It’s about that time again! I can’t believe how fast time is going now that it’s spring. I still feel like I just moved to England, like I just went on my big Christmas trip, and like my trip to Lithuania was yesterday. March has been a really busy month, both with work and travel (on the weekends). Here’s what all I got up to this month!
Where I Went
York, London, Edale, Hope, Castleton, Bamford (United Kingdom)
Celebrating my first wedding anniversary! I can barely believe it, but it’s been a whole YEAR since Adam and I eloped to Gibraltar! And after missing so many anniversaries, birthdays, and special occasions, it was so nice to spend something like this together in the same country. Following with tradition, we got kebabs to celebrate, and went out to dinner at our local pub the next night. Here’s to many more years!
Amazing weather and hiking in the Peak District. I so needed a weekend hiking in the countryside. And I had the absolute best weather I could ask for during my weekend in the Peak District! I saw so many places that I’ve been dying to see for ages (Mam Tor, Winnat’s Pass, and Castleton to name a few), and had such a great time walking. It was good for my soul and the scenery was absolutely spectacular. I already want to have another hiking weekend in the Peaks sometime soon!
Classical Spectacular at Royal Albert Hall. For Christmas this year, the mum-in-law got us all tickets to go and see the Classical Spectacular in London. This show is a big one of popular classical music, lots of British patriotism, and Union Jack flag waving. The orchestra and choir did a lot of impressive songs, including the 1812 Overture, where they fired actual CANNONS for sound effects! I got to wave my flag during Pomp and Circumstance and it was so British and wonderful. It was also my first ever show at the Royal Albert Hall! I had such a great time.
Discovering the Sky Garden in London. My new favorite thing in London? The Sky Garden at the roof of the “walkie talkie” building in London. It’s a public space (with a viewing platform) so it’s free to go the 35 floors up, you just need to book a timeslot in advance. The views of the Thames and other parts of the city (particularly the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral) were spectacular. We went for breakfast for my mother-in-law’s birthday at the restaurant (there’s an even fancier restaurant on the very top floor) and had so much great food. I definitely recommend doing this if you visit London!
Smart and thrifty travel bookings this month. For both weekend trips (to London and to the Peak District), I saved money on accommodation by planning ahead. I used up my credit card points for a free hotel in London, saving Adam and I $97 on a hotel room (which we were only there for less than 8 hours anyway). I still had credit on my AirBnB account, so I saved $25 on our booking in the Peak District! (So our two-night total including breakfast was $88—only $22 a night for each of us!) And my PayPal account sent me a coupon for a free £5 giftcard whenever I used my PayPal account next, so I used that to book our train tickets to the Peak District and save £5 off of our £35 (for two people) train booking. I was quite impressed with myself, and happy to save the money!
Spring in York. The city is coming alive. Flowers are blooming. The sun is shining. It’s warm. Everything is starting to look so perfect with blue skies and colorful blossoms everywhere! I love it.
The London attack. London is my favorite city in the world. It is also multicultural, diverse, and a true melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities, religions, and more. So, I was very sad to hear about the terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament, on Westminster Bridge. I should maybe also say that Westminster Bridge is one of my favorite spots in the entire world, and a place I visit almost every time I go to London. I was on that bridge just a few days before the attack happened. It’s very scary, but I’ve been heartened to see so many people coming together to fight hate with love.
Dealing with my cut fingers. For the first week and a bit of March, I was unable to use my left hand, since (as I said in February) I had cut two of my fingers slicing lemon at work. It was so frustrating, I felt so slow at everything, and there were a lot of things I just couldn’t do. You never realize just how much you use two hands together until you don’t have one! My fingers are fully healed now, but needless to say, I won’t be cutting anything in the kitchen anymore.
Not being able to exercise/realizing how out of shape I am. I got so excited last month, finally getting into an exercise routine. With my cut fingers and not being able to use my left hand, I just wasn’t able to exercise. Hiking in the Peak District was amazing, but my brutal climb up Winnat’s Pass kicked my ass and was a reminder that I’m out of shape. And as someone who has always used exercise as a stress relief (and therefore always exercised often), it’s hard to realize this and even harder trying to figure out how I can get back into my groove. Hopefully this month will be better!
An astronomical cell phone bill. I was charged quadruple for my phone bill last month (February), when my bill is normally £9.50, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why. When I finally went in person to sort it out, I found out that the 14 minutes of international phone calls (to the US) had cost me £29!!! That’s about $36 for 14 minutes! That month included when my friend from home had visited and used my phone to call her bank in the US, and when I called to close my US savings account. My 4-minute conversation had cost £8! While I know now that I can buy a bundle of 100 international minutes for £3, it was a very expensive mistake to make. I won’t be calling internationally again!
Not as many posts as I’d have liked! My goal now is to publish two blog posts a week (my original goal was three), which I think is reasonably fair.
Instagram Top 3
Here are my top photos from Instagram for the month!
The beautiful, Baroque streets of the Old Town in Vilnius! 😍 . My new monthly recap post is live on the blog! Find out what I got up to this month (and a sneak peek at my plans for March), link in bio! 😊 . . . . . #vilnius #vilniusoldtown #vilniuscity #vilniusnow #vilniusiloveyou #visitvilnius #vilniusvisit #lithuania #lietuva #visitlithuania #cometolithuania #welovelithuania #ig_lithuania #baltics #baltic #balticstates #easterneurope #europe #ig_europe #topeuropephoto #lonelyplanet #lpfanphoto #natgeotravelpic #bbctravel #amazingtravelbeauty #passionpassport #beautifuldestinations #travel #travelblog #travelblogger
One year ago today I started off on one of the most amazing trips–and the first stop was Prague! 😍 I’d visited once before but I absolutely loved getting to explore more of this beautiful city. Eating trdelniks is a must when in Prague! 😊 . . . . . #prague #praha #praga #praguecity #praguelife #pragueworld #praguestagram #praguefood #praguetoday #praha_life #visitprague #czech #czechrepublic #visitczechrepublic #czechia #czech_vibes #czechphotography #czech_world #czech_insta #czech_photo #czechitout #trdelnik #europe #visiteurope #topeuropephoto #ig_europe #lpfanphoto #natgeotravelpic #beautifuldestinations #passionpassport
The beautiful Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales! ✨ This limestone cliff is one of Malhamdale’s biggest attractions, and was even featured in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 movie! ⚡ . New blog post is live, all about hiking around Malham! Link in bio 😊 . . . . . #malhamcove #malham #malhamdale #yorkshiredales #yorkshiredalesnationalpark #bestofyorkshiredales #yorkshire #iloveyorkshire #welcometoyorkshire #scenesofyorkshire #bbcyorkshire #northyorkshire #northernengland #wearenorthern #england #greatbritain #unitedkingdom #visitbritain #visitengland #photosofbritain #photosofengland #OMGB #lovegreatbritain #brilliantbritain #explore_britain #loves_britain #ukpotd #traveling_uk #scenicbritain #YesBDE
Coming Up in April
April will be a busy month! Next weekend will hopefully bring a daytrip somewhere in Yorkshire. Then I’m headed to Bulgaria for a few days over Easter, which will be very exciting as one of my best friends from college is teaching in Sofia now and I haven’t seen him in nearly two years! And I’ve never been to Bulgaria and I’m very excited to see what it’s like. And I’ll tick off one of my last “England Bucket List” items with a weekend trip to the Lake District as well. I’ll be based in Windermere, which is the largest lake in England, and I can’t wait!
What was your March like? Any exciting plans for April?