europe

A little trip to Pwllheli, Wales…

Pwllheli, Wales

Whilst digging through my exchange photos, I came across some that I had taken during my exchange in 2013. As many of you know, I studied abroad (at Leeds University in England) during the 2013-2014 school year. I didn’t blog much (too busy traveling), but luckily I still have a backlog of photos that I can share with you.

I was invited to stay in Wales with my aunt and uncle since I wasn’t returning home for Christmas during my exchange. As my aunt and uncle typically live near Cardiff, it was a family tradition for them to stay at a seaside holiday home in Pwllheli, located in north western Wales. So, shortly after returning from a trip to Northern Ireland with my friend Lindsay, I took a train from Leeds to Manchester Piccadilly, to Chester, and then to Bangor.

 

Yes, I saved all of my train tickets from my 9 months in England… I’m getting quite nostalgic now haha. I arrived back from Northern Ireland on the 21st. Unfortunately my residence had turned off the heating as most students had returned home for Christmas. I was the only person in the building, which was very cold… Naturally, I caught a cold that lasted for 3 weeks 🙁

Most of the photos I took were quite personal. I spent that week with my cousins (in their 30s – 40s) and their children (aged 4 – 9), and I’d like to respect their privacy… instead, I’ll be showing you the beautiful landscapes!

The Welsh landscapes are absolutely gorgeous… lots of rolling hills and beautiful seasides. Our house looked out onto the sea, so beautiful….

Many of the nearby houses were painted! A nice touch for the seaside… Also, Welsh Christmas weather is beautiful! Feels like a Canadian April, haha. It was lovely not having to spend it digging myself out of 5ft snowbanks.

The inside of our house was very comforting…The English sure know how to do Christmas! Lots of decorations, sweets, and someone was always cooking!

Despite being surrounded by family, I did feel quite lonely. It was my first Christmas away from home. All my cousins were much older than me, and their kids were all quite young. Nobody my age, and a weak wifi signal… (Nooooooo!!!) I spent a lot of time taking walks or playing on my 3DS haha…

The children were very lucky! Santa was very generous this year…

 

On Christmas day, we drove up to a nearby town called Criccieth. My cousins participated in a rowboat race whilst the children and I cheered from the stands…

 Criccieth castle in the distance.

 

 The weather suddenly picked up and the waves doubled in size! Crazy crazy weather!
These photos are actually taken a day or two after, when we visited another port. I can’t remember the name, but it was beautiful.

Hope you liked this post… I’ll see if I have any other photos that I can dig up for a travel diary!

Have you ever been to Wales?

Thanks for reading!

xox,
Sachie


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Paris (1 Year Later)

Paris, Oh La La!

Heya lovelies! I found one of my old portable hard drives stuck behind my desk the other day! I had been looking for this hard drive for the past few months and it was wedged behind the back board of my desk and the back wall! I found a lot of old photos and videos that I had been meaning to upload but couldn’t.

So, here I am, blogging about Paris, one year later. Better late than never, right…?

Luckily I remember the trip quite vividly, and recorded my daily activities/thoughts in my 2014 Muji planner. I went on a spontaneous Paris bus trip with my school friends whilst I was on my 3rd year university exchange last year, between June 7-12, 2014. I had just returned from Portugal on June 5th and decided I needed to do some more travelling before flying back to Canada on the 22nd.

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Lisbon Adventures | Sachie Abroad

Lisboa, My Love

I’m in the final week of my exchange before I head back to Canada. I fly out on Monday, and I don’t feel like I’m emotionally prepared to return. These past few months have flown by at a scary speed, it feels like I’ve been here for maybe 3 months max. So many things have happened.

I’ll be talking about my exchange experience in a future post since many people have asked me questions! I’ll also be doing a video over on my youtube page.

But anyway, this post will be about my recent trip to Portugal! I took a last minute trip with my friend Christa to Portugal on the 1-5 of June. We bought our plane tickets and booked our hostels the week before our trip. We flew with RyanAir. Tickets cost £64.99 from Manchester to Lisbon, and €54.99 from Faro to Leeds Bradford. A last minute trip to escape the grey skies of England and soak up some sun!

