Europe

My first British wedding on a very British Summer day

Weddings are happy occasions. Although a wedding of my own is nowhere in sight, I don’t mind them and have long since gotten over the life-envy that social media tends to create.

This was my first time I attending a wedding in a different country of my own! Being a traveler at heart, it is interesting to learn about different traditions and customs for other cultures, and in this case how British people do weddings.

2017-07-16 07.38.29-4-min

Continue Reading

International habits I’ve picked up from living abroad for 4 years

They say that you become most like the people that you spend the most time with. What happens when those people are always changing? Or maybe not always changing, but change periodically?

I’ve become an experiment of sorts in this, as over the last few years I’ve been surrounded by a mix of people from different cultures. Living in Asia for 2 years and then Europe for 2 years saw me picking up little habits here and there, some of which I find hard to shake off now that I’m Stateside again.

2016-11-07 14.24.06-min

Continue Reading

[Photo Journal] A summertime romp through the famous Kew Gardens in London

What if any life problem could be solved by taking a walk through an English garden? That’s a lovely thought. I wish it were true. If only I were a Jane Austen character. That would also be a win for #diversity! Woot! As far as gardens in London go, this one can’t be beat!

This summer I had the chance to spend a few days in my old haunts in London. On the top of my list was heading back to check out the Royal Botanic Gardens, aka Kew Gardens. What did I do? I did some strollin’, that’s what.

Kew Gardens sundial

Continue Reading

Stadtpark Vienna in autumn

[Photo Journal] Autumn in Vienna: Stadtpark

It might be pretty apparent if you follow me on Instagram, but I love autumn. Last week, I got to experience autumn in Vienna (my excuse for going was a conference, research for the win!). Although it was overcast for most of the 6 days, I did get a peek at some sun and blue skies. Here are some photos from when I took a lunch break from the conference to take a walk through nearby Stadtpark.

Continue Reading

3 days in Copenhagen: walking tours

Copenhagen is a popular touristy harbour city, with quite a price tag on it despite some cheap flights from other parts of Europe. After my short trip to Warsaw, I couldn’t wait to plan my next 3 day trip and I picked this Nordic city to spend another few days struggling with my thesis. This is a Copenhagen short trip!

On this trip in May, I went on 2 walking tours and spent the rest of my time working in the hostel or in cafes. These walking tours were run by Copenhagen free walking tours, which works on a donation basis. Continue Reading

3 days in Warsaw: My first shot at a self imposed writing retreat

I haven’t traveled as much this year as I was hoping to, unless you count the short trip home to New York to meet my niece. One of my biggest regrets after finishing this PhD would be not traveling more around Europe while I had the chance. To remedy this, I’ve been planning short, 2 night trips. Last month, I went to Warsaw, Poland, with my laptop and some writing targets!

About Warsaw

The Nazis destroyed about 80% of Warsaw in World War II. There are only a few areas that were left relatively untouched (~30% destroyed), some of which I saw on a walking tour of Praga:

Graffiti art of face on side of building Street art in Camden Town, London, how I feel sometimes about British English

An American’s guide to British English or how to not feel like an idiot in London

Not all English speakers use the same terms and slang, just like how in many places where people speak Spanish there are differences. There are a few embarrassing ones, and a few that make your head tilt sideways and go “huh.” This is for thos people asking what’s the difference between American and British English.

I’ll try to add to this list as I go along, but here are the main ones that I’ve discovered in the last year.

The list follows this format: [British word or phrase] = [what it means in American] with my personal notes in italics.

Day to day phrases

You alright? = How are you?/How’s it going?
It took me a few months to realize that they weren’t questioning my mental or physical state or making fun of me, but were just opening up the conversation with a general greeting.
Continue Reading

This is why you should go to Basque Country in Spain

Basque Country is a province in Spain along the northern border. These are my Basque Country photos to convince you to go there!

A day walk

2015-04-02 12.33.41

As such, there’s a beautiful coastline to see there! When I visited my friend there in April, we went on a cliffside walk from Gorliz to Plentzia. And I was not expecting these views.
2015-04-02 12.32.36

Not only was it gorgeous, but you could see and hear the waves rolling in.
Continue Reading

[Photo Journal] Adventures in Yorkshire, England

Yorkshire! Yeah! I went in May to visit a friend who was about to move to London, and we did a bunch of cool things. These are some things to do in Yorkshire if you are going for a short trip.

Among the highlights were seeing the train station where the students got out for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, kinda seeing some puffins (flying around along the cliffs), and generally having a blast with a good friend.

View of field from train window

I took the train up, where my friend picked me up. I got to see the yellow fields on the way there! Then we took a nice walk through some fields and forest.
Continue Reading