Brighton • Oliver

The week after Copenhagen, we as a group collectively decided: “Yep, it’s time we took a break from flying into the EU”. We wanted to explore a city close to our campus city. Funny thing is – there was a larger town close to Bath called Bristol: 15 minutes away by rail. After researching options such as: Cornwall (very beautiful – disappointed I couldn’t visit before disembarking the UK…) and Manchester (a tad far…) – we decided on Brighton; one of the most noteworthy cities to visit while in the UK. We somehow implicitly believed it would be close to Bath…

3.5 hours of rail later, we’ve arrived! It’s a coastal city, and we felt this right when we stepped out of the rail station. The air was filled with the sandiness of the beaches and freshness of the roaring waters. The day we went wasn’t the best as it was grey skies and mild rain; albeit this unpleasant weather, I do not regret this day trip. It progressively  introduced me to hidden gems that were scattered throughout the UK.

Brighton is a city of wonder. There are numerous small shops, delicious restaurants, and a mix of tourists and locals. We aimed for the coastline as we had seen the beautiful pictures of the Ferris wheel and amusement park by the sea.

B115E46C-F19A-47F5-8FF7-931C40F483FD.JPGThe Regency Restaurant right by the coast is what I would recommend to all whom pass by Brighton. It is a seafood shack that cooks up delicious grilled or iced seafood. Out of all the seafood, paellas, and spaghetti dishes I’ve consumed over the 4 months – this restaurant tops it all. I think it might also be the cheese that is slathered on top! Other than eat, we frequented the little arcade that lay right outside the carnival park. I think we spent about 1.5 hours in there, playing games until our hands tired and our jaws sore from belly-laughing, and ultimately- winning a Brighton snow globe.

A funny little story is: I had been told by a friend that there were rainbow huts on Hove Beach, in Brighton. I googled it and led our group in circles beyond circles. When we walking along the coastline, I had a sinking feeling we were going in the wrong direction… but I kept going. It was fun not knowing if we were going the right way, but as I had everyone with me – it was okay. Just thought of it as time together.

After googling intensely a bit more, I realized… there was Brighton and a Hove Beach with rainbow huts – in Australia. We asked around some more and realized the rainbow huts were a bit of a secret – only locals knew of this little strip near the coast.

Here’s some rad pics of us jumping up and down… and up and down – like maniacs high on colour. That day became more sunny (and hot) as we walked up and down the few strips that lined this city.

Brighton remains one of the top cities I would go back for. Not only for it’s quaint and calming city-sphere, but also the feels of being by the sea.

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When I look at this little beauty, I think of our times there. Times where we grew closer by chatting with each other, getting to know each other’s pasts, and having fun at another city explored.


Copenhagen • Progressively Elegant

For me, Copenhagen was at the top of my bucket list. It was established as the happiest city in the world, from long ago. The famous Nyhavn street has always come up in tumblr search engines and the many bike-littered streets made me so excited to bike along it’s cobbled streets. The Danish pride themselves on being a bike-friendly city with a vast amount of parking spaces and bike lanes, with over half the population biking to work everyday.


The famous Nyhanv Street!

On the afternoon that I arrived, I went around trying to see as many landmarks as I could. I was blessed as it was a blue-sky, warm-air type of afternoon. I also ventured out to the Food Market (it was delicious!).


Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Little Mermaid’ was spotted!

When my friends joined the next day, we had to see the Carlsberg brewery of course. It was pretty awesome as we were put in a group of travellers from all around the world: Americans, Europeans, Canadians, and more. We learned about the process of beer-making, the correct way to drink the sweetness belly-up, and how to skål!

They look pretty similar to me… @Sunny Sun


We got to see beautiful crowns! At the Rosenborg Castle.

Copenhagen, Denmark. How you stole my heart away – even after I thought I was already smitten with Barcelona. Copenhagen has a much different feel than Barcelona. It is quaint. The streets clean and frequented by many of it’s inhabitants – on bikes or by foot. I especially liked the many canals that streaked up and down throughout it’s 94 transit zones.

I would recommend looking at the Copenhagen card, as it gives you free transit and access into multiple museums. If you’re a big traveller like us, it’s a deal!

We always hit up the best place to get a panoramic view of the city. Copenhagen’s Round Tower gave us that. It didn’t come without effort. We realized to get views in any European city, this required you to climb to the very top – without elevators.

We like to goof around. These are my favourite 3, as they switch genders by switching jackets.

All in all, I’ve noticed Copenhagen has a different feel than the other European countries. Even to date, it remains a clean and favourite city in my book of travels. The food was great – canal ride was amongst the best as we learned of the different histories of Copenhagen as it went through the different centuries. There is a mix of modern and historic architecture, as the city is one of the leading forefronts of sustainable living.

Copenhagen, Denmark • March 2-5, 2017

Barcelona • Enchantingly Historic

Within 2 weeks of meeting new friends from all across the world, we decided to embark on our first trip in Europe: Barcelona, Spain! As most of us have never been to Europe before, our bucket lists consisted of the most “popular” and “must-see” cities. We stayed for 4 days… and were pretty awed from the moment we stepped into the city, until we left.