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the gathering 2014

Hi lovelies!

If you’ve been following me on my other social networks, you’ll have seen that over the past two weeks, I’ve been posting about The Gathering 2014 nonstop! In an effort to revive my blog,  here’s my Gathering experience masterpost, haha!!

If you don’t know what The Gathering is, check out my video on GeekandSundry Vlogs! :}

Basically, The Gathering is a huge LAN party held in Hamar, Norway. It’s filmed in the giant viking ship olympic stadium (which is named the Vikingskipet because it looks like an overturned viking ship!) Thousands of people flood into the ship, bringing their computer supplies and shelf equipment for 4 days of nonstop gaming fun! It was my first LAN event, and it was even more exciting because The Gathering had invited myself, Scott, Amy, and our producer Jenni, to host live shows!

Also, apologies for the quality! Pics were shot on my iPhone.

Flew with Norwegian airlines from Gatwick in London. Norwegian is awesome, such a pleasant flight. They even had free wifi! Definitely helped the 2.5 hour flight go by very quickly. I’m super fortunate as this trip was my third trip down to Norway. (First time for planning meetings, second time to film promos for the event.) Ya can’t keep my outta Norway!~ haha.

Walking into the ship and seeing this for the first time was definitely super exciting!! So many people! And so many cool shelves set up!

Here’s my walk-around vlog for the weekend! I tried to vlog as often as I could during the weekend, so much to see and do!

One of the cool events at the Gathering is that on the first day, after opening ceremonies, the lights are shut off revealing a dark ship filled with thousands of computer monitor lights! This is the magic button that Scott pushed to turn off the lights. DO I PRESS IT?? (You can’t see a giant red button and not push it!! ;D)

It looked incredible at night! You can kinda see some of the games that people are playing… Majority of people were playing Minecraft, League of Legends, and Counterstrike. Dubstep blasting 24/7.

As I previously mentioned, Amy and I did a talk show during The Gathering! We had a half hour show at 5PM every day, talking about the days events and highlights, as well as interviewing some guests and staff. I’ve never done live presenting on a talk show before so it was a new experience! I was really nervous about the studio headsets because we had our producer (Jenni), and the director (Kasper) talking into our ear, giving us countdowns, timing cues, and people giving us topics to bring up. Scary at first, but after the first livestream I found myself becoming more comfortable in front of the camera. We just derped around and chilled with the guests 8)

 Getting ready for the show! We dressed up in kigurumis which was really fun! I wore my Totoro one, which is too short for me hahah…. Oh well 😀

Jenni was sitting outside the Vikingskipet in a big media truck… She could see us on the cameras, and was sitting here giving us instructions during our show!

Scott had a late night talk show at 1:30AM. For one of his segments, he and Jenni had a nerf gun fight. Of course, we had to join in on the fun! Here we are as Felicia’s Angels. 😉

ON THE SECOND NIGHT, LEMAITRE DID A SURPRISE APPEARANCE. I PRETTY MUCH SCREAMED. I love Lemaitre, only recently got into them!! I thought they were french (because of their name), but apparently they were Norwegian! a;skfldjdklgdfkg so excited during their set, a little bit upset because the crowd really sucked haha. Lemaitre is indie electronic group, some of their music isn’t really suited for dancing, so a lot of people just stood there…. I was having my own little dance party though 😀

Got my crew sweater! They only had large sizes left when I got mine, so it’s huge!! Super comfortable though, I like wearing it when I’m lounging around my rooms in the evening. ~moe thugz 4 lyfe~

I also hosted the cosplay awards on the Friday with a Norwegian TV host, Kim-Daniel! He was super fun, great at hyping up crowds. So many people turned up, it was insane. There were so many fantastic cosplayers! Apparently there was a huge amount of people watching on the livestream as well.

Cameras on the main stage were really big! After a days work, eating at the crew house was great. Had bbq burgers which were amazing. Such lovely weather as well, bright and sunny.

