My First Birthday Abroad: A Revelation

Celebrating my first Birthday Abroad as an Expat!

I had grand ideas of what wisdom I might impart from the first quarter of my life, clever antidotes from foolish years of mayhem and anxieties about entering into the adult chapter of my life but I have officially been celebrating my 26th birthday abroad for one hour which has been spent in the common room of a Barcelona hostel brimming with youthful overstimulated kids and I can tell you that I am more ecstatic than a raver to not belong in the under 25 category any longer.

I would love to go postal and charge the foosball table they are using for some made up drinking game only to use every ounce of muscle to flip it over smashing every last plastic player and relish in their faces of disappointment and disbelief. Ironically Cypress Hill’s Insane in the Membrane is blaring through the speakers. Yes god, I see you there laughing along at your clever plan to epitomize this all too satirical moment in my life, good one, FTW!

I recognize a younger version of myself in their antics, always working to fit in, aiming for the acceptance of others and craving to find comfort in their own skin. Well kids I’ve got news for you, today isn’t that day and tomorrow isn’t looking good either and in fact what you seek will be a constant battle.

It turns out that what makes you happy, what makes you… you and the people that encompass who you are will change, constantly. So my golden nugget of wisdomis (shut up, I know that’s not a real word) advice is to evolve along with yourself, embrace who you may be whether that is a cologne loving, bridge jumping, rule breaking, tapas hating, beer toasting, mascara wearing, sarcastic blonde.

Embrace it.

Because I am. So fasten your seat belt, ignore the exits and get ready for some turbulence.

PT4

Korcula’s Best Through the Lens

The Dalmatian Coast off Croatia is not swarming with black & white spotted dogs but instead has over 1,200 islands and after an embarrassing travel day I escaped to the sunny shores of the island of Korcula where I learned the true meaning of companionship. I don’t know about you but watching the waves crash against sandy beaches and rocky shores alike soothes my soul in a way nothing else does.

Instead of risking the possibility of cheapening the photos with words I will let them speak for themselves.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It’s always our self we find in the sea.”

– e.e. Cummings

Adriatic Sea in Croatia

 

Ferry ride to the mainland surrounded in beauty

“The tans will fade, but the memories will last forever.” — Unknown

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sea Urchin

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came…” – John F. Kennedy

The sunset beckoning to me

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm.” – Anonymous

The Croatian sunsets rival all others

 

 

school trips (2)

Guest Post: Sports Tours Around the World

To see previous City Spotlights here

Sports Tours Around the World

Sports tours are an ideal way for students interested in a particular sport to showcase their prowess and experience the world at the same time. However, choosing the right destination for a sporting tour can be tricky. Here is a look at some of the top destinations for such trips.

South Africa and France for Rugby and Cricket


South Africa is an excellent choice for rugby and cricket tours. When choosing a destination, it’s important to opt for a place where the sport holds not just a cultural value but also a historical one. A sports tour can become educational if there is a strong historical background for a particular sport. In South Africa, cricket and rugby are held in great regard, with both being considered as national sports.

Football and rugby are thought to be the top sports in France, with both having grown in popularity in this country over the last decade or so. There is a fantastic stadium in Paris which those on sports tours can visit, allowing them to see the variations in how such sports are played in a different country.


Ice Hockey in the Czech Republic


For coaches and teachers who want their sports teams to experience a historically diverse location with a rich sporting heritage, the Czech Republic and more specifically Prague, is ideal. The city is divided into two very distinct areas – one which contains the older buildings in Prague and the other which contains the modern parts of the city. Together these two areas have plenty to offer students on sport tours, both in terms of participation in sports and from an educational perspective. Ice hockey is a national sport in the Czech Republic and there are ice rinks in Prague for students to practise and compete on. The city is home to the Sazka Arena, which was built specifically for the Men’s International Ice Hockey Championships of 2004. The Czech Republic is also home to 17 rugby stadiums.
Sports Tours in the United States


Tampa in the US is another fantastic destination for American school trips to sports venues. The Outback Bowl, which is held each year, provides students with an incredible opportunity to experience what it’s like to stand in such a historical sporting venue where so many world-famous teams have played over the years. School marching bands can display their talents at this event to an audience of more than 65,000 people and the winning band will be included as part of the pre-show performances.

