Oregon Trip Part One: Smith Rock and Painted Hills

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Earlier this year I got the most exciting WhatsApp message from my friend Anna Sophie! For those of you who have read my study abroad adventures you would recognize Anna Sophie from London.We met during our study abroad semester at Regent’s University. Anna Sophie is from Germany while I am from Michigan so we haven’t seen each other since 2015.

Anna Sophie’s message said that her and her boyfriend, Jona, were going to be spending three weeks in the USA roadtripping! Brett and I have flight benefits so right away I messaged back saying that we would love to meet them somewhere. We settled on meeting them in Bend, Oregon and then traveling with them to Portland, Oregon in June!

The months flew by and when June rolled around I couldn’t believe that I was finally going to be reunited with my best friend! Brett and I flew into Bend on Sunday afternoon and expected to meet Anna Sophie and Jona on Monday morning. She called me while Brett and I were at Target to say that they decided to come to Bend that night instead! We were reunited at our Airbnb and started our wonderful new journey together.

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Brett went to Bend last year for a guy’s trip so I kind of knew what to expect. On Monday morning we headed to Smith Rock for a day hike. It was HOT and I was unprepared for just how hard the hike would be. I didn’t expect to be climbing straight up a giant rock when I’m as out of shape as I am. However, we still had a great time together and it was absolutely beautiful!

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I did not make it all the way up Smith Rock that day. In fact, I slipped and fell near the top and ended up scrapping my leg up pretty badly. It’s 2 months later now and my leg still looks pretty gross. Brett and I decided to wait for Anna Sophie and Jona and they made their way up to the top. I was disappointed in myself but sometimes I have to cut myself a little slack. I’m always happy to get out and do things instead of living in fear of another migraine attack.

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After our trek, we headed to Coldstone for some ice cream! Ice cream is my love language. After Coldstone we headed back to the Airbnb and got ready for dinner. Brett and I decided that it would be fun to introduce our German friends to hibachi. We went to a hibachi restaurant in Bend and they ended up loving it! After dinner we went back to the Airbnb, cuddled with our host’s dogs (including a super cute dachshund named Ruby), and played games. One of my favorite memories of Anna Sophie and our trip to visit her family in Germany was playing games together.

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The next day we headed out to the Painted Hills. Brett drove and I navigated but when we got out towards the Painted Hills we lost service. We may have gotten a little lost while we were driving but that was part of the adventure!

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The Painted Hills are amazing! I didn’t really know what to expect other than the google images that I looked up before going. We did a few of the hikes which were nowhere near as exhausting as Smith Rock from the day before.

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After our hike, we headed back into Bend for dinner. We stopped at this place called On Tap that has a outdoor bar and food trucks. We all got food from different trucks and ate by the bar. The food was great and the atmosphere was even better! We tried to teach Anna Sophie cornhole after dinner per Michigan tradition.

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Of course, our night was not complete without ice cream! We went to Bonta Gelato for some delicious dessert! You know a place is good when there’s a line out the door and Bonta did not disappoint.

Brett went to see his friend who lives in Bend after dropping us off at the Airbnb. Anna Sophie and I sat and chatted for the next couple of hours just getting caught up on life. We also had to pack to head to Portland the next morning.

I really enjoyed our time in Bend even though it was super short! We loved our Airbnb, the great food, and just spending quality time with friends who we don’t get to see often enough.

Study abroad was one of the best adventures of my life and I was so sad when it was over. I didn’t know if I’d ever see my friends again and I that was devastating. We’ve all kept in touch over the years but that’s not the same as seeing each other in person. Seeing Anna Sophie again was like being reunited with a piece of my heart. She understands me in a way that a lot of my other friends don’t. Even though we are from different countries and were raised differently she still feels like the friend I’ve always needed and wanted.

Part two of our trip will be posted soon!

Have you ever been to Bend? Do you enjoy hiking?