A lovely woman from the Information:Games desk called Dawn, gave Amy and I a huge back of Norwegian candies!! I made a video tasting them 😀

 After everyone left on the Sunday! So much garbage omg it was insane… People also left computer parts, food, and chairs/furniture!! However, Sunday evening was also time for the crew party! Unfortunately Amy and Jenni had to leave early to catch their flight back to Los Angeles, so Scott and I had to party extra hard on behalf of them. 🙂

Me being a derp + Scott, Kasper the gorilla director man, and myself! 😀

All in all, The Gathering was a huge success! We didn’t really get to game or participate in the games, but we had a ton of fun hosting events and meeting our Norwegian viewers! If you’re thinking about attending the Gathering, you definitely should. There are so many concerts, events, contests and lectures/seminars to attend.

Thank you to KANDU, and The Gathering for inviting us. We really had such a fantastic time. Hopefully we’ll be able to attend again next year! :}

first trip to norway!

Heyo!

The past two months have been a nightmare for computer troubles… The new laptop that is currently on the way is stuck in customs, so I ended up renting a laptop from the university IT services. What a mistake, this thing is super slow and weighs a ton… so old school! I can’t wait until my new baby arrives so I can actually edit videos/photos/play games and move on with my life!

Anyway, a lot has happened over the past while! I went to Norway!! 😀

The purpose of my trip wasn’t for vacation though. I’m actually going to be attending The Gathering this year, which is a huge LAN party/ creative convention! Basically it’s going to be super fun, with lots of gamers, panels, concerts and shows! I’ll be working with the media team to host a cosplay competition and possibly do interviews/behind the scenes vlogs! I flew down there for their initial planning meeting, and to offer some input about event/panel organization!

On Feb 1st, I took the bus down to London. Met up with a youtuber who I used to watch quite often, Evan Edinger! Went out for lunch before my flight! He’s a pretty cool dude, kept teasing me about my Canadian accent tho… it’s not even that thick! 🙁 Took the tube down to Heathrow and flew to Oslo. Short flight, only about two and a half hours!

Met up with one of the organizers, Kasper, at the airport! His flight from Copenhagen was delayed though due to issues involving the transportation of a coffin…? He took the express train down to Oslo city centre to meet up with two of the other event organizers – Guro and Martin!

It was so weird seeing snow again, since we haven’t had any here in England this year!

We met up at a TGI Fridays, which was a little bizarre because it’s a very Americanized brand, but with a big Norwegian influence! We introduced ourselves and had a drink. (Alcohol is insanely expensive in Norway! Most cocktails were 114 kroners, which is like £12? Over $20 for a drink! Ahh!!)

Checked into my hotel! Had a quaint room with a single bed (next to a heater = toasty!), and wet room/toilet.

The next morning, I was picked up and we drove to a office building! We went into a conference hall and office area. I met most of the event and content coordinators, as well as the IT services group and camera operators. What struck me the most was that everyone spoke such good English! I was told that most people in Norway know how to speak English – as an English speaker, you would have no trouble navigating Oslo! We spent the entire afternoon in planning meetings. In the evening, everyone went out for pizza at large American-style pizzeria!

Giant cat loose on the streets of Oslo~

The next day, everybody returned to the final meeting where we went over the event briefs. After those were completed, Kasper and I took the train back to Oslo airport. Going through border services really makes me want to get my English passport, since it takes forever when you have to get through with one that’s non-EU! Took the tube to Covent Garden, stopped for Starbucks and people-watched for 45 mins, and then got on my 3.5 hour train from Kings Cross St Pancras to Leeds!

It was a really fun mini trip! I didn’t really get to see much of Oslo, but I’ll be returning once more before the actual event… Two more trips to Norway, yay! It’s a great opportunity for me to gain work experience, as well as getting to cosplay and present shows and vlog more! I’m really excited for the actual event…Gotta start on my Akali cosplay soon!

Most posts coming up soon, stay tuned~

york

Hiya lovelies!

Keepin’ in the swing of blogging with all of these travel posts! On Saturday, Lindsay, Christa and I took a little day trip down to York. I was talking to one of my flatmates about places to visit in England and she highly recommended it, so we bought a round trip, anytime off-peak ticket for only £8.10 (with out student rail cards). 

