Nessie, Plus Things I Actually Saw

November was the most exhausting month I’ve ever had in my life. I lived almost exclusively out of a suitcase, because when you’re in six different countries in four weeks you don’t really have time for folding and cleaning and stuff.

Every time I write that it shocks me again. Since 1 November, I have been in London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Glasgow and (obviously) Cardiff — six different countries. I was only physically in my dorm for four days last month. I went to exactly two days of classes (God bless understanding professors and online coursework). I am broke and exhausted and mildly sick and every time I look at the pictures I took I don’t care in the slightest about how I feel now.

The two trips I haven’t written about yet were pretty much spur-of-the-moment decisions. Haley, Grainne and I knew we wanted to travel together, but deciding on Warsaw was a whim. We were lucky to have picked so well.

From Old Town, where every other building was a church —


Old Town

— to the Copernicus Museum, where Haley got in touch with her science-enthusiast inner five-year-old —


Water. It’s fascinating.

— it was so cool to have five days to wander a city I never considered visiting. Our home base was a tiny studio apartment with two twin beds and a cot, where (since the sun set at 3:30 every day) we watched movies, heard all about Grainne’s bodily functions, and I learned that apparently I snore and talk and grunt and sigh in my sleep. Every night. Sorry guys.


I booked Scotland the same night I booked my flights to go see Olga. Meaning before I knew how broke I would be by the time I actually got to Scotland. I’ll never say it again, but I’m grateful that I blew the money when I did.

IMG_1430Scotland clicked in a way that no other country did. I spent 12 hours on a bus traveling around the entire country — 350 miles — because I only had one day and I had to see as much as possible.


On the banks of Loch Ness…


….and cruising across it.

I said a total of about 15 words during my trip. Ten of those were asking for directions. Mountain views and liquid-mirror lakes and crumbling castles don’t require any comment from me.

IMG_1415 IMG_1470

But the highland cows did. They look a lot  like my little brother Gordon circa the bowl-cut skater-boy era.

Throwback to freshman year and bad hair all around.

Throwback to freshman year and bad hair all around.


Two weeks from today I’ll be starting to make my way home. I’m in major denial. It’s been a crazy, up-and-down, exhausting, nonstop month. I haven’t left my room today. It’s a nice change of pace. But I go back and forth on whether I’m ready to go home. I haven’t seen it all yet.


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