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Easter Break Adventures in Germany

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hello, friends! 

I’ve been struggling for the past few weeks trying to decide how to write a post that would describe how amazing my spring break was. But last night I came to the conclusion that there are not enough words to even begin to tell you how much that trip meant to me.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

One of the main things I was scared of about studying abroad was making new friends. But almost instantly I met this amazing group of girls. We have danced, sang, laughed and cried together over the last four months and their friendship means the world to me.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

With that said, our trip to Germany was absolutely perfect because we were together. It didn’t matter what we did on the trip because the only thing that mattered was the people that we were with. I want to say a huge thank you to Anna Sophie, Shere, Ana, Alejandra, and Andrea for being my best friends and making our trip unforgettable.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Anna Sophie’s family was amazing and made every aspect of our trip amazing. In Berlin, we met her Grandparents who treated us like family from the second they met us at the airport. They greeted us with hugs and flowers and it didn’t matter that we didn’t speak the same language because their actions spoke volumes about the amazing people that they are.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

When we arrived at Anna’s family home we met her brothers, mom, and dad. They welcomed us warmly and we immediately felt at home with them. Her parents made us amazing dinners and took us on a ton of adventures near their home. In Germany I gained two grandparents, a mom, dad, 2 brothers, and 5 sisters. It was truly an amazing experience.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

When I decided to study abroad I set a goal for myself to travel to as many countries as I could during my time abroad. I think the old me would have been disappointed with me deciding to spend my whole spring break in Germany. But the one thing I have realized most during this trip is that it’s not about what you are doing, it’s about who you are with. These girls have made my study abroad semester truly unforgettable and their friendship means the world to me.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Going back to London after spending ten days in Germany was hard. I missed my family and the relaxed lifestyle that we experienced. But most of all, I missed my girls.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

I miss spending every night with them because it was like an amazing ten day sleepover. I miss talking until 2 am and our “midnight walks.” I miss watching Mama Mia together while laughing, singing, and dancing. I miss eating massive amounts of chocolate and drinking tea all day. I miss the sea and watching the sunset at the beach. I miss that time because I know that I will never experience the same feelings again. I am thankful to have had this experience and to be able to share these memories with you.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Studying abroad has been such a rewarding and life-changing experience. At times it’s been scary but every second of fear has been worth it. Following my dreams hasn’t been easy but I’m so glad that I did. I’m a much different person now than I was in January and I will go back to Michigan as a stronger and happier individual. I have finally figured out what it feels like to really live your life and I don’t think that I will be able to go back to my old life.

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Easter Break in Germany // Study Abroad London // Travel // www.lifeofhayley.com

Thanks for reading! My family is arriving soon so I probably won’t update much until I am back in the U.S. I have a ton more adventures that I would like to share with you though!

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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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Making Plans: Upcoming Trips!

Travel Plans // Study Abroad London // www.lifeofhayley.com

Hello everyone!

March is turning into a super busy month for me so I thought I would share my travel plans with all of you. When I thought about studying abroad I figured that I would be traveling every weekend and just spending the weekdays in London. Now that I am in London, I am finding it difficult to leave. I love it here and I enjoy having the weekends to explore.

With that said, I still want to travel a lot this semester. I had a whole list of places that I wanted to go which was super unrealistic. I’ve decided to let go of my expectations and just go with the flow. So far, everything has turned out to be better than I could have possibly imagined.

So here’s a list of my upcoming trips:

  • March 13-15: Siw visiting me from Denmark
  • March 20-22: Paris
  • March 29-April 8: Germany with my friends
  • May (Dates TBD): Denmark and Ireland

As you can see, the next several weeks are going to be very busy for me but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am so excited to see as much of the world as possible! The places on my list that I won’t hit this trip will just mean that I will need to travel again soon. 😉

Thanks for reading! I hope you are all having a wonderful week! And if you have any suggestions for things I need to do/see, please comment below!

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