london

The weekend after I visited Prague and Budapest I headed to the land of tea, the Beatles, red telephone booths, mind the gaps, opposite sided driving, and royalty; none other than the beautiful city of London. I must admit, my entire trip I couldn’t stop replaying “Here comes the sun” in my head. Arrived to the Stanstad airport around 9am and I was forced to try to figure out the tube system to meet my friend Bailey in South Kensington. I was clearly struggling, so I asked a man, Finn, if he could help me. He did help me and he actually waited for me for 30 minutes while I waited in line to purchase my transportation pass. Finn and I chatted for over an hour and he told me about his homeland, New Zealand and about London city life. We talked about traveling and life I’m general. I couldn’t help but smile as he spoke with his New Zealand accent! I am so thankful I met Finn and he’s just an example of all of the kind, loving people I met while in London.
That Friday morning I had the plan to head to The Harry Potter Studios with the Pepperdine London program but I arrived too late due to the transportation confusion, directional issues, and lengthy custom time. I ended up meeting my friend Bailey at the Harry Potter Studios after various tube transfers and busses! I was so happy when I arrived! The Harry Potter Studios were just the day before decorated for Christmas! So, my entire tour and all of the different areas of the Studio were covered in Christmas decor, as you can see in the photos below! While there I met a kind girl from Seattle, Erin, who was actually traveling throughout Europe by herself! Before I found my friend Bailey I walked with my new friend! Side note, Erin later came to Florence and I actually met her for lunch, which was so wonderful and fun! As a Harry Potter fan/junkie it was so so exciting for me to see the studios where the movies were filmed and the props used as well! One of my favorite moments was walking through the outside town area of the studio! I got to drink “Butterbeer,” which was amazing as well! After a few hours at the studios I took the bus back to South Kensington (where the Pepperdine London house is located) with the Pepperdine London program. Bailey and I then went to her church’s youth group, which was so encouraging! Afterwards we found a cute little cafe where we had hot coco and shared a Nutella crepe. We talked for over give hours, it was so great to catch up with such a dear friend! The next day we did a serious of things! And through all of this, I fell in love with London. It was surprisingly nice to be in a region where people spoke English as well, and to be in a similar culture to my home was quite nice! Here’s a list of some of the things we saw/did while in London: we saw Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards (from up close), the Palace Gardens, Hyde Park, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Saint Marguerite Church, the London Eye, Thames River, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, Borough Market, The London Bridge, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden. Those were some many of the things that made me fall in love with London! It was also nice eating different kinds of food since in Italy all I really eat is pasta, pasta and more pasta! There’s so much to say about the beautiful city but again nothing could ever do it any justice. What made my trip so great though was the great company. Seeing my friend Bailey and other friends that are in the London program was so special. I loved it and I am so grateful for such a beautiful few days.Another special thing about my visit was that during that time there were handmade red poppies all over the city that represented the various soldiers that lost their lives during World War II. It was so beautiful to see and it touched my heart. It was also so special being in London during Christmas season, Covent Garden was a Christmas wonderland! After my time in London, we
I only scratched the surface of the city, if that! I’m sure I will travel there more in the future because I loved it so much!
Stay true, live justly, and always travel on. Peace and love