 

We ended up missing our first train by only a few seconds (but it’s ok because out ticket was an anytime ticket!) so we sat in Leeds station and enjoyed some ridiculously overpriced Starbucks. I think my new drink is definitely the Caramel Machiato!

The train ride to York was only 20 minutes! The weather was terrible (of course) – grey skies, very windy, random bursts of rain.

 

Both views of the bridge we crossed.
(Behind the scenes of me taking the photo, haha! Thanks Lindsay :D)

 Since York is a super touristy city, there were maps and information booths everywhere!
 Rememberance day is coming up – there was a statue and these crosses set up outside. People were also selling poppies. (The poppies here are different than the ones we have back at home – these ones were cardboard, whereas the ones I’m familiar with are felt.)
York Minster! We lined up to go inside but soon found out that the line was to a counter to buy entry tickets. (We assumed it was free, haha.) So we just stayed near the entrance and took photos. High ceilings and stained glass – beautiful!
Lindsay said something along the lines of “Constantine was here” except I heard “Constantine the Wizard”. It became a running joke for the rest of the day.
Headed down the little streets nearby known as the ‘York Shambles’. Took a walk down through Fossgate. The weather had took a turn for the worse so we decided to duck into a pub called ‘The Lion’s Head’.
It was dimly lit, so please excuse the bad photo haha! Surprisingly enough, this was my first time having a meal in an English pub (and I’ve been here for a month!) It was nice to have some home-style cooking.
 Clifford’s Tower. Again, we walked up to the top thinking we could get in for free (must be the student mindset) but there was an admission price. So we just stood up at the top for a while and looked out onto the city.
Across the street was the Castle Museum. We actually went inside (haha) because we wanted to visit a museum in York. Student tickets were £$7.50
 Exhibits showing toys from the 50s / a typical 50s style living room.
 Coffinmaker’s book of orders.
 Inside the museum, there was a replica Victorian street! The main street had replica shops that you could explore. There was also a back street that showed the living arrangements of the poorer folk. Photo on the right shows candles made of animal fat. One of the information guides said that those were candles made with the same method as back then. The room smelled sour and weird 🙁

 

There were also dungeons further inside the museum!
There were lots of cool exhibits – if you’re in York, I highly recommend going!
Decided on our next activity by flipping a coin – a tour of York’s chocolate history! York is the city where many large chocolate companies were founded, such as Terry’s Chocolate, Rowntrees, and some others who I can’t remember at the moment.
There were different stations that we were led through by a tour guide. At each station, there were tastings for the different methods chocolate/cocoa were prepared throughout history. At the last station, we got to make our own chocolate!

Prooobaably the nicest chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Super smooth and silky, we got to put our own toppings on it!

They decided to save their chocolate for after dinner but I couldn’t wait, lol
 Chocolate making demonstration where a chocolatier showed us how chocolate is prepared.
Makin it rain (chocolaaate) – We got to taste the chocolate he made as well! It had a dark chocolate shell with marshmallow and popcorn filling. So good.

Before heading back home, we passed by some of the ‘Illuminating York’ exhibits! Judging by what we saw, it looked a bit like Leeds Light Night. We probably would have stayed around longer to look at the exhibits but the weather was acting up and it was getting really cold. Walked back to York station and took our train back to Leeds!

York is beautiful! Hoping to go back again in the spring. 🙂

liverpool pt 2

Heyo lovelies! 

This post is a continuation from my last post! When Naomi and I booked our trip to Liverpool, we knew that we had to go on a Beatles tour! As recommended to me by somebody on twitter, we decided to go on the ‘Magical Mystery Tour‘.  Tickets were £15.95 each!


Most of these pictures were taken from inside the tour bus, hence a bit of reflection in some of the photos!

We had a lovely tour guide… He was actually the younger brother of Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood (as he said, “Liverpool’s second most famous band”)

 
Liverpool Cathedral – John Lennon auditioned to be a choirboy but was rejected! I think the tour guide said that later on, after the Beatles had reached worldwide success, the choirmaster still tried to take credit saying that if he had never rejected John, he never would have achieved his fame!

