Well as I write this, I’m on a plane to Chicago wedged up against a window with a sweet old British woman to my left. My study abroad adventure is over. And since I haven’t written a study abroad update since early April, I thought I’d write one last post to detail everything I got up to in the last month and a half.
Of course, I still have so many study abroad themed posts ideas and drafts floating around in my head, so don’t think that content will disappear from the blog (or the Insta feed) anytime soon my friends.
Way back in February I planned my trip to London. The only reason I planned it so early was because I had booked a ticket to go into the Harry Potter Warner Bros studios, and I knew from Amelie’s post that I would have to book it months in advance to find a time that would work for me.
I was blessed with amazingly warm weather for every day except one while I was there. I even got sunburnt a little on my second day there!! And I got to see the Queen’s 92 Birthday Concert!! Honestly, I don’t care one bit about the royal family, but when I found out Shawn Mendes was performing you can bet your booty I bought a ticket ASAP. And while I may not find the royal family all that fascinating, it’s still cool to be able to say I was within a couple hundred feet of the Queen of England. Read more…
One of the biggest things I was worried about while planning my study abroad trip was what I was going to do about my phone plan. I’m a phone addict obviously. I had heard of people getting new phones, just new SIM cards, paying for an international phone plan, or just surviving off wifi. After talking to friends who I knew had already been abroad and talking to my parents about money, I decided to just go with the last option. So I’ve been living off only wifi for the last three months.
I know that seems insane. We’re all so used to being on our phones 24/7 and being able to randomly Google something should our hearts desire. But yeah no, I haven’t been able to do that. That alone seems to scare people off. Then adding on the tidbit about possibly not being able to look up directions should you be lost in a foreign city? Yeah, that scares literally everyone. Myself included, especially since big cities already give me anxiety.
But honestly, not buying a new SIM card or phone plan was totally the right way to go. It’s been way easier to survive than I thought it would be, and I saved money!! Always a plus.
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iPhone is golden
I’m not an Apple fanatic in any way. But Apple does a really good job of having features that make you never want to leave their grasp. Especially features that are insanely useful when all you have is wifi and still need to be able to contact people! Read more…
By no means am I the biggest Potterhead out there. I honestly, don’t even like to be referred to by that term because I’m not really a die-hard fan. This is when you’re like, “What the heck Caitlyn? Then why did you even go to Oxford!?” Well Karen, I may not currently be the biggest fan, but I was fully immersed in the world as a child. So being able to finally see locations from the movies in person was magical and brought back all the feelings I had as a child when I was in love with the wizarding world.
I spent two full days in Oxford with my fellow blogger and study abroad friend Kat! Keep reading to find out all the attractions we visited, where we ate, and where we stayed in the city!
I got to Oxford around 8:40 am on Saturday morning. Kat’s train wasn’t due in for a couple hours so I spent the morning at the bus station’s Cafe Nero finishing up a book and getting caffeinated since I had taken an overnight bus from Glasgow. Because it was an overnight bus, I also got dressed and did my makeup in the bus station’s bathroom. That was an experience.
Brunch at Queen’s Lane Coffee House
When Kat arrived in Oxford around 11, we headed off to Queen’s Lane Coffe House. She had found it when we were planning our trip and we immediately decided we had to go since it’s the oldest continually operating coffee house in Europe. Like how cool is that!?
I got the porridge and Kat got their bagel. We both loved the food, and Kat said their bagels live up to the New York bagels from the states.
After filling our bellies with the delicious food and drinking more coffee, we set off the short walk down the street to the covered market. We had both heard that this was a must see when visiting Oxford, but honestly, it was super underwhelming.
The covered market is basically more like a mini indoor mall than a market, which I totally loved, but none of the shops were really intriguing enough to go into. Kat and I only entered one so she could purchase a couple postcards. There were a few dessert stalls I would have loved to get some ice cream or pie from though, but we had just eaten so that was a no.
St Mary the Virgin Church
Since it was still too early to check into our hostel, we decided to explore a little bit more in the vicinity we were already in so we stopped inside the church between the market and the coffee house to kill time. This church was gorgeous inside!! I could not get over the beautiful stained glass windows!
St. Mary’s also felt like an actual place of worship and not just a tourist attraction.
Upon exiting the back of the church, we had our first view of the Radcliffe Camera! Which I actually didn’t know the name of until Kat told me. I obviously had done my research right? Read more…
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