Another month has gone by in a whirlwind. November has been one of the busiest months I’ve had in a long time, and I have certainly felt it. Here’s what I got up to this month:
Where I Went
Carcassonne, Saint Papoul, Lastours, Montolieu, Saissac (France)
York, Fountain’s Abbey, London, Nottingham, Whitby (United Kingdom)
Friends coming to visit!!! One of the hardest parts about moving abroad is being so far away from family and friends. I had visits from two friends this November, both of which were so much fun! I met my friend Bailey a few years ago, when we were both working together in St. Paul. She came to York and I had the day off work to show her around town! We met up in London for a day that weekend as well. I met my friend Braydon in Moldova, and we got on really well (despite him awakening in our dorm room to Adam puking in a bucket). He’s studying abroad in Dublin this semester, and was able to snag return flights for less than 25€ for the weekend!
I had so much fun with Bailey in York. We went to all of my favorite places and hotspots, a few hidden gems, and even splurged on a posh afternoon tea at Betty’s! Even though she’s a bit younger than me, we had such a blast hanging out. It was so so SO nice to see a friend from home!
When Braydon visited, we spent an afternoon in Whitby, where I took quite possibly some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken in the most perfect lighting imaginable. We partied a lot and it was so nice to have another friend visit. Even though we only met recently, he’s one of those friends that I know I’ll still be friends with years from now. The more I travel, the easier it is to meet people but the harder it is to make connections. I can be pretty outgoing and social when I travel (especially when I travel solo), but most of the time those meetings can be a bit superficial. It’s pretty rare nowadays for me to meet real, lifelong, friends on the road. I’m all the more appreciative when it does happen.
Dragostea din tei (the Numa Numa song) coming on in Popworld with my friend I met in Moldova. If you weren’t following along this summer, one of the reasons I went to Moldova was because the guys who created this classic jam are from Moldova. It was a whole lot of fun to have this (Moldovan) song come on the dance floor when you’re with your friend you met in Moldova. Definitely makes for a good night out!
A perfect day in London. I haven’t really been to London (besides transit) since March, and even then had lots of plans with family. So it was so much fun to go to London and be able to do so many things—all of which were new to me!! I have a new rule when I go to London, and that’s that I have to do at least one new thing each time I go. Otherwise I go and just keep doing my favorite things, and never see anything else. This time, everything I did was new: I explored Camden Town, saw the view from Primrose Hill and walked through Regent’s Park, and walked along the Regent’s Canal (one of my new favorite things in London!!) to Little Venice. It was perfect. God, I love London.
Returning to Nottingham! I studied abroad for a year in Nottingham, and I have so much love for the city I don’t even have words to express it. I spent a lot of time in Notts in the spring of 2016 (it was my base when I took 3 months off to travel), but hadn’t been back since I moved to England permanently last October. It was so wonderful being back in this city that has such a big part of my heart. I saw my old flat, went to my favorite disgusting bar (love you forever, Blue Bell!), got Taco Bell 3 times in less than 24 hours, and walked around to see the city I love.
Not only did I get to go back to Nottingham, but I also got to see two of my other good friends when I was there!! I took a Polish class on a whim when I studied abroad, and my fellow classmates became some of my best friends in the country. I got to see both Maddi and Laura (Maddi’s birthday was the reason I went to Notts in the first place!) and, as always, it was so much fun to see them and catch up.
It meant a lot being able to return to my “roots” in England this month.
A return to Fountain’s Abbey. Almost 4 years ago, my study abroad group went to Fountain’s Abbey for a morning. It was one of the most wonderful experiences from our group travels around England. Since I moved to York, I’ve been dying to go back and re-visit it! We had the best weather imaginable, and spent a few amazing hours walking around the ruins and the gardens and grounds.
My last day in France. I started November in France, and had the perfect last day I could ask for. We woke up and left with no plans—we just got in the car and went. We turned off whenever we passed a sign to a place we might be interested in, and that complete freedom was absolutely amazing. I loved the places we went this day—especially Saissac, which had the most amazing view of the area! It definitely was the best way to end a great trip in France.
Major stress about jobs/work/money. Eventually, I hope to have a monthly recap where I don’t have to talk about this. Where I have a job (just one) that I don’t hate, that doesn’t give me major stress and anxiety, and where I make enough money to live on to be comfortable. The longer this goes on, the farther away I feel like that dream of mine is. November has been really tough. Lots of job rejections, not getting the shifts I need and worrying about making enough money for the month, constant stress day in and day out when I’m at work. It takes its toll, and this month has been a pretty bad one for it. Hoping for better days ahead.
Being sick for most of the month. I’ve had a bad cold since the beginning of November, and even now almost a month later, I still haven’t been able to kick it. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been constantly busy for most of the month, either with friends or working or both. And that I spent two weekends drinking a lot and staying out until 4:00am. I know part of the reason I haven’t been able to get rid of this cold is because our house (and this whole country) has major mold problems in the winter. So I think part of it is just allergies from mold, and then a cold that just hasn’t gone away. Here’s hoping I get better soon, since I so can’t afford to take time off to go to the doctor…
Spending Thanksgiving away from family/being in a country that doesn’t care. It’s really hard being away from family over the holidays. It’s even harder when you’re in a country where it’s not a thing, where you go to work like normal, and then have to scroll through countless posts on Facebook of your friends celebrating with their families when you’re super homesick. It wasn’t really that hard for me last year, mainly because I had moved less than 2 months ago and didn’t really miss home yet. But being away for Thanksgiving was hard. It’s made me even happier that I’ll be home for Christmas this year.