Row of boarded up houses aka “The Welsh Streets” because the streets all had Welsh names. One of these houses is where Ringo Starr lived. There have been issues as the city wanted to have the houses demolished, but doing so would destroy Ringo’s childhood home. It was eerie driving past a few streets up abandoned, demolished houses!
Pub which was featured on the cover of one of Ringo’s solo albums!
The ever-so-famous Penny Lane! Probably one of the most famous streets in the entire world. Another controversy- there was much debate as to whether the name of the street should be changed, as Penny Lane was actually named after James Penny who was an 18th century slave trader.
The childhood home of George Harrison (the one with the white flowerpot, in the middle.) George (like Ringo) came from very humble beginnings, living in this tiny house. Very cute with all the little buntings hanging from the wires!
Naomi is also a huge fan of the Beatles, and has the word’s from George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” tattooed on her shoulder. Ironically enough, the weather had been super unpredictable and rainy a few hours before – the sun came out for this photo!
Our tour guide told us that when the Beatles would check into hotels, they never used their real names (to prevent stalkerish fans or paparazzi finding out their hotel location). George used to use the name ‘Arnold Grove’, in reference to the name of the the street he lived on!
Next – off to Strawberry Fields! Often, John used to climb into a tree by Strawberry Fields and watch the girls go past. His aunt told him that if he was caught, he’d get hung. So in the song, John sings “And nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever”
The gates and plaque themselves are covered in the name of couples.
I look gross because I was feeling sick that day. 🙁 The gates were beautiful!
Drove past the childhood home of John Lennon. He lived in quite a big house compared to George or Ringo’s! The sign reads
“John Lennon
1940-1980
Musician and Songwriter
lived here
1945-1963″
Got off the bus and walked to the next stop, which was the childhood home of Paul McCartney. Got distracted by this pretty kitty in somebody’s garden. I miss my cat 🙁
John and Paul didn’t live too far from each other – only a few streets away!
We also passed by the church where John and Paul met, and the graveyard where Elenor Rigby is apparently buried. Apparently the Beatles claim that the song is not associated with anybody in that graveyard! The locals say that John was a choirboy at the church, and the boys often used to play amongst the gravestones. They say that John often used to hide behind the gravestone of Elenor Rigby! It may or may not be true, but it’s still a nice story!
After the tour, we ran through the sudden crazy downpour to the Cavern Club. The tour came with free entry! The Beatles played over 200 of their shows at this club. It’s underground and was super crowded, with huge walls filled with Beatles memorabilia! We could only stay in long enough to peek around, then we had to run back to the bus back to Leeds.
Really hoping to go back to Liverpool again! 5 hours was not enough to fully explore the city!

liverpool lovin’

Hello lovelies! (Just a warning, this is a very image heavy post! Most of the photos are under the cut)

This past Saturday (October 19th), my friend Naomi and I decided to take a trip down to Liverpool! The university actually organizes ‘GIAG – Give It A Go’ sessions! They are basically taster sessions where clubs allow you to attend a meeting for free to see if you’d like to join. However, they also had day trip opportunities! We decided to do the day trip to Liverpool. The trip cost us £17 ($28 CAD) which covered the round trip bus fare.

We met by the university at 8:45AM. The bus departed Leeds at 9AM.

Very dark and foggy when we departed. The weather was a bit crazy that day – first grey, then sunny, then rainy, then grey, then INTENSE RAIN, sunny, and then it just got really dark and stormy.

We arrived in Liverpool at about 11AM. We were given a map and were basically told “be on the bus by 5PM” Naomi and I set off on our little adventure!

