A Year in Review: 2015

It’s that time of year again. The time when I reflect back on my year, 2014 was a reflection, but I prefer the Year in Review of 2013, so that’s the title of this one. All in all, 2015 was a strange year, a good year, but a strange one. Looking back at it, it’s like I lived this life that wasn’t mine, I don’t know if that makes sense. For the most part my anxiety has greatly subsided and only surfaces at the most inconvenient of times, like parking lots, highways, riding bicycles through London, and when I have too much stuff to be done. My blogging hit a creative roadblock for a while and that was really hard for me to deal with, I just wanted to create great things and I couldn’t. Recently, I’ve been feeling better about that though and that helps a lot. 2015 brought the biggest adventure of my life yet, I lived in another country for three months, and that was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. If I had to describe 2015 in a phrase it would be: unexpectedly expected.

January

In January it seemed as if I was going through some self-evaluating. I had almost all classes for my major and minor and it lead to some major self reflection and evaluating. This was the semester that I went back to school and I felt content for the first time about that. Before there was always that bit of dread, but not that semester. Molly, Eric, Logan, and I all went on a little day trip to a bookstore in Harrisburg and to Chocolate World.

February

February is when the not blogging every day kicked in and I started to slack. I celebrated being single with two Galentines days I think I failed the 3-5 days a week. In order to try and combat this I started the 30 Day Blog Challenge. This is also when my blogging rut began. There were highs and lows of it throughout the year. However, because blogging had hit a rut, I was enjoying my life. This is also the last month that I would go home for the job that I hated so much.

March

At school March means spring break, which usually means a week of working, for me, it meant quitting my job. I had never quit a job before so it was this huge step for me in my life. I was kind of afraid, but also so glad that I did. I quit in order to go Florida with my friends for spring break, which was a great decision if you ask me. This was also the month where I honestly almost stopped blogging if I’m being honest. I hit a rut, I didn’t always enjoy blogging, I stopped doing the 30 Day Blog Challenge, I was at the peak of my creative roadblock. March was a month of highs and lows.  However, by the end of the month I felt that I was slowly climbing out of my rut and onto better. This was also the month I found out that I had been accepted to go to Dublin for the semester, it was official that I would be studying abroad in the fall.

April

To be honest. I don’t remember anything about April.  April is a weird month where nothing really happens. We had May Madness at my school and it was like 45 degrees outside. I don’t know why we had May Madness in April, I think it had something to do with finals week. Other than that, I feel like April is such a filler month. It’s project after project and paper after paper, other than that there’s not much to it.

May

May means the end of school. This year, I went home without a job and with fewer friends waiting for me than I was leaving, and it just felt weird. Normally I go home to a routine and this time I was going home to job application after job application. All of this time was good for me to start to get ready for studying abroad. I went on some hikes and just took some time for myself. At the end of the month, I was back working at my new job that I love.

June

 

I started LNBM in June which is the best and worst thing I’ve ever done for this blog. While it greatly feeds my laziness in the blogging department, it always seems to decently well with readers. I also continued my visits to Frederick to see Logan, Molly, and Eric. They also came to PA a few times, it was easier for me to go there just with schedules and everything. June was another month of severe bloggers block. However, this was the first time I didn’t keep it a secret. I was open and straight forward about it, which I think made it easier to write.

July

In July I went back to Florida, this time with my family. I got to accomplish a life dream, to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and see the giraffes from my hotel window. I also got to experience the magic of the updated Harry Potter World, which was absolutely amazing. The bloggers block start to wear off a little bit and I felt like I was doing good in the blog world.  I always start to get a little restless in July. I’m ready for a set schedule and this summer I just never really got that. I like structure, and there was not a lot of structure in my life this past summer, which was probably a good experience.

August

August was a month of restlessness. I felt stagnate.  Everyone was getting ready to back to college and I was just waiting. Do you know that night before you leave before you go on vacation? That’s how August was for me. To me the world was paused, crawling until I made it until September when I could finally go to Dublin for the semester. I did go on my first solo trip to the beach which was the type of relaxation I really needed. I don’t like to wish away time, but at the time I was just wishing that August would just hurry up already. I celebrated my 21st birthday and going away with family and friends.  My friends slowly started returning to college and I continued to work, just waiting for the day that it was my turn to leave.

September

September started with two visits to Hood. I finished working, went down for Eric’s birthday and then the next day I was off for Dublin. This was the start of my greatest adventure. This was the part of the year that I was looking forward to the most. After all of the paperwork errors and thoughts crossing my mind that I would never be able to actually go, it was time for me to go. I left on September 13 and got to Dublin on the 14. Right away we had walking tours, bus tours, and just sightseeing things. I had my 21st birthday in a different country where it doesn’t really matter because the drinking age is 18 there, but still I turned 21, that’s a big birthday, or so they say. I visited the Cliffs of Moher and just explored Dublin.

