, watch an orange cat crawl into the sink, drink a cuppa, eat something Cadbury, and watch Brit tv, while looking forward to a toastie and crisps, and it would feel like I’d just been there the day before. I love Northern Ireland, I honestly think I would be happy living there. And if I look perfectly at ease here at the observatory, it’s because I am. No better way to feel.
Paris, France 2016
Despite having been to Paris three or four times before, I’d actually never been up in the Eiffel Tower before! For shame, I know. So when my sister, my mother and I decided to take a last hurrah trip to Paris, I knew I needed to actually get up there! I love this photo because of how nice my hair looks, and just the view of the city.
Czocha, Poland 2017
This comes from College of Wizardry, the larp I wrote about a couple months ago. Here I am, pretending eat a fresh, mad man’s eyeball as a cure for a potion I volunteered to try. The reason I love this photo is that it displays the amount of creativity and improve involved, and the whole immersion. It looks like I’m super disgusted, right? The candy was actually pretty good! Hooray for pretend.