Welcome to another Seasonal Digest! Reflection is an important part of life and in my effort to be self-aware and grateful, I will go through a summary of what’s been going on in my world season by season. This Seasonal Digest covers Summer 2018 from June to August. If you want to read more Digests, click here.
Ah, summer. Summer has always been a kind of weird season… during my school years it meant doing nothing. During my high school year, it meant working part-time. And during university, it meant interning. But what does summer turn into when you’re a young adult? Well, summer is always pretty low-key for us travel-wise. But, this doesn’t mean we do nothing! In fact, the summertime can often mean the most hectic. Friends and family visited all summer long. So, even though we spent a lot of time in London, we occupied ourselves with our visitors. Here’s my recap of summer 2018!
I finished the last of my exams on the 6th of June and as a graduation present from my family, I got to spend two wonderful weeks in the USA. It had been a long time since I spent summer back in the States, so I was already excited at the idea of seeing Virginia without any snow! The first week was just spent at home, relaxing, and taking a breather. Victor flew in the day after me and we filled our time with lots of activities.
Whilst in Virginia, we did some local exploration. There are so many cute towns to explore in western Loudoun County. The area has such charm and character. Our first activity was antiquing!
We also made our way to Frederick, Maryland with my mother for some more antiquing. Seriously, this area is obsessed with old stuff. Frederick is also a great town to explore with plenty of vintage emporiums, cute cafes, and quirky shops like comic stores.
Like I said, we spent a lot of time staying local. Over the course of a week we visited a BBQ joint, a local brewery, and a winery. I’m currently working on a blog post regarding the area where my parents live in Northern Virginia. I think you’d be surprised by how much there is to do in this cute, little county of mine.
We also spent a day in DC, primarily to visit the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. I had been wanting to visit since the day it opened (Sept 2016), but didn’t get the chance until now! It is a wonderful museum and I just think it’s so incredibly important that it’s here, especially in Washington, DC. I highly recommend it!
Our second week was spent on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Though our family had just been at the beach in January, we obviously needed more fun in the sun. We stayed at a lovely condo in Myrtle Beach and it was a blast. We explored a different beach everyday and ate lots of good seafood! One of my favourite spots in the area is Huntington State Park. It is gorgeous and I love wandering around the grounds. Searching for wildlife and listening to the sounds of the forest is my idea of a perfect vacation.
Back in Myrtle Beach, we explored the main strip where we had late-night ice creams, spent hours at the enormous arcade, played mini-golf, and even had our own seafood buffet by buying over 100 oysters!
Once I got back home to London, Victor and I had a friend of ours from Denmark come visit. I visited her in Copenhagen back in January 2017, so it’s nice that we switched up this time around.
This month was probably the most hectic of all. My very good friend Lauren came to visit from the US and she stayed with us for a week. London was one leg of her epic European journey. And, we did so much in a week. We explored Portobello Road, Notting Hill, Soho, Shoreditch, Fitzrovia, and even made a day trip to Oxford. It was one crazy week, but it was so much fun. It truly added so much to my summer.
Less than a week later, Victor’s parents came to visit. Not only did we have amazing food, but we also took a day trip to Canterbury. Last time I visited Canterbury it was the depths of winter, so this experience was a lot more enjoyable! We were lucky to have stunning weather.
And I guess some big news… I graduated! Yes, after two years of working away through law school here in London I am finally done. It was an overwhelmingly stressful day, but I was so happy to celebrate with my friends, Victor, and his parents.
And, even happier still, Victor and I celebrated our fourth anniversary in Bristol, England. I had been wanting to visit for quite a long time as I heard Bristol is truly the hippest city around. We had such a wonderful weekend and it was great to do something with just the two of us. Bristol has so much to offer and we were lucky to be there during Upfest, Europe’s largest Street Art and Graffiti Festival. We also got lucky because the summer heatwave had just ended. Phew!
August was a bittersweet month. One of my best friends, Shally, was about the move back to Toronto for her Masters. The first two weeks of August were dedicated to spending time with her. We went out to lots of over-the-top cocktails bars and loads of delicious restaurants.
As a last hurrah, the girls got together and went on a day trip to Southend-on-Sea, a cute beachside town in Essex, England. We enjoyed being by the sea as well as walking along the longest pleasure pier in the world. Afterwards, we celebrated Shally and her last week with us by hosting a surprise party complete with rainbow decorations, confetti balloons, and a Black Forest Cake. I miss her already!
I couldn’t stay sad for too long because then it was time to go to Egham, England for a wedding! My dear friend Hannah married her soul mate, Alex. It was a 2 day affair and wow, what an affair it was! It was an absolutely beautiful wedding and I even teared up as at the wedding ceremony. There was just so much love in one room. I can’t wait to share more about the event!
- Saying goodbye to my friend Shally was really rough — I have only a few anchors in London and she was definitely one of them. BUT, I’m so excited for her new opportunity in Toronto!
- Jobhunting. I’ve been in the process of looking for a full-time job here in London and as everyone knows, it sucks!
- My surprise visit to the US was great! I only expect to go back to the US once a year (at Christmas time), so getting to go in June was amazing.
- My friend Lauren visiting was also great. A little piece of the US came to me. I also loved showing her around my ‘hood and the city that I love.
- Victor and I are headed back to Barcelona to enjoy a few days relaxing at his family’s beach house in Calafell, about an hour south of Barcelona.
- We’re moving! Yep, we are moving into our new place in mid-October. We’re so thrilled because it’s our first place with just the two of us.
Ideas & Dreams
- New travel destinations have not been on my mind as of late because my daily life has been taking over. Looking for a new apartment and looking for a job is time-consuming. But, at the very least, Victor and I will make our way back to the US over Christmas once again.
- To use up the last of Victor’s vacation days, we’re thinking about doing a small trip in March next year. We’re thinking Lisbon because he’s never been and we’d get to stay with my cousin. Plus, I love it!
- Berlin is on my mind. This is priority number 1 for me in terms of travel spots, so we’re hoping to pick a nice time of year to go. May? June?