October

October was when life started to get crazy. I went to Howth which is a small little suburb type place of Dublin. I went to Paris to meet up with my dad who was on business, how many 21 year-olds can say that? Then I went to Galway, another little seaside town for a night with my friends. I ended in October in London, England. That’s just absolutely crazy. I did so much in one month.

November

I feel like November was yesterday, it went by literally in the blink of an eye. I went to London (again) and Brighton. I also went to Madrid and Sevilla. I was away from Dublin for a whole week and then I made the decision to not travel again while I was away and enjoy my last four weeks in Dublin. This is the first time any of my pictures from Sevilla are being posted, the adventure post will come soon. My family came for Thanksgiving and I got to enjoy more time with them which was great. When I said at the beginning that looking back on this year it’s like looking at someone else’s memories, that’s what November is for me, it’s so surreal that it seems like someone else’s life.

December

December brought an end to my biggest adventure. I spent my last two and a half weeks in Dublin with final assignments and seeing as much of the city as possible, going to all of my favorite places and just taking everything in before I left. Then I headed home. It’s still weird being home. It’s been about two and a half weeks now and it’s still just weird. I’m not used to it yet. I’ve been trying to see all of my home friends and family before I head back to school in a little over a week. I went to Frederick for an interview

2015.

All in all, 2015 was great. It was just a whirlwind of a year. It was a year of new friends, new people, new experiences, and new places. The last fourth of 2015 could be described as the year of new, and I want to keep that going. 2015 was great, but I’m ready for some more change. I don’t like change, but I don’t know, I feel like 2016 is the year of change. Resolutions to come tomorrow!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Average Adventure: London… Again!

So I know I just did a London post, but I went back! Literally the weekend after the first one, but that’s just the way time works. I wanted to spend more time, go to Brighton, and just see as much as I could, but not in 24 hours. I had to be checked into the hostel by 9 so by the time I got there it was dinner and go to the hostel. I had all day Sunday, Monday I went to Brighton, all day Tuesday, and then left super early Wednesday morning. It also turns out that I don’t have very many pictures from this trip, my apologies.

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London at night.

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When you forget that you had manual settings on the camera. It does look cool though.

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Then Abbey Road.

This is unfortunately all of the pictures I liked from this trip to London, however, I liked them enough to include them, but there were too many from Brighton to include in into that post. I’m almost caught up on adventure  posts too! Yay!

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Average Adventure: Brighton, England

Depending on how long you’ve been following me, you may or may not know that Brighton has been a place that I have always wanted to go, making it onto my Travel Bucket List. I don’t know when the obsession started, but the pictures I’ve seen are always just so pretty and it lived up to my expectations. Since I was in London, a short train ride away, I decided it was the perfect time to go to Brighton.

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The first stop was obviously the pier. If you look up Brighton, the first things you are going to see are the Lanes and the Brighton Pier.

I also really wanted to walk along the beach. It was so, so windy that day, so I walked along the sidewalk above the beach more so than the actual beach.

Obviously these were all taken at different times of day, but I just wanted to keep going back.  It was just so pretty. The waves were super rough because of the all the wind, but it was beautiful. I saw a very unlucky man get attacked by a massive wave on the pier while he was taking a picture, and I just wanted to cry for him. I really hope his camera/phone wasn’t ruined and that he lived nearby.

This is a little bit of the lanes, but also some just random pictures I took. I can’t remember what the fancy building is, I could look it up, but I’m lazy.

These are two of my favorite signs that I have seen anywhere. I don’t know why I like the bike one so much, I just do. The other one says “I have great desire My desire is great” and I just thought it kind of spoke to me. It was in that spot that I decided to come back to blogging like full on, like obviously I’ve been blogging but I haven’t felt great about it. This was the spot where I decided that needed to change, so I just really like this now.

It was one of those places where I’ve just always wanted to go and it was just perfect. I met a nice lady in a souvenir shop where I bought a t-shirt. I explored The Lanes, admiring the Cath Kidston store where I wanted to buy everything, but refrained. I’m glad I got to check this off the bucket list.

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Average Adventure: 24 Hours in London, England

So before I went to London for my week off, I actually was there the weekend before, it was one of those weird planning things. I went with my friends from here, but I actually got separated because we were supposed to ride the bikes around to get around the city, but I got super anxious, like actually had a panic attack  anxious. The real blessing about the early panic attack was that the rest of day, I was under the impression that I had already hit the worst I could mentally hit so it didn’t matter how many times I got lost, I found a map and found my way. Gotta look on the bright side!

We were there for essentially 24 hours so we did as much as we could in that 24 hours. Then I got separated, and did as much as I could in 24 hours even though I was literally going back the next weekend.

