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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Okay, so you've probably read the post about my favourite cities in Europe already if you've made it here. If you haven't, you should definitely check it out. Unfortunately though, not everywhere can be a winner... even beautiful European cities. Here's the list!

1) Prague, Czech Republic

I don't have a very good reason for disliking Prague, but it is a bit of a story. Prague is a cool city and it's surprisingly laid back while still being cultural. However, I got some sort of stomach bug from a classmate in London and spent 6 hours throwing up and another 12 hours being totally miserable. While I liked Prague Castle, the beautiful bridge and the architecture of the city, my memories of Prague are currently tainted by my total stomach-bug misery.

2) London, England, United Kingdom

Speaking of London, I don't really like it. I loved visiting London, but I absolutely despised living there. Part of the problem is probably that I was in South Kensington, which is one of the whitest, poshest and generally stuck-up areas of London. It's also the French sector of the city, which means that the local pubs weren't that "English" of an experience. London's museums are great, the food is getting better, and it's still a city worth visiting. Yes, you can laugh that I titled that post "Loving London". The first few days living there were definitely awesome. It was just the last three weeks that I wished I was back in Geneva!

3) Berlin, Germany

I have to be honest with this one... I have a really hard time understanding how this is anyone's favourite city in Europe, much less Germany. Germany is full of beautiful, historical cities! Then theres Berlin. I understand that Berlin was basically bombed flat and had to be rebuilt. I respect that it  holds immense historical and political value. I also admire the museums there-- the German History Museum and Museum Island museums are wonderful. That being said, I think the city is very cold, industrial, and lacks any charm. Maybe it's because I'm not really a party person, but I have no idea why so many people say it's a "must' while visiting Europe. It might be a "must" while doing a proper tour of Germany, but I wouldn't go out of your way for this city.

What do you think? I honestly think my reasons for disliking the first two cities are pretty weak (a stomach bug ruining my Prague experience is hardly reason to dislike the city, it's just that being ill overshadows everything else that happened there!), but I really don't get the appeal of Berlin. Whatever! I am really looking forward to going back to Europe and exploring new cities... and hopefully finding new favourites.
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Friday, October 28, 2016

It's hard to believe that I'll be back in Europe in January... it's only three months away! While I'm currently enjoying living in Boston and hanging out on Charles Street, I am very excited to go back to the Old World for some good cheese and pastry again. Seriously, American needs to sort its pastry game out... also its politics, but I won't expand on that issue further.

 I think some of my friends think I'm a walking travel-book sometimes, since they have recently been asking me which cities are my favourite. So, here's the list! The cities aren't in any particular order since that would just be mean. I've got a separate post coming up on cities that are often people's favourites but aren't mine... though frankly, some of the reasons for disliking them are a bit silly. 

Geneva is not the "best looking" of the cities on the list, but it's still one of my favourites because it has so much influence on the world. The Jet d'Eau is super iconic, and the waterways are very pretty.  Despite being tiny, Geneva packs a punch on the international arena. Also, the League of Nations building (now the United Nations) is gorgeous. 

Vienna, Austria

I had quite a romantic view of Vienna since I was obsessed with Habsburg history in high school, and it more than lived up to expectations. Vienna is one of the most ornate and mind blowing cities I have ever been do. While it has all the useful technologies of a modern city, Vienna has successfully held on to its rich history. It has a rich art and food scene as well, which made it amazing to visit. If I could move to Vienna to work, I would do it in a heartbeat.

My friend Joey and I went to Budapest during the mid-term break over the summer, and I can honestly say it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. It's got really interesting architecture, delicious food, and a lovely river running through the two cities (Buda and Pest). Also, its Parliament building (pictured above) almost looks fake because it's so pretty. Hungarians are very proud of their heritage, too, which helps give their capital so much personality.

...why not Venice or Rome, you ask? Venice is pretty for a day trip or maybe even an overnight. Rome almost made the list for an Italian city, but Florence's Duomo is what made me pick it over the Italian capital. Florence feels like a city that you can never stop exploring. The food is outstanding, the architecture is beautiful, and the people are surprisingly friendly. It's worth visiting Florence if you like art or architecture... which is why I visit cities in the first place!

I'm so excited to head back to Europe and have more travel adventures. This blog will naturally turn into a living abroad/travel blog while I'm away, since I try my best to keep this current with what is going on in my life. I'm already making a list of places to go! I have this idea of taking my ice skates to major cities with a rink and skating all over Europe. My skating friends think this is a cool idea, while everyone else seems to think it's a bit silly.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It's midterm season!

...wonderful. If you've wondered why I haven't been posting lately, it's because I've been busy studying for what seems like an endless set of midterms. The best part is, most of my classes have more than one midterm, so it's not like it's one cycle and then I can relax. I made over a hundred flashcards for South Asia History alone! Despite being a quarter of the way through my last semester in college, I still don't know how well flashcards work for me. They do make my daily commute to and from class significantly more educational and people are more inclined to give me a seat on the train, so I guess for that alone flashcards are worth it.

 It's a vicious cycle... the cycle of my LAST semester at the Charles River Campus at Boston University. Thank goodness. I promise to get back on the blogging-horse soon! I'll definitely have more to write about once I'm in Geneva again.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Erik loves pumpkin spice things more than I do, so of course I make fun of him for being a basic white guy. The problem is, I dragged him to Trader Joes a few days ago to go grocery shopping. They have all of their pumpkin stuff in (yay, autumn) so naturally I had to pick up some odds and ends. I think I'm less about pumpkin spice things and more about pumpkin (and apple) things though.

So, I got two little treats for myself at Trader Joes. I really like the "This Fruit Walks into a Bar" series, and the pumpkin one is a delicious seasonal treat. The bars make really good on-the-go breakfasts if you're inclined towards something light.

The pumpkin body butter smells really, really good. It is pumpkin rather than pumpkin spice, so it's got a much lighter scent than one would expect. It's quite a thick formula even for a body butter, and a little goes a long way. Unlike other companies, Trader Joes doesn't artificially colour its products so the body butter is white. And let me tell you, it' smells SO good. I love smelling like a little pumpkin!

I made pumpkin ice cream the other day as well but it doesn't photograph well since it's in a big Tupperware, so I'll just say that it is also delicious. Just throw a can of pumpkin into a sweet cream base, add some pumpkin pie spice, and you're good to go :)

Happy Pumpkin Season!

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Back in September I worked with an experienced photographer called Paul Gerard Smith. While Paul primarily does art nudes (which are NOT my thing), he agreed to do a dance-based shoot with me. Here are some of my favourite photos from our shoot. 

Hope you liked the photos! I've been really busy with school so I haven't been writing much. I also don't feel like I have much to write about these days... but I'll figure something out. 

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