This week more than any others, I feel like things are finally getting organized, and I’m actually settling in to life here in England. It’s been a fairly busy past few days, so here’s what I’ve been up to this week!

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Last weekend in the Peak District was amazing

In case you don’t follow along on Instagram, I spent last weekend in the Peak District National Park. I had the best weather imaginable for hiking on Saturday, and fell totally in love with this area and scenery despite quick group visits a few years ago. It was so much fun to just get my hiking boots on and go out walking. I haven’t done much solo hiking since my study abroad and travels then, and it was a great feeling to get out in the middle of nowhere, all on my own. I can’t recommend a visit highly enough. I’ll definitely be back to the Peak District!

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But seriously though. The scenery was incredible. Check out my post with 20 photos from the Peak District!

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I got to thoroughly explore Eyam

I visited the village of Eyam on a group trip to the Peak District during my year abroad in Nottingham over three years ago, and it was so much fun to go back last weekend! Since it was a group trip then, time was super limited and I didn’t get to see much—but this time around, I had plenty of time to explore in-depth and see everything I wanted to see. Eyam is such an interesting place, with such a fascinating history. Read my full post on it here!

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I started my new job!

Probably the reason I feel so much more settled now, is because I finally got a job and started work this week. I’m working at a theater here in York and so far it’s going really well. It’s definitely nice to be earning an income and doing something new. It’s like I finally have started my new life over here!

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I had my first experience with nationalized healthcare

One of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had: I went to the doctor to get my prescription and experienced the NHS (short for National Health Service, the UK’s national healthcare system) and the beauty of (free) national healthcare. It was so different and I felt so incredibly lucky, that I wrote a whole post on it—check it out here. I just hope people in Britain can understand just how fortunate and blessed they are to have this system. As an American, I will never take it for granted.

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York is all ready for Christmas

The city has Christmas lights everywhere, the big trees in the squares are up, winter fairground rides are up and going, the Christmas market is hoppin’, and it just doesn’t feel like Christmas for me when there are still leaves on the trees and it’s over 45˚F every day. As much as I hate cold weather and winter and snow (and I seriously hate it), I’m secretly hoping that it’ll snow and I’ll be able to experience that first-snowfall-empty-streets-beauty.

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Thanksgiving was weird this year

Of course this shouldn’t come as a surprise—Thanksgiving yesterday was really different this year. It’s (obviously) not a thing in England, and it was just strange going to work like it was a normal day and it not being a holiday when everyone back home was all, “Happy Thanksgiving!” and hanging out with family. Adam and I made a mini Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday, which was really nice! It was just strange—although significantly less of a shitshow than my last Thanksgiving in England at the flat three years ago, so I’m grateful for that 😉

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One week until London!

This weekend will be a chill one with work and one of Adam’s friends visiting, and then next weekend I’m (finally!) headed to London! I’m so excited to get back to my favorite city, and I just can’t wait. There’s loads of stuff I want to do and see (especially with the city all decorated for Christmas!) so it’ll be a busy weekend, that’s for sure. Can you tell how excited I am?!

Lviv, Ukraine // Photo via Wikimedia

Lviv, Ukraine // Photo via Wikimedia

Less than one month until Christmas: Poland and Ukraine!

There’s now less than a month to go until we set off for our Christmas trip—Warsaw and Krakow in Poland, and Lviv in Ukraine. There’s a few more things to plan in the next few days, but overall things are fairly sorted and I’m excited. Poland is an amazing country (one of my favorite in Europe!) and I’m so intrigued to see what Lviv is like, and visit Ukraine for the first time. Here’s to an exciting trip!

Over to you! What have you been up to this week? Any exciting plans for the week ahead?!