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Tower Bridge is simply gorgeous. Well, there’s actually quite a bit of people on it and I’m terrified of bridges and we walked across it, which probably didn’t help then with the panic attack that was about to occur.

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Here’s Jenna on the bike, the last I would see of her for several hours. I did try to ride the bike, I was just really afraid of hitting a pedestrian or something along those lines.

So the first thing I did was go to see the Globe, but more so to me it’s the bridge that was destroyed by the Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. I also liked the picture of the trees that was blurry so I decided to share it with you.

I then headed off to The Eye, which is owned by Coke apparently. I took a lot of pictures of it, but I did not go up it because it is expensive, the line is long, and I’ve already done it.

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This view of Big Ben though. This is just a nice picture that I took on my walk.

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I tried to take a selfie with Big Ben in the back, it did not go as planned. I couldn’t get everything in focus.

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Here is  view of The Eye from a distance, it’s a very interesting structure. If I think about it long enough it’s kind of a weird thing. What are your opinions on a huge ferris wheel that you pay a lot of money to get on?

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Just a classic telephone booth picture. I wanted to change it a little bit from the red. Well actually I tried to make just the telephone booth red, but I got too frustrated with the editing software I use so I gave up.

I spent a lot of time in what I thought was Hyde Park, but when I asked a lady in a cafe where the Peter Pan statue was (that’s where I was going to meet my friends) but she told me that I was in the wrong park. I still don’t understand. I think a lot of parks are just connected, so maybe these pictures are from Hyde Park, maybe not.

So yes, that was my 24 hours in London, and over the next few weeks there will be more from London, Brighton, Madrid, and Sevilla.

Which should I post first? Chronological or is there anything anyone wants to see first?

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On the road again… Or should I say in the air?

Im back at the airport waiting for my flight to London to start boarding. I can’t get over how fortunat I am to have these amazing experiences.  This week alone I will be in three different countries, four different cities, and I get off school for a week. I’m so blessed to be graced with such amazing opportunities. 

I’m so happy to be traveling. Although, I will admit it’s a lot easier when my mom just plans everything for me. Today I leave Dublin, get to London, I’ll be there until Wednesday morning then I got to Madrid, then head off to Seville on Thursday to see Molly. It’ll be so nice to see one of my best friends from home. I’ve never been to Spain before so I’m super excited. 

It’s crazy to think that I’m traveling more this semester more than I have ever travelled in a span of three months, or at least it feels like a lot of travel. It has given me a lot of time to self-reflect and think about what I want to do in the future. I know that I want to live somewhere that’s realistically easy for me to see my family and close friends. Sometimes I just want that comfort. Like I’m not saying I want to end up in Lancaster or Frederick, but I want to be a short plane ride/train journey/car ride away, just in case I want to see my family. However, I still want to see the world and all it has to offer.

So now I’m off to see London, let me know of any must sees! 

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Travel Bucket List Part One.

I’m having lots of computer trouble today and it’s super frustrating but I’m pressing on and I’m going to keep trying, please pray for me to stay calm. I’ve obviously expressed my interesting in traveling several times, places I’ve been, and places I want to go, but I’ve never done a formal bucket list type thing for this. I’m going to give my friend Katie some credit on this because her other ideas for me today just kind of sparked it, so yeah. Also I’m going to try and link all of the pictures I use because I know I’m not usually very good at this.  So basically I realized there are way too many places I want to go so this is only going to be part one of many.

The Vatican City is somewhere I’ve wanted to go since my grandmom went when I was younger. As a Catholic it’s pretty customary to go, but I would just love to bring Rosary beads and have them blessed by the Pope. I think it would be so cool. (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/02/from-vatican-city-to-castel-gandolfo-the-popes-digs/)

I want to go back to London and England in general so badly. I want to be able to see more and just explore more in general. Like the only place I have found just as beautiful is Ireland and that’s a different kind of beautiful and they can’t be compared. I just want to go so badly. (http://cdn.londonandpartners.com/l-and-p/assets/media/44128-640×360-skyline_westminster_large.jpg)

This is going to sound super lame of why I want to go to Greece, but ever since I saw “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” I have wanted to go to Greece. Like it just looks so pretty and I think it would be an awesome place to explore. (http://images-resrc.staticlp.com/C=W787,H759,X0,Y0/S=W394,H380/http://media.lonelyplanet.com/a/g/hi/t/0f2c67422f7238c11015052e50d5850d-top-things-to-do-in-greece.jpg)

Kind of going along with the movie theme, I have wanted to go to Rome ever since I saw “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” I was and kind of still am a huge Hilary Duff fan. It also just seems really surreal and I want to go and see it badly. (http://cdni.condenast.co.uk/646×430/o_r/rome_cnt_24nov09_iStock_.jpg)

