Au Revoir, Paris!

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hello, friends!

This is the third and final post about my weekend in Paris (part one, part two). I hope you all have enjoyed reading these! Paris is a magical place to visit and I feel lucky to have been able to travel there twice in my life already. It is a must see European destination in my opinion.

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Sunday started bright and early with packing up all of our belongings and storing it at the hostel. Then we moved on to a quick breakfast before taking the metro to the Catacombs. I am super afraid of dead people and have been this way for as long as I can remember. But studying abroad is all about overcoming your fears, right? So I joined my friends in this exciting adventure.

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

The line for the Catacombs took us over an hour and a half to get through. I would recommend to get there before it opens and snag a good spot in line. I had so much anxiety as I waited in line and once we finally entered and went underground I started to really freak out. It was super dark and creepy. In the beginning you are just wandering around tunnels and you have no idea when you are going to come across the burial chambers.

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Getting through the Catacombs took about an hour. I was careful to respect the bodies and paid my respects. I thought it was a pretty emotional experience to go through because you have no way of knowing who the people are and how they died. Their lives have been forgotten and their remains have been put on display for the world to see. However, it is a very historical experience and I understand the importance of the tour. Things were much different back then and the bones have been preserved underground.

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

After the Catacombs we made our way back to the Eiffel Tower to say goodbye. I have always loved the Eiffel Tower. Something about it just makes me really happy and I’m not sure why. Saying goodbye to it was sad because I don’t know if I will ever get to see it again.

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

We stopped for lunch and I once again had a crepe. This time I got a Nutella and banana crepe and it was incredibly delicious. Then we wandered around the Eiffel Tower and stopped at some shops before taking the Metro back to the hostel. From the hostel we took a bus to the train station and headed back to London. Getting through customs was a nightmare but other than that the journey was easy!

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions about traveling to Paris!

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Weekend in Paris // Study Abroad London // Regent's University // www.lifeofhayley.com

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The Perfect Day in Paris

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hey guys!

If you read my last post you would know that I went to Paris a couple of weeks ago. The first day was amazing and it allowed me to mark “see the Eiffel Tower at night” off of my bucket list!

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Day two began bright and early with breakfast at the hostel including French baguettes and Nutella. We then headed to the Eiffel Tower right as it was opening 9:30 a.m. to wait in line to go to the top. The only waited for about 30 minutes before we were allowed to take the lift to the top. You have to take two lifts to get to the very top of the tour but it is worth it for the views!

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Unfortunately, it was pretty foggy and cold that morning but the views were still incredible! I am super afraid of heights so I was pretty dizzy and nauseous when we were at the top. I am so glad that I faced my fears head on! This study abroad experience has really made me realize how important it is to face your fears and follow your dreams. Every second of my study abroad adventure has been life-changing and wonderful. If you are thinking about studying abroad my advice is to just go and allow it to change your life!

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

After the Eiffel Tower we took some pictures and then headed towards the Arc de Triumph. We saw the Arc the day before from the bus but we wanted to see it closer. We walked past some of the most expensive shops in Paris on the way and did a little window shopping.  We stopped for lunch at a café where I had a French baguette sandwich.

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Our walk continued towards Notre Dame. We stopped to see sights along the way including the famous “Love Lock” Bridge. I took a few minutes to write “Hayley & Brett” on the railing. I would love to go back and with Brett and put a lock on it. He has been so supportive throughout this whole trip and I’ve really missed him!

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

We toured Notre Dame and even sat down to watch a service. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Even though the service was in French, I could still feel the emotion in the words. We followed everyone else by standing at the right times. It was truly an amazing and free experience!

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Our next stop was Montmartre. Four years ago when we went to Paris one of our first stops was Montmartre. I remember touring the Basilica and wandering through the streets. I can still feel the excitement of getting to the end of a street and seeing the most beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower for the first time. My first view of the Eiffel Tower is such a vivid memory for me and I was hoping to recreate it this trip. But unfortunately, there was a bunch of construction that was blocking the view.