Regardless of which destination is chosen for a school sports tour, a good itinerary should always include a blend of historical and cultural activities as well as sporting fixtures and plenty of free time for the students to explore the area independently. Professional travel companies will be able to arrange every aspect of these school trips for those with a range of budgets, with flights, accommodation and meals included.

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Beverley, the gem in England you didn’t know before now…

Beverley, a true gem in Yorkshire, England!

The following post is from Charlotte from Web Cottages. She is enthusiastic about travelling around the UK and has made it her aim to visit as much of it as possible in recent years! She loves going on holiday and taking photos of the places that she has been to.

Beverley has to be one of my favorite places in the UK. The town sits in the shadow of the Beverley Minster, a stunning cathedral like building and is tucked away in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Beverley is situated near to the city of Hull and not far from the stunning city of York so is really easy to get to from almost anywhere in the UK. The think I love about Beverley and the thing that makes it different from other places, it that it has managed to retain a lovely small town like feel, people still know and speak to each other and most of the shops in the town centre are still independently owned. It really is a gem!

What makes Beverley so magical?

Beverley’s small town charm stems from the fact that it is a town surrounded by countryside and lovely pasture land. It really does have the perfect blend of town and country! You can stay in the countryside and still be only a couple of miles from the Beverley’s cobbled streets that make up the buzzing town centre. There are loads of options of places to stay, from smart hotels in Beverley itself to stunning holiday cottages in Yorkshire, just outside of the town.

 

Animals graze freely on the Westwood, just outside the town centre and only cattle grids stop the animals coming all the way into the town. Beverley Beck runs for just under a mile from the River Hull to near the town centre of Beverley and is a lovely place to go for an afternoon stroll, or head to for a picnic. Both are just a short walk from the town.

 

Great places to eat in Beverley

Beverley is home to some truly fantastic places to go for delicious home cooked food. If I could only have one meal during my stay in Beverley and money was no object, I would take a trip to Whites Restaurant. Whites is a small restaurant that serves truly fantastic food all made on the premises by head chef John Robinson.

 

If you fancy a delicious light lunch or scrumptious cake, Lempicka at Wednesday Market is a fantastic café. Offering lovely panini’s, salads and quiches all served in a quirky café or outside in the sunshine weather permitting, this place is not to be missed! The cakes are amazing too, huge slabs of homemade delights. The perfect time to treat yourself!

What about a drink?

You will be spoilt for choice for places to drink in Beverley! Although there are plenty of swish cocktail bars and wine bars, my favorite place has to be Nellies. Its real name is the White Horse, but it is known locally as Nellies after one of the past landlords of the pub. The atmosphere is dark as the only lighting is by gas lamp and the furnishings are well worn but that is the appeal! I really don’t think I have ever been anywhere like it!

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Learning What it really means to Break Bread in Croatia

I expected homesickness to come knocking on my door after a few weeks of traveling around Europe and the realization of being ‘homeless’ settled in. I wasn’t looking forward to it but I was prepared to pay my dues to the travel gods and wouldn’t you know that after my blond stupidity cost me $600 worth of valuables in Budapest homesickness showed up ready to kick me while I was down. So what did I decide to do?

Leave the city and book it to the beach, nothing puts my soul to ease and life in perspective faster than gazing out onto open water.

With a bruised ego I boarded a train that would take me to the island of Korcula surrounded by the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia. I decided a long time ago I wanted to travel spontaneously and using my intuition, it hasn’t let me down because Korcula was exactly where I was meant to be.

After traveling by 2 trains, a bus, a ferry and a taxi I had arrived in the compassionate and welcoming company of new friends. From the minute I walked through the door they had me feeling at ease and offered me a seat at their table where I learned the meaning of true companionship.

Companion; Compañero (Spanish); Copain (French) Companion

From the Latin “Companionem,” which was, “one with whom you would eat bread” — “Con” (with) and “Pan” (bread) — presumably, your “companion” was someone with whom you would “break bread.”

There I was, “breaking bread” with my new friends and feeling blessed, a splendid reminder of why I began traveling in the first place, for the genuine people you meet everywhere you go!

Some of the Croatia Crew

Here are some of the foods I enjoyed during my stay on this breathtaking island