I want to go exploring the nature (yes, I did say nature) in South Africa. Every time I see pictures of the nature and mountains there I want to go exploring. Also I really want to go on a safari and I heard you can do that there. Plus it’s like one of the safest countries in Africa so yeah. (http://www.theodora.com/wfb/photos/south_africa/natal_watsonia_jonkershoek_nature_reserve_stellenbosch_western_cape_province_south_africa_photo_friedrich_von_horsten.jpg)

Okay so here’s something a little closer to home, Charleston, South Carolina.  My parents have gone a few times I think and my sisters have been there, so it’s only fitting that I should get to go too. It just seems really pretty and a chill place to visit. (http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/ef/85/49/the-battery-charleston.jpg)

Well I’m not sure if you can call this part of my bucket list because I’ve been there and I’m going in a little over a month. This is going to be AMAZING! I’m going to visit my best friend Lindsay and we’re going to have so much fun! I’m going to make her explore the docks, the city, and everything. I love exploring.  (http://www.bostonglobe.com/rf/image_r/Boston/2011-2020/2013/09/01/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/boston-big.r.jpg)

Okay well this is it because I have my freaking Saturday environmental seminar thing tomorrow so I have to go to bed now. Something cool tomorrow hopefully, maybe part two since Saturday is adventure day. Anywho, thanks for reading guys!

XOXO

Mary

Prompted- Thank you WordPress

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

This evening I was unsure what to write about, so I hit the “inspire me” button and I’m like well it should at least get the ball rolling, and then this prompt came up and I was just like YES!  This is actually something I’ve been wanting to share and I have touched on in several of my posts, but I guess it’s time to go in depth on this.
During one of the last weeks of the summer before eleventh grade I received a rather official looking envelope in the mail.  I opened it to see that it was an invitation to go on a People to People trip to Europe, and upon seeing the countries that the trip would visit I became desperate to go, and I was determined to do whatever it took to go on this trip.  I forced my parents to go to the information meeting and even though it was more expensive than what they had budgeted they decided that it was an opportunity that I would never be able to get somewhere else so as long as could put up a little less than half the money I would be allowed to go.  After ten months of meetings, on June 24, 2012 my life changed for the better.

I said goodbye to my family, and got on a bus not knowing a soul.  I sat down and a girl sat down with me, we would talk but not become good friends.  We arrived at the Philadelphia airport went through all of the checking and security (boring stuff) and arrived at the gate. As we boarded the plane I sat down with two girls (who also aren’t important) and I slept for a little bit and we arrived in the London-Heathrow airport.  This is where my life began to change. We got on a plane to go to Shannon, Ireland, and I sat down next to this girl.  Now if you guys read my best friend tag, you will know that this is LINDSAY!!! We were introduced by her having cheese all over her headphones.  She is now one of my best friends. We landed in Shannon and Lindsay and I wouldn’t talk for a couple of days until we were in the same jaunty car and we wouldn’t become friends until we randomly decided to be in the same group at Warwick Castle in England.  Going back in time a little bit to the ferry ride from Ireland to Wales, I met my friend Katie.  Our friendship blossomed that evening when we were in her dorm reading talking about a story that an unnamed weird kid from my school had written.  I explained to her that he is super creepy and has a foot fetish. We began to hang out and slowly Lindsay’s path converged with Katie’s and we became inseparable.  To be honest this trip changed my life and it probably would be completely different without them.  I highly advise anyone to take this opportunity if they are ever given the chance because it is literally the greatest thing I have ever done.

If I hadn’t done this I would’ve never met the greatest friends in the world.  They are the best things to ever happen to me and meeting them was the greatest thing ever.  Like I don’t know what I would do without them. I really don’t know what else to say about them because they will forever be in my heart, even though we’re all in different states right now.  Like I would do anything for them, they are the most important people in my life in addition to my family.  So thank you WordPress for giving me the inspiration to finally write this little detail of my life.  They mean so much to me and without that experience my life would be totally different.

So here’s a good post (finally).  Thanks for reading!

XOXO

Mary

Pretty Places

Pretty Places

Here is the first of many pictures from places I have traveled. Traveling is something I just love to do and I have loads of pictures from them. Two summers ago I went to Europe where I met my friend Lindsay (her blog is Musings of Lindsay), and this past summer I went to Ireland and Washington. This picture is from my time in London, it is the iconic Big Ben, and a simple picture does not do it justice. So sorry this little post veers from my typical long drawn out rant or little update, but I thought this might be something fun to look at. Hopefully my junior year I can study abroad and see these beautiful places everyday. I can’t wait to a future of traveling after graduation. It’s really my biggest dream (as you may know if you read my bucket list) and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. So this is just a random little thing for you guys to look at. Thanks for reading!
XOXO
Mary