This month has been a pretty slow one for posts. I seem to be continually running out of free time for blogging. I still have lots of posts to share with you all! I hope to get a lot done this month before Christmas. Here’s what I’ve published this month:
Top 3 on Instagram
This has been a pretty good month on the ‘gram! I’ve finally cracked 1400 followers, which is the biggest increase I’ve had for over a month. (I’ve been stuck in 1300 for about 6-7 months now.) So many good photos from the month! Here are the most popular top 3:
Driving around rural France and getting to explore abbeys like this one, with not another tourist in sight 😍 . My monthly recap post for October is now live on the blog! You can read all about what I got up to this month, and see some more of my favorite photos from France! Link in bio 😊 . And it’s Friday!!! I’ll be busy this weekend, working on the blog tomorrow and (hopefully) exploring in Yorkshire on Sunday. What are your plans this weekend?! . . . . . #abbaye #saintpapoul #abbayedesaintpapoul #france #france_focus_on #francecartepostale #total_France #super_France #loves_France #hello_France #tourismoccitanie #occitanie #languedoc #visitlafrance #igersfrance #jaimelafrance #france_photolovers #france4dreams #merveillesdefrance #topfrancephoto #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #femmetravel #femaletravelbloggers #womenwhoexplore #wearetravelgirls #lpfanphoto #natgeotravelpic #bbctravel
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham, meant to be one of the oldest pubs in England! 🍺 . Supposedly the pub was established in 1189, when Richard the Lionheart became king and a new crusade was called. Ye Olde Trip is built into a wall of sandstone caves, right below Nottingham Castle, which today is largely a Victorian building. . I studied abroad in Nottingham for a year, and I can say without a doubt it was the most influential and important year of my life 🇬🇧 . I went back to Notts last weekend, for the first time since I moved to the UK permanently over a year ago. Man oh man, I miss it so much. . . Nottingham is vibrant and the nightlife is (as always) poppin’ no matter which night of the week you want to party! It’s a very diverse city, and I miss that so much living in York. . But while I love Nottingham as a city, I think most of why I get so nostalgic for it was because it was such a different time of my life. Being a student so no responsibilities, getting to travel all the time, living so close to my friends. . The city is so special to me. I absolutely loved being back ❤ . . . . . #nottingham #yeoldetriptojerusalem #igersnottingham #notts #nottslife #lovenotts #nottinghampost #nottinghamgram #mynottingham #visitnottingham #bbcnottingham #wearenottinghamshire #itsinnottingham #nottinghamcity #independentnottm #ig_nottingham #nottinghamshire #instabritain #visitbritain #visitengland #photosofbritain #photosofengland #lovegreatbritain #explore_Britain #liveUK #mybritain #ukpotd #capturing_Britain #traveling_uk #loves_britain
My favorite out of all the beautiful and charming seaside towns: Whitby! 😍 . Seriously though. This place is just too pretty. The lighting was just perfect and this photo had very few edits and still looks like a painting. Sometimes you just get lucky! . Whitby is one of the most popular places to visit in North Yorkshire, and with good reason. The town is lovely, the abbey ruins atmospheric and dramatic, and there’s free parking during the low winter season until March 2018 😉 . I’m already ready for this week to be over. After spending the last few weeks busier than I could imagine (with TWO friends visiting me here in York!!) I’m hoping to slow down and relax a bit before the mad run up to Christmas begins. . . I feel like I’ve been all over the last two weeks, and am ready for some peace and quiet – and catching up on some blog posts (as always)! 😊 . What does your week look like? Anyone else feeling like this Monday lasted longer than it should?! . . . . . #whitby #visitwhitby #whitbyabbey #yorkshire #northyorkshire #visityorkshire #visitnorthyorkshire #welcometoyorkshire #bbcyorkshire #scenesofyorkshire #yorkshirelife #loveforyorkshire #yorkshiregram #igersyorkshire #wearenorthern #theenglishnorth #visitbritain #instabritain #visitengland #photosofbritain #photosofengland #lovegreatbritain #explore_Britain #ukpotd #liveUK #mybritain #natgeotravelpic #lpfanphoto #beautifuldestinations #passionpassport
Coming Up In December
December will be a hectic and busy month with work and family commitments gearing up to Christmas. One weekend we’ll be in London with Adam’s family, doing a mini-Christmas celebration. The best part of the month won’t be until December 23rd. I’ll fly (DIRECT!) back to my favorite city in the world, Minneapolis, to spend Christmas with my family. The rest of the December will be spent at home in Minnesota with family and friends. I’ve been homesick for months and I am so excited to be going home so soon. Counting down the days already!
What was your November like? Any plans over the holiday season?!