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

We ate at a little café where I had a Nutella crepe. They had a man playing the guitar and singing which made for the perfect French atmosphere. I really love Montmartre and I hope that someday I will be able to go back! After dinner we headed back to the hostel to sleep. The plan for Sunday was to wake up bright and early to visit the Catacombs!

The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Thanks for reading, friends!

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The Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.comThe Perfect Day in Paris // Study Abroad // London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Midnight In Paris

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hey there, friends!

Sorry it has been a bit since my last post.  The weather has been so beautiful here in London and I don’t want to miss a second of it! I am also starting to get sad about the semester coming to an end which is making it hard to write these posts.

But anyway, let’s talk about Paris! I once again went on a Regent’s University sponsored trip. I’m not sure how many of us there were but I really enjoyed having a group to travel to and from Paris with. We took the train which only takes about 2 hours each way!

Our Paris guide first took us on a 3 hours bus tour of the city. We were all disappointed because we couldn’t get off the bus to look at things. At the end of the tour, we stopped by the Eiffel Tower for a few quick pictures before heading to our hostel.

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

The hostel we stayed at was really nice even though it was about 45 minutes outside of the city center. My friends and I stayed in a ten person room which made us all anxious in the beginning but turned out to be a ton of fun!

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

We had a quick snack at the hostel before heading out to explore Paris.  On Fridays the Louvre Museum lets people under the age of 25 in for free after 6 p.m. We headed toward the Louvre from the hostel which ended up being pretty easy using the Metro.

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.comStudy Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

The Louvre was just as amazing as I had remembered it. We explored for a few hours and I think we saw almost every inch of the massive building! The Louvre is huge and is definently a must see if you are ever in Paris. From one of the windows we caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower all lit up and decided that we had to go see it before returning home!

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

After we finished adventure in the Louvre we headed straight to the Metro station to leave for the Eiffel Tower. One of my biggest regrets in life is not seeing the Eiffel Tower at night last time I was in Paris. I put it on my bucket list and was determined to not miss out on it this time. We got off of the Metro and got a little lost put eventually found our way. We turned a corner and there it was, glowing and shimmering over the treetops. It took my breath away and was one of those perfect life moments that I will never forget.

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

We watched what was left of the light show and then began to walk closer to the tower. We stopped to take a ton of pictures and just laughed and had a great time together. It was nearing 11 p.m. and we still hadn’t had dinner so we searched around for a place to eat. We ended up at this nice restauraunt where we sat and talked for a couple of hours while sharing a bottle of French wine. I don’t like wine so I didn’t drink much but it was a fun thing to do.

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Once we were done with dinner we stepped outside and were greeted once again by the Eiffel Tower light show. We stopped and watched as the tower danced with lights. We were in Paris, at midnight, watching the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

We got to our hostel around 1 a.m. and all fell asleep right away. The plan for the next day was to wake up bright and early and go to the top of the Eiffel Tower!!

Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.com

Thanks for reading! I’m working on my next Paris post as we speak!

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Study Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.comStudy Abroad London // Regent's University London // Weekend in Paris // www.lifeofhayley.comStudy Abroad London // Weekend trip to Paris // www.lifeofhayley // study abroad blog

Scotland Part 3: Loch Ness

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hi there, friends!

I am finally back from my amazing trip to Germany!! I had the best time and can’t wait to share my adventures with you. But for now, here’s the third and final installment of my trip to Scotland! (part one and part two)

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Sunday began bright and early with breakfast at the hostel and packing. We left right around 8:30 am for Culloden Battlefield which was really close by. We made a few stops along the way for pictures by Loch Nest.  Loch Ness is huge and beautiful and I wish that we would have had a little more time to explore it.

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

I was really interested in Culloden battlefield but unfortunately it started down pouring right after we got there and we weren’t really able to enjoy most of it. I don’t think I have ever been that soaked in my whole life! We wandered around the battlefield a bit and paid our respects to the soldiers that lost their lives and are buried in mass graves throughout the property.

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

After freezing to death in the pouring rain we returned to the bus and headed to lunch in Pitlochry. Diana accidentally spilled her coffee on me during the ride which helped warm me up a bit! 😉 After changing, we headed to a small bakery to grab lunch and then did some shopping.

