I apologize that this blog is completely anachronistic. This is the blog I wanted to write two weeks ago but just didn’t have the time or energy to.
Here we go…
To start off, I will be spending my Spring 2010 semester at the University of Bath in England. School doesn’t start until February 6th, which means my winter break is about two months long. To take advantage of that, I will be traveling Europe 6 weeks before school starts.
I left home December 27th and got to my destination, Paris, December 29th. This is a long story involving a rejected UK travel visa (my friend’s, not mine), nonrefundable plane tickets, and the cancellation of the cheapest flight from Bristol to Paris. I spent two days traveling what should only take half a day, at most. I didn’t shower or change clothes for two days. I had no bed for two days. I had to use the restroom sink to wash my face. I felt like Tom Hanks in The Terminal. After easyJet cancelled my flight due to lack of staff, I had no way of contacting my extended family in Paris who were waiting on me at the Charles De Gaulle Airport. My phone didn’t work and I only had useless American cash. I ended up paying $30 for a phone call using my credit card.
But don’t worry, everything ended up working out. I took the Eurostar from London to Paris and hit up all the touristy spots on 4 hours of sleep. We came home to my very accommodating aunt and uncle in Paris. My aunt and uncle only speak French and Vietnamese, which forced me to brush up on my language skills and play translator for Samantha.
After New Year’s we headed to Grenoble to stay with an old friend from camp who we haven’t seen for 4 years. Her family lives in the French mountains and it was amazing. I didn’t pay for a single meal. It really pays to reach out to all of your existing contacts.
From Grenoble, Samantha and I spent a night in Marseille. From Marseille, we spent the better part of the day traveling to Barcelona, where I am writing this post from.
P.S. I found out I received the Gilman Scholarship from the U.S. State Department while I was abroad. V. cool.