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prague and budapest

Now, Prague and Budapest each deserve a post to themselves but for time sake I will combine them into one post. At the beginning of November, I had a 5 day break from classes, so myself and four other friends headed to Prague for two days then to Budapest for the remainder of the time.
Prague was magnificent, beautiful, enchanting, everything I dreamed it to be and far, far more. Many people told me various times to visit Prague and seeing the city has made it evident why it is ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe according to many travel organizations.
While in Prague we stayed near the Charles Bridge which was mystical, especially with the foggy, rainy weather. I did two walking tours in Prague which was very tiring but I don’t regret them. We saw all huge beautiful monumental regions of the city and toured the Prague castle as well which was remarkable. A few beautiful highlights of my trip to Prague include the rich, interesting history, central plaza, cathedrals, astrological clock, the Lennon wall, the Jewish cemetery and courters of the city, the beautiful, strange, controversial art pieces throughout the city, the amazing sweet dumpling, cinnamon bread, kind people, beautiful air b&b and beautiful architecture. A few touching moments that stick out in my mind? When on the tour through the Jewish courters we were brought to a building that was used for safety for the Jews during World War II. While there, our guide explained a story that brought tears to my eyes.
Though I do not remember the name of the beautiful hero, I will do my best to retell the story.
One day, a man’s friend called him (let’s call him Nick) and this man begged Nick to come visit Prague to see all the issues in the city. When Nick came to Prague he saw the discrimination against the Jews that was occurring there and started a new, special program.
Nick noticed that many Jewish parents in Prague wanted to save their children from the horrid events they would have to face, yet these parents had no place to send their children.
Nick then, seeing the problem, found various people in London who were willing to adopt Jewish children from Prague. He secretly sent the children via boats to London to be temporarily adopted by the London families.
The plan was to send the children back to their parents after the war.
Sadly, after the war many of the children’s parents had died so they continued their lives with their adoptive families.
This heroic man saved hundreds and hundreds of children from the horrid holocaust. Many of these children did not remember how they were saved or who even saved them because they were too young when they were sent to London. Well, this humble man did not tell a soul of his doings. In fact, twenty years later as Nick’s wife was cleaning out the attic, she found old photos of her husband and various children. When questioned about the photos the man told his wife the heartwarming story.
His wife then contacted all of the children (now adults) and organized a surprise reunion where they could all meet the man who saved their lives. The surprise reunion was very special, and payed homage to the humble hero who is an inspiration for all.
Another special moment during my time in Prague occurred when I stood in Prague’s central market area. On that chilly evening a man played and sang John Lennon’s “Imagine,” I couldn’t help but feel the magic of the city.
My time in Prague deserves pages and pages of writing, but even with that nothing could ever do that special city any justice. Prague, a stunning beauty, is a place I hope many of you will have the opportunity to visit. If not, I hope that this writing gave you a taste of Prague and it’s unique beauty and history.
We left Prague at around 11pm on a Thursday night and took a night train to Budapest. I arrived in the beautiful Hungarian country early the next morning. I had never taken a night train before so it was quite fun to sleep in a train and I was excited to find our small rooms had free shampoo and conditioner!
Budapest, I found to be very similar to Prague in regards to food but otherwise extremely different.
Budapest is separated into two different regions, guess what they are called? Buda and Pest, so crazy right? Well, we stayed on the Pest side in a beautiful little air b&b. Our first night in Budapest we met with a large group of other Pepperdine friends and went to castle markets and explored the city together. It was fun to see the other students. In our group we actually had different students from every Pepperdine Europe program: Florence, Heidelberg, Lausanne, and even London!
The next morning I met my friend Mackenna at 6am (I know we’re crazy) and we adventured around the city. We went to all the major monuments, gorgeous cathedral, got hot coco, and went to a beautiful holocaust monument (bronze shoes representing the lives lost).
I saw a majority of the city that morning then I met with my other friends around 12:00pm for lunch and explored the rest of the city with them! We went to beautiful food markets, went on a short hike on the Buda side and visited the Buda and the Pest castles as well! I made reservations to go on a boat cruise along the river, which was very fun.
Before the cruise we headed to the Budapest bath houses to bathe in the natural, healing waters in the special city. We went to the oldest bath house in all of Europe, it was beautiful and so relaxing! It was a very special time, after we headed to our cruise!
The cruise was unbelievable and only 13 euro since we received a student discount! Seeing the beautiful parliament at night was so gorgeous.
We also ate dinner on the cruise ship which was so special because there was a live classical band there as well! My trip was wonderful and I hope to return to both cities again some day. Stay true, live justly and always travel on. Peace and love.

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no, i have not forgotten you

Hi blog friends, haven’t heard from me in awhile?
I’ve been so busy and I have quite a bit to catch you up on.
Why have I been too busy to blog and why did I abandon all of you?
Well in the rush to finish finish term papers, class projects worth 30% of my grade, and final exams, oh and traveling on top of all of this- it was hard to make time for sleep and of course blogging! But as of now I am on winter break, so my fingers have now found my iPad keyboard again and my mind is set on updating all of you on my travels.
So where have I been these past two months?
Well besides the library, I have been to Prague, Budapest, London, Milan, and I am currently on winter break where I have traveled in Germany and Austria, now I am in Milan.
What’s my plan for my month long school break? Well here it is: I started in Nürnberg, then to Heidelberg, then Frankfurt, from Berlin we (my friend Lacye and I) headed to Munich then Salzburg for my birthday, and Vienna. I then headed to Milan to spend Christmas with my family from Milan (whom I will talk about in future posts to be sure). After Milan we will head to Amsterdam then Paris for New Years, Brussels, Luxembourg, and back down to Zurich, Switzerland. From Zurich I will head back to Florence, arriving at my university on January 7th where I will begin my crazy orientation schedule and second semester of my sophomore year. Out of breath? Well I am too, but I am more excited than anything. Yes, I am jamming quite a bit into one month of traveling but I know it will and has been the time of my life.
So, I will post various blog posts in the next few days about my previous adventures. I hope you are all doing well, living free, and following the ways of the wind.
Stay true, live justly, and always travel on. Peace and love.

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