Saturday, February 4, 2012

Plans for this Term...

My first term is over and I'm finally realizing how little time I have, and how big Europe really is.  I have a lot of places left to explore, and not much time to do it.  Luckily, unlike last's semester's 5 day school week, this semester I have a 4 day weekend!  Yup - I don't have class Friday-Monday, which means I have a lot more time to travel!

I've currently been working on a list of places I "must" go to, both in the UK and the rest of Europe.  I have yet to do most of the things on my original Goals for Study Abroad post, but after being in England, what I wanted to do has changed.  Before I didn't really know what opportunities I'd have over here, or what I could do while in England, which resulted in a very crude list.  I figured I should update this blog with three lists - one of things I have accomplished from my original Goals since being abroad, and two lists of my new goals - one for the UK (mostly) and one for continental Europe.

Accomplished Goals

 1.  Go to:  Italy, Norway, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, & Spain.  (I want to go to more countries than this, but these are the countries I really want to make sure I visit!

As you can see from my previous posts, I did make it to Spain.  I still need to make plans to go to Ireland and Scotland (especially since about half of my family background is Scottish) but I have bought plane tickets for Norway!!!  And I'm in the process of making plans of when I can go to Germany and Italy!

2.  Go to Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris and (obviously) buy a book there :) 

Yes!!!  I went to Shakespeare & Co, and spent way too much money there on books for my sister and I.

5.  Try a new food once a month, starting with Fish & Chips!  (Well, okay, I've had Fish & Chips before, but what I've had here in the U.S. will definitely not be as good as the real thing.)

Sort of did/doing this...a friend and I are trying to eat out in Norwich once a month, in order to try new food places.  So while I may not be trying a new type of British food, it is technically food from it kind of counts?

9.  Buy fashion/sewing magazines for mi hermana.  She has been kind enough to start on making me a really nice, high quality jacket for my time in England (I'll post pictures here or a link to her sewing blog once it is done!).  As a way of paying her back, we agreed I would buy her foreign sewing magazines, like Knipmode and Burda.

Partially done with this!  Still need to make a couple more magazine orders, as well as continue to look for magazines as I go on my travels, but I would say I brought back a good amount for her from my first term abroad.

11.  Join at least 1 club on campus.
I've joined 3 (Drama Society, Creative Writing Society, and International Students Society)...but haven't always been the best at staying involved.  Definitely something to work towards this semester.

13.  Make a travel blog (done) and continue to update it.

Sort of did this...well, I'm updating it now, and I'm trying to update it as I go from now on, instead of months after a trip...

16.  Visit a lot of art galleries while in Europe.  I don't want to do this on overkill, but I'd love to take advantage of the historical art Europe has to offer :) 

 Kind of accomplished...I went to a small part of Foam and the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, but I definitely have a lot more to visit!

18.  Send lots of postcards to my friends and family!

Yes - have definitely been sending lots of postcards from Europe.

20.  Make-out with Matt Smith of "Dr. Who".  When I told my friend and "roommate-for-life" Maggie that Matt Smith is an alum of the University I'm going to, she requested that I make out with him. While I realize this is probably the most unrealistic goal on this list (that even my chance of seeing him in person is slim-to-none), I figured I'd add it anyway, just for fun.  I'd also like to take this time to say that I personally prefer David Tennant, but I'd have no complaints or objections about snogging Matt Smith either ;)

Okay...I didn't actually make out with him, but I got as close as I probably ever will...

That's it for my previous list!  Now for my new goals...

New Goals for Study Abroad - UK(ish)

1.  Go to Stratford-upon-Avon, and see Shakespeare's house and his home town.

2.  See D. H. Lawrence's house (there are two, one is in London, the other is his birthplace in Nottingham), Jane Austen's house (one in Hampshire), George Orwell's house, Dicken's house, as well as a couple other authors.  It's really nice that England has such a strong literary history, and that several plaques and museums are set up to commemorate them.  We do have a literary history in the States, but finding (or even getting) to the various homes of some authors is a bit difficult, if there is even anything set up to commemorate their life.

3.  Go to Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.  Kind of morbid, but there are lots of authors buried at this cathedral, including Jane Austen, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, Dickens, and many others.

4.  Go to the various museums in London (and possibly Cambridge), including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Albert & Victoria Museum, the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, etc.

5.  Go to the British Library in London.  They have illuminated manuscripts, which I've had to study for various art and history classes, original manuscripts by Austen, and a lot of other cool stuff.  (So far I seem to have a pretty strong theme going of literary stuff to do in England...)

6.  Go to the Globe Theatre.  I want to take a tour of the Globe if I can, as well as see a show there.  It's too cold for them to put on shows now, so I need to wait until they start performing when they weather is better, but this is definitely a "must-do" while in England!

7.  See a show at the West End.  A friend and I are trying to see War Horse & Les Miserables...though tickets have been pricey or sold out.  Hopefully we can get some tickets though!

8.   I want to try to go to Oxford, York, Manchester, and possibly a couple other cities in England before I leave.

9.  Go to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales!

10.  Go to the Castle in Norwich!  I have gone to the Cathedral, but have yet to tour our castle!

New Goals for Study Abroad - Europe

1.  Go to Norway!  I have this is definitely in the process of happening!

2.  Go to Italy!  I really want to go to Venice, Florence, and Rome.  I know those are "typical" cities to go to, but I'll only be there for a couple days, so I am hoping that those three will give me a good taste of the country :)

4.  Germany!  (Apart from my Scottish side, I am also mostly German on the other side of my family, so I'd really like to go to Germany!) I currently have loose plans to go to Zurich, but I might try to go back and see some more cities before my return to the States.

5. ...don't laugh, but I'd like to go to Paris Disney.  I know we have Disneyland & Disneyworld in the States, but I'd like to go and compare Paris Disney to the two we have.

6.  Go to Southern Spain.  I really want to go to Cordoba as well as Granada to see some of their Islamic architecture.  I took a course awhile ago at SFSU about Islamic art & architecture, and I'd love to see something in person that I learned about, instead of just reading about it in a textbook or seeing it in a power point lecture, so I can fully appreciate it.

7.  I have a couple other trips planned to some countries...but I think I'll leave it a surprise until I post about them!  I can't give all my plans away so soon.

(8.)  Countries I am not sure if I have time to make it to...not really a "goal" if I don't know if I can go or not, but just thought I'd include this so I can look back and see if I made it there or not:

a.  Belgium - technically I've been in Belgium, but it was a brief trip to a chocolate factory, and I didn't really see much of Belgium, so I might try to go back.
b.  Denmark - I'd like to go, but not sure if I'll have the time or money after my other travels.
c.  Sweden
d.  Luxembourg

Well...that's it for my plans thus far!  Still kind of loose and basic, especially when it comes to Europe, but once I go or accomplish any of these, I'll be sure to post about it!  (In a timely matter...hopefully.)

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