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Our next stop was a forest called Hermitage. Birnam Wood in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” was inspired by this forest. We took a nice walk through the woods with waterfalls and the salmon leap.  It rained again so we walked quickly but I still really enjoyed the scenery.

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

After our walk we all piled back into the bus and headed back to Edinburgh to catch the train to London. I was extremely tired but still really sad that it was already time to go home. This trip went by so fast but I had an amazing time. I hope that one day I will be able to go back to Scotland!

Thanks again for reading! I am currently writing posts about Paris and Germany so stay tuned!

I also just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been reading, liking, and commenting! Your support means the world to me 🙂 

Scotland Trip // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

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London Bucket List!

London Bucket List // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hey friends!

I am officially on spring break which means that I have the next 17 days off to travel and explore Europe with my friends! I am so excited!

With that said, I have been thinking a lot about the things that I still have to do before heading back to Michigan. There’s not enough time to get everything in London done which means that I will have to come back again! 😉

Here’s a few of the most important things that I want to do before I leave:

  • Portobello Market
  • Notting Hill
  • Windsor
  • Les Mis
  • Westfield Mall
  • Convent Garden
  • Natural History Museum
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
  • London Eye
  • Harrods’s
  • Oxford

Tomorrow I am leaving for Germany where I will be staying until April 8th! I probably will not be writing blog posts while I am away because I’m not sure if there will be Wi-Fi available! Follow my Instagram and Twitter to stay updated while I’m away! I am so excited to go explore Germany!!

Thanks for reading!! I will talk to you all in April 🙂

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Scotland Part 2: The Highlands

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hello, lovely readers! I think I have kept you waiting long enough for part 2 of my adventure through Scotland. We left off with me spending the night in Edinburgh.

The next morning we all had a quick breakfast at the hostel before boarding the bus and setting off at 8:30 for the Scottish Highlands. Ever since I visited Switzerland back in 2011 I have been in love with the mountains. They are just so big, beautiful, and mysterious. I love winding through them as we drive and staring out the window.

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

ScotlandMountians

We drove for about an hour before stopping at Stirling Castle for a short visit. We met another Scottish tour guide who led us around the castle telling us the history and facts. The tour guide had a really thick accent which made him hard to understand but I still enjoyed the tour.

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

While wandering around the castle my iPhone broke which made me really anxious. It did the thing where an “iPhone is not backed up” message pops up and won’t let you open your phone. Usually you can just restart your phone by pressing the circle and lock button. However, my lock button is broken so I had to wait until my phone died naturally and then hope that when I plugged it in to charge it would turn back on.

Stirling

Stirling2

After the castle and iPhone incident we boarded the bus and continued on our journey. We stopped in Tyndrum for lunch where Dani, Diana, and I had a delicious meal of fish and chips. Yummmm….

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

http://www.moragslodge.com/

After lunch we headed to Glencoe for a quick picture stop. It was raining so many people decided to stay on the bus. I decided not to let a little rain put a damper on my weekend so I left the bus to explore in the downpour. Glencoe is absolutely beautiful. We only stopped for 15 minutes so I didn’t have enough time to explore properly but what I could see was amazing.

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

http://www.moragslodge.com/

After another hour and a half of driving we arrived in Fort Augustus near Loch Ness. Our first stop was the Clansman Centre where a man named Ken told us what it was like to live in the Highlands hundreds of years ago. I was really surprised to hear about the horrible conditions that those people had to live in. I guess I never really thought about what it would’ve been like to live in the mountains without technology, heat, and sanitation methods. After telling us the history of the highlands, Ken proceeded to dress one boy and one girl in traditional Highland gear. It was hilarious and very entertaining. If you are ever in the area I would suggest stopping and seeing a show.