The first landmark we encountered was Casa Batló. It was immediately to our left, as we stepped out from the Passeig de Gracia train station. Barcelona’s architecture differs quite a bit from the Georgian style I was used to in the UK. You could also see the years that the buildings had sustained as the style and texture had an ancient-like feeling.

While being there, I learned that the people were very divided. Not everyone agreed with Spain’s government and did not unite in their national identity. I noticed there were different flags strewn on the balconies of the various apartments, and this invoked a curiosity that led me to researching the apparent divide. Although I would warn travellers to be careful of their belongings, as one of my good friend’s wallet did get pick-pocketed.


You can never have too many paellas in Barcelona…

Barcelona being close to the port allowed us to have some of the best seafood around. Safe to say, even though we had seafood paellas, pasta, and risotto about 3/4 of the nights there… it tasted amazing, every single time! The best drink around was the Sangria, which came in big cups or even jugs.



Too many decisions!

One delicious restaurant I would recommend to all travellers deciding to hit up Barcelona would be in the district of Dreta de l’Eixample (will find the name!). The seafood, served cold or grilled – was AMAZING! I think I especially liked that evening’s dinner as we went after biking all around Barcelona and it’s beautiful coastlines. I am glad that I was able to have bike adventures in this city due to its wonderful pavements that allowed for long excursions and also the time I got from bonding with my friends, over falling bikes and breath-taking views.

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Overall, I think Barcelona was a great introduction city for most of us as it taught us the importance of being protective of your belongings, really letting the night life sink in while there, and the joys of travelling with a group of friends whom were relatively new in their friendship life – but still very responsible towards one another.

Here’s some of our happy pics. We jumped a lot. Because we were joyous in not being bound by assignment deadlines and textbook readings. Oh, the freedoms of exchange!


My favourite 4 (missing Hoyhoy!)


Barcelona, Spain • February 23-27, 2017

Why do I choose to collect snowglobes? Maybe it’s similar to the reason of why my face lights up when I see snow. Unpredictable, yet it eventually does arrive. Maybe on a day when you least expected it. But always making that day more special than the last.

The Beginning

Let’s reminiscence a bit • the first few weeks of February

I remember when I first stepped off the plane. I was in a huge airport. Although back home, our airport was pretty huge – this one was massive. An airport that I had heard and saw in movies, filled with beautifully-sound British accents; here I was. Amidst the bustle and hustle, I was another traveler, arriving in Heathrow.

403: the bus that would take me between Heathrow and Bath Spa Railway Station (multiple times)

I remember the homesickness. I remember that feeling of “Oh, did I make a wrong choice? I don’t know anyone. This all looks like some countryside… where am I? Where were the glass high-rises? How come everything’s in brick and mortar? Where is the happiness that previous exchange students said I would find?”

As the bus wound down roads, speeding toward my new University of 4 months; I watched outside. I watched as the gloomy skies continued it’s plunder. I watched as the high rises, turned into grasslands – seemingly stretching for very, very, very long. The more I looked outside, the more sad I felt. But the more I continued to pray for comfort and strength from God.

I think that I’m one of those Christians. I wish I wasn’t. When I am met in times of unhappiness, uncertainty, and disappointment – I cling to our Father. I pray, constantly. When I had finally reached my residence (it took quite a journey to find it…) – I was met with further silence. No familiar friends; my roommates were quite cold.

I thank my one friend: EK. She kept me comfort in those early weeks. As I was lonely and did not have a single friend. She kept my happy self alive as she continually comforted me and encouraged me to befriend anyone I met.

I was lucky as I had, by chance, to have met a flatmate by his door of Chinese lettering. He showed me around Bath; my new home.86BA3AFB-71D8-4710-9225-C048B6C3B61A

Tasty: a Chinese restaurant I would frequent more often than not, over the next 4 months.

The streets of Bath are very different to those back home. I whipped out my phone when I saw my first ‘red telephone box’, in all it’s glory. All the roads were mainly cobbled; with fascinating stretches of Georgian architectural houses lining both sides.

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The Royal Cresent • one of the later days, when I had come to realize true happiness.

How Time Flies

I can’t even begin to say how much I cannot look forward to leaving England. It is so similar, yet so different. I think it is the possibility of exploring a city, or another country – all within my fingertips; it is that which I will miss the most.

These past few weeks were very, very, very busy with studying. Catching up on the 3 months of coursework material I had only occasionally glanced at within my travels. Though I am glad for the day trip out to Oxford last week.

As I walked along the streets, within the numerous colleges – I was stunned. Awed and revelling in the beauty of this city. The architecture, the people, and most of all: the atmosphere of it all drew me in for the day; it still has not let me go since.

I hope I will be able to come back to England one day. Not as a student, nor as an employee of a company. But that of a wanderer that is not lost, but merely looking to exist in the many cities that litter this beautiful country, that which I currently call home.





If I were to become an inhabitant of this city, would I be content?