Reflections on Malaysia

I knew from the start that my first trip to Malaysia would be filled with novelties when the attendants on my overnight flight inundated the cabin space with bug spray. Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur took just under 13 hours, during which time my concerns about what could go wrong became increasingly intense. Relief slowly crept in when I discovered upon debarking that the airport’s Malay signs all had English translations, although I did attempt to learn a few native words beforehand (Tandas = Toilet is all I can remember now).

Holiday Highlights: Rhodes by Quad-Bike

Before returning to university, my mum and I decided that a week in Rhodes was the perfect end to such a relaxing summer break. We went at the end of August, which meant that we got a good deal price-wise, and were told that quad-biking was the best way to see the island, because we could do it independently and at our own pace. Unable to drive, I was a little disappointed at first about staying a passenger the whole time, but I soon realised that I was able to see and experience the island better than if I had been concentrated on the road ahead.

Ten Things to Do in Oxford

I’ve heard stories of tourists arriving in Oxford and asking the seemingly innocent question of where the university is. The answer: everywhere! However, if the world-famous city were only a centre of academic excellence, I doubt that I would’ve survived three years there as an undergraduate. For the prepared visitor, there is way more than just the chance to look at old buildings and walk the same paths as notable alumni. Here are ten of the best things to do in the so-called “City of Dreaming Spires”:

Go Out Into St Andrews at Night

And I should say the dead of night. Thing is, St Andrews is truly a quiet town — us students, generally, bring the party. But at some point even the most late-night partiers crash, inebriated and overfull with toasties or cheesy chips or doner kebabs, into the soporific safe haven of what may or may not be their own bed. Once they’re out like a sack of rocks, the world pauses: they’re gone, as are the cyclists, cars, delivery trucks and vans, coffee shop go-getters, pub crawlers, red robes, beach-dwellers, hikers, dogs, old Scotsmen, seagulls (sometimes), wind. And all those places, the coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, Market Street shops, even the toastie bar and library and Empire, are shut down for the night.

48 hours in: Luxembourg

‘Where even is Luxembourg?’ I asked myself when my friend first invited me to visit her home. I am always up for an adventure, and I love to experience new cultures and places, but this country was one that I couldn’t even pinpoint on a map. But now, after spending a long girls’ weekend there, I just want to go back and experience this tiny country all over again.

Holidays Highlights: Museums of Madrid

Before I went to Madrid, I expected what I had experienced in Barcelona, which was lots of sangria drinking and paella eating. When I decided to travel to Spain again, I knew that I should add Madrid to my itinerary but had no idea what to expect.

Holiday Highlights: Dublin

This past Spring Break, the dates aligned perfectly for this tourist-y American to finally go to Ireland for St. Patty’s Day! (I say Patty’s and others say Paddy’s, but who knows the right way to spell it…) Because I had never been to Ireland before, my friends and I wanted a few days before and after the trip to see this beautiful country. Even if you can’t make it this semester, any time of year is perfect. I’ve written out my suggestions to have the best holiday in the east coast of Ireland!

Mastering the Art of: Traveling Alone

Just like going to the cinema or eating alone, traveling alone is still seen as taboo; and I really don’t understand why! I love traveling with my family and friends when I can, but there is something so special about traveling alone. I recently took a solo train-trip through Switzerland and had a great time. If you follow my six tips when planning your next trip alone, you’ll be sure to have the best time.

Reflections on: Arkansas

Along the entire way to the University of Arkansas I’ve got The Count of Monte Cristo playing at 1.25x speed. 47 hours of material, of which, by the time I’m pulling out of my driveway, I have 17 hours left. 5.5 hours of driving projected by Maps and the car’s a-rumble with the sonority of John Lee’s narration. Ma foi, I could listen to him say French words all day.