 Liverpool has an absolutely gorgeous dock area! The architecture is incredible – love the mix of old and new buildings.
 Yellow submarine, hahah! 
Just off to the side, there was a tourist information area. Naomi and I went inside to buy our tickets for the Beatle’s ‘Mystery Tour Bus’! (That will be my next post!) 
As you may know, the Beatles first started in their home town of Liverpool! I think that’s what first brought this city’s name into the light – the home of those 4 boys that rocked the world. 
After getting our tickets, we went to the “Fab 4 Store”, which was located right beside the tourist information centre. Basically a little store that is full of Beatles memorabilia. 
“All you need is love”
 After walking through the store, we decided to take a walk further into the city. It is so beautifully decourated!
Passed by the Liverpool museum! It was free entry, so we decided to pop in and take a little look around.
 For a little museum, it was beautifully set up! The exhibits were all so nicely arranged. 

(Oooh so artsy~)
 After walking around the museum, we had an hour left before our bus tour. So we decided to head to Liverpool One, which is the big shopping area! It’s basically an …arcade of shops? (I think they call them shopping arcades here, which isn’t really a term we use back at home.) Basically, pedestrian streets full of shops! Very busy, lots of people. 

 At this point, my stomach cramps were starting to kill me so I didn’t really feel like going into many of the stores… But there were lots of women’s clothing stores! Forever21, Primark, Topshop, Urban Outfitters etc… Trendy clothing stores for young people! ;D

 Super hip band busking outside… I think their sign reads “Bolshy”. They were great, super enthusiastic. 
 Heading back to the information centre for our tour. It cleared up quite a bit, blue skies! (But not for long…) We took a back route behind some buildings and found this.
Next post will be about the Beatle’s bus tour! Hope you enjoyed this~ 
I really hope I can come back to Liverpool again! 5 hours was not nearly enough to experience this city properly. 


Leeds Light Night 2013

Hi lovelies!

On Friday evening, a two friends and I decided to head downtown Leeds and check out Leeds Light Night! It’s basically a night where there are lots of live performances, art exhibits, street food vendors…etc. If you’ve ever been to art/super crawl in Hamilton, or any of the art events in Toronto..it was kind of like that!

I think I prefer going out to artsy events instead of going clubbing… More fun wandering around a lit-up city at night with friends!

 First we headed down to Trinity Square (main downtown shopping district.) Lots of beautiful arcades outdoor/indoor shopping areas. Wish we had more of these in Canada.

 I have spent way too much money in this mall. Damn you shopping addiction! ;_;
 Saw this ad (I think it was for Topshop or River Island or something) and omg laughed forever. Edited in the words haha, made the ad 200% better.
 Right outside of the main Trinity shopping centre, there is a little church. (I think it’s called Holy Trinity?) People were performing there. These two sang beautifully. The church was gorgeous!
 Decided to head over to the main city hall building, where many of the other events were taking place. Light Night had events all across the city.
 Art exhibits being projected onto buildings.
 Radisson was lit up with different coloured lights.
 City Hall had a big clock work image projected onto the front of the building! It was beautiful! At 10PM, different moving images of people dancing and merry-go-round horses popped up!
All of the buildings are so gorgeous! I definitely want to visit this area during the day time!
Also tried out a different way of editing my photos – what do you think? 🙂

Adventure to Kirkstall Abbey

Hello lovelies!

A while ago, a few friends and I decided to walk down to Kirkstall Abbey! “Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery in Kirkstall north-west of Leeds city centre in West Yorkshire. It is set in a public park on the north bank of the River Aire.

 
It was quite a spontaneous trip – my friend (and fellow exchangee from Canada) Tabetha brought it up one day, and since we didn’t have plans (class hadn’t started yet), we decided to go on a little day trip! It was fun exploring Leeds, although we did get lost on the way there.


Cooking healthy meals (tacos lol) before leaving. I basically spend all of my time at my friend’s residence because I don’t have any friends at my own flat and it’s just more fun hanging out in other peoples’ kitchens.
 Leeds has some lovely,hilly landscapes! You wouldn’t really get this kind of view where I live, it’s mostly flat in Toronto. 
 CANADIANS OUT ON AN ADVENTURE! All of us (except Tom, the guy in the green shirt) are exchange students from the same university 😀
 Took a wrong turn somewhere and somehow ended up at one of Leed Metropolitan University’s pretty campuses! 
After trekking through forests and random residential streets, we finally reached the Abbey! Although by the time we got there, it was already 4PM and the abbey had closed for the day. :<
Oh well! Group photo anyway! 😀 It was a beautiful day!
The gates were closed, so we couldn’t go inside the actual abbey… We actually ended up returning to the abbey last Saturday because there was a market! The abbey is beautiful inside. 
Sat down and sketched for a while! The abbey had lots of beautiful roses growing in the gardens outside the gift shop area.
(taken when we went back the following weekend) – the inner halls were massive! Eerie to think that it was an actual abbey that people lived in hundreds of years ago.
 