Scotland Highlands // Study Abroad // www.lifeofhayley.com

LochNess

ClansmenCenter

Our next stop was the hostel that we were staying at for the night, Morag’s Lodge. We had a traditional Scottish dinner of chicken, haggis, potatoes, and vegetables with a creamy whiskey sauce. I’m really glad that I didn’t look up what haggis was until AFTER I had already eaten it. I think that when you visit a place you should always try the food even if you are positive that you won’t like it because it’s part of the experience. I enjoyed dinner a lot and felt really full for the rest of the night.

http://www.moragslodge.com/

The hostel was such a fun place to be and we decided to stay in and enjoy it rather than explore the small town. The hostel had a bar where we hung out for the night. I’m not a big drinker so I mostly just watched people drink and laughed at them when they started dancing on tables. I had so much fun meeting new friends, talking, laughing, dancing, and staying up late. Eventually, we all went to our rooms to sleep because we had to be up at 7:30 the next morning!

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the third and final installment of my trip to Scotland!

P.S. I am back from Paris and I leave for Germany on Sunday!

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Scotland Part 1: Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hello again!

As promised, here is part 1 of my amazing adventure in Scotland! I went on a trip sponsored by Regent’s through Proscenium Tours. The trip included our train tickets to and from Edinburgh, a charter bus in Scotland, breakfast, 2 nights at hostels, a tour guide, and admission to all of the attractions that we went to.

tickets

The adventure started bright and early on Friday. I was smart and packed the night before so all I had to do was change into my pre-selected travel outfit and take my bags downstairs. I met a girl named Dani through Facebook and we decided to travel to Kings Cross together to catch the train to Edinburgh. On the short tube ride to Kings Cross we met another girl from Regent’s, Diana, and the three of us became fast friends. Before leaving Kings Cross we had to take a quick picture at Platform 9 ¾. OffToHogwarts

Off to Scotland!!

Off to Scotland!!

The train to Edinburgh was about 5 hours and actually went by pretty fast. Once in Edinburgh, all 39 of us from Regent’s stepped off the train and met our guide for the weekend, Graeme. He turned out to be the best tour guide. He had a strong Scottish accent and was sarcastic and hilarious as well as knowledgeable. Graeme took us to our hostel, SYHA Edinburgh Central, where we quickly dropped off our luggage before heading out for a walking tour of beautiful Edinburgh. Graeme showed us all of the sights as we walked down Royal Mile and taught us all of the history. We walked around for a couple of hours listening and learning as he spoke to us. I was surprised when he kept taking us to Harry Potter sights. 126 - Copy EdinburghCollage

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graveyardedit

I knew that the story of Harry Potter was “born” in Edinburgh but I never expected to see so many important Harry Potter sights. It was amazing. We saw the hotel where JKR wrote the last HP book, the Elephant House aka the “birthplace” of Harry Potter, Tom Riddle’s grave where JKR got Voldemort’s real name, the castle that Hogwarts was inspired by, and many sites from the HP films. Needless to say, I was in Harry Potter heaven and basically freaking out the whole trip. I’m a nerd.

ElephantHouse

HarryPotter

We ended the tour at Edinburgh Castle. We didn’t go inside the castle because it wasn’t included in the price of the trip and it was already almost 6 pm so we wouldn’t have had much time before it closed. The view from the castle was amazing; you could see the whole city of Edinburgh.

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After the tour ended we walked around the town and stopped by little shops here and there. I picked up two cashmere and wool scarves and a cute little stuffed sheep ornament. After walking around for a while we decided to search for a place to eat. We all agreed that we wanted to try something new that we wouldn’t usually eat. Therefore, we ate at a nice Indian Restaurant. Our waiter was really nice and patient with us. He suggested that I try the chicken korma since I HATE spicy food. Diana and Dani both ordered and once our food came we all tried each other’s choices. I was brave and tried the spicy dishes and ended up with watery eyes while Dani and Diana laughed at me. Ha-ha it was a fun night.

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After we went back to the hostel and turned in early because we were leaving for the Highlands at 8:30 the next morning. It was a perfect and unforgettable first day in Scotland. I was amazed by the history and age of the city. The “new” part of Edinburgh is older than the United States!

Thanks again for reading! Has anyone else been to Edinburgh?

P.S. I leave for Paris in the morning!!!! I’m so excited 🙂

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