European Shmorgasbord

Hello and a very happy (albeit late) New Year/ Hogmanay to you!!

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Taken outside Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna

It’s hard to describe my past month and a half without being struck by just how blessed I am.  I have dreamed since age six of travelling and going to far flung corners of the world.  While none of the places I visited in the last five weeks are flung very far, I was still able to see 8 countries and 18 cities with one backpack (mostly) and one pair of shoes (til Mom and Dad joined me 🙂 ) Not bad for my first backpacking adventure!

Since this post would quickly become a novel if I wrote out my whole travel story today, I have decided to break it down into much more manageable chunks of travel goodness.  Over the next few weeks I will do a post on each of the cities I visited and what I experienced along the way.  Don’t worry, I’ll still be mixing in my good old Scottishenanigans! 🙂

Not many shenanigans today I’m afraid… My first full day back in Edinburgh consisted of laundry, catching up on homework, and sending a million emails to sort out everything I neglected while I was away.  Classes start up on Monday so I have to figure out where my A-game went and get it polished before then!

Hogmanay

While it’s still generally regarded as the new year, I’ll quickly mention the bedlam that is Hogmanay!  Scotland’s New Year celebration rings in each year with a bang… And Edinburgh starts off with an amazing torch procession up Prince’s street!  The next night is the 31st, and the street party that shuts down the middle of the city.  I didn’t partake, but I did pick up a t-shirt!  And just saying… The fireworks are INSANE.  The best I have ever seen.  Stop by YouTube to see just how cool they were.

Happy Friday, stay tuned for my first holiday stop- Brussels!

Love and laughs,

-Taylor

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A Trip in a Time Machine

Hello there!  Life is good across the pond 🙂

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This is where my classes will be. Dude- seriously.

I’ve been here for just over a week, and I’m already in love with this city.  It truly feels like I’ve stepped back in time, like I’ve been sucked into a time warp and I’m living in the Renaissance.  Except I don’t think everyone wore stilettos, maxi skirts or had green hair back then… We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!!!

Room Evolve

Yay flats!  No not the shoes- apartments!  Despite being tiny my room is really cozy, and I’ve finally gotten things where I want them.  Campus poster sale, IKEA, and a borrowed airline blanket make for a not-so-dorm-like living space 🙂 My seven flat mates are all fantastic as well, hopefully you’ll get to see them in later posts!

There is a HUGE lovely kitchen, with lots of cabinet space, two ovens, and three refrigerators.  Even though we live in university accommodation, we have to provide most of our kitchen tools, any room enhancements, and toilet paper.  TOILET PAPER.  Seriously?!?  Of all the things to include you people give us electric kettles, but NOT TOILET PAPER?!? Apparently the UK has weird priorities…

Arthurs Seat

This being Fresher’s Week, there have been tons of events put on by the university to welcome new students to Edinburgh.  I attended a few new student seminars (Meh) Met with my program coordinator (AWESOME!!) Got a ton of great free stuff at a student free shop, joined nine student organizations, went on a coffee crawl to learn the cool local haunts, climbed Arthur’s Seat (the adjacent mountain) and went out to a pub with my flat mates.  It has been a crazy roller coaster ride of getting used to a new city/new school/foreign country, but I’m truly loving it so far.  I miss my mountains and trees though.  Daily family Skypes have made my homesickness MUCH lower than was expected 🙂

Tomorrow, Sunday, I have a job interview for a nanny position that would REALLY help me with finances.  Prayers and happy vibes would be much appreciated!  Tomorrow’s agenda also includes researching churches, finalizing my classes, and getting notebooks.

Haggis isn't as scary as it sounds!!!

Haggis isn’t as scary as it sounds!!!

I’m living each day as it comes and finding new blessings wrapped up in each one.  If the start is any indicator for the rest of the year, I’m going to have a hard time leaving this place 🙂

Love and Laughs,

-Taylor