Walking back in the evening – beautiful dusky glow~
 
More adventures to come soon! :]

HELLO FROM ENGLAND

HELLO FROM ENGLAND!

Heya lovelies! I’m here! In England! Ah! Ah! Ahhhh!!! 😀 (Just in case you were wondering why I haven’t been updating anything recently)

Last Tuesday (on the 17th), I flew from Toronto Pearson Airport to Manchester Airport. The days leading up to the flight were super hectic – rushing to collect all of the documents that I needed, trying to cram the last few clothing items into my suitcase, saying my goodbyes to friends, etc. I was quite anxious leading up to the date as flying across the world to live in a different country was something that I’ve never done before.

Leaving my parents at the airport was really hard, I was trying really hard not to cry haha! Super bravefacing. After I got through security and met up with one of my fellow exchangees, the anxiety melted away! It transformed into excitement! 😀

 I flew out with two other girls (Tabetha and Naomi) who go to my university! Our flight departed Toronto at 11:50PM EST and we arrived in Manchester at 11:30AM GBT. I was crammed in the Window seat with two pudgy ladies beside me who always gave me sour faces when I had to squeeze past them to go to the toilet. I actually offered for them to move in the window seat and the one day said she wanted the aisle seat because of her “long legs”. Sure lady, you’re 5’4, don’t talk to me about having long legs. 

Pesky titans on the wings. 
 Flying over Manchester~! 
 Next, we had to take the train to Leeds. Luckily, the Manchester train station is connected to airport. Naomi left to meet with some family who were picking her up, so Tabetha and I went to the little station cafe and waited for our train.

We actually got a bit lost because our ticket said to “Leeds”, but when we went to the time board, we didn’t see a Leeds train! We had to ask for help – we had to get on the Newcastle train, where Leeds was the third stop or something.
 Passing some charming little English houses~ With some typical English gray skies.
 Arrived at the train station in Leeds. The Leeds University International Meet and Greet help set up taxis to take us to our residences. Passed by the Leeds City Hall! 
STILL FEELS WEIRD SITTING WHERE A DRIVING WHEEL IS SUPPOSED TO BE.  
Arrived at my room! Stuff everywhere. I’ll do a room tour soon! 
For the next few days, we decided to just explore the city and get all of our essentials. 
Set up my figurines and put all of my clothes away. My room is super messy ughghghhhhh I also need to do laundry.
THE PHOTO I TOOK IS LIKE A PROMOTIONAL PHOTO AHHH I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE STUDYING HERE FOR A YEAR. 
I’m really not used to seeing such beautiful buildings everywhere. Compared to this, Toronto is bland. Seeing industrial block buildings and skyscrapers everywhere gets boring.
That evening we decided to go to a pub! I think eating at pubs is one of those English things that you have to experience.
Walked down by Trinity Square, which is this big shopping district with lots of charming shops, as well as big brand names! Can’t remember the name of the place we went to, but it’s the place that has the sparkly fairy lights outside! 
Live music! We went with some other students from my home university and one of their flatmates. It was nice just being able to sit, relax, listen to good music and enjoy each others company! 😀 
The walls were lined with books! 😀 We had lots of fun being the loud table of Canadians haha, cheering on the musicians after they were done their songs. :>
I’ll do a blog post and vlog about some other stuff later… Everything has been super crazy this past week with International Welcome Week and Freshers Week (which is their version of Frosh.) The nightlife here is insane, but so much fun. Can’t wait to blog about my adventures! You can find all of my exchange posts in the exchange tag. 
Seeya soon! 😀