God Save the Queen

The day finally arrived; May 22, the day I was leaving the country for the first time, fulfilling my dreams!

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I have never traveled outside the country, but I have traveled in the U.S. quite a bit; both by car and by plane; both with family and friends, and on my own. I am attuned to almost all travel problems and pretty much expect them ever time I do travel, so I was not surprised when I ran into flight delays, but I was a bit worried because I couldn’t just catch another flight to London at any time. Not only were we required to be in London by a certain time, international flights are not as prevalent as flights connecting to U.S. cities. What saved me? My connecting flight also had a delay (go figure).

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Last site of America for two weeks!

I was too excited to sleep much (or was it all the space I had…) but time still went by pretty quickly. I will never forget when I first set eyes on the city of London, from a few hundred feet in the air as my plane turned sharply in preparation for landing. It was out of a book. Look up pictures of London, and it was the most picturesque version of all of them combined. I studied architecture for 1 1/2 years before I started studying journalism, and when I saw the Gherkin building, I lost my breath. It was so surreal to me.

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The Gherkin Building

Before I even set foot on English soil, I feel in love with it. After two weeks, I was sold. Stay tuned for a quick update of the best summer trip I’ve ever taken.

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[One of my biggest travel tips if you are flying is to get a long connection, if you can. Think waiting three hours for your connecting flight is boring? How fun is sleeping in the airport all night because you missed your connection by 10 minutes when your first flight was late and you scheduled a connecting flight only 45 minutes from your first flight landing? I always shoot for two to three hour connections.]

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Mid-year Resolution Check-in

Just before school started, I evaluated my mid-year resolutions. How did I do?

Let’s see…

Make connections

I think I’ve done a decent job with this. I finished up my summer internship with Indianapolis Monthly magazine, and I’ve met numerous great people, a handful of great “mentors,” and a few more helpful and polite sources/interview subjects. I’ve also begun my Fulbright Scholarship application (!!) adding my school’s Fulbright Program Adviser to my list of networks.

Read a book a month

I was pretty excited about this one at the beginning of the summer and took off running. I’ve slowed down considerably, (have since been failing) but still managed one book each month during the summer, finishing my seventh book of the year as we turned the page from July to August. I’m proud of this goal I set, and my determination to get back on track is high.
Here is a breakdown of what I’ve read so far:

January – The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down        May– Into the Wild

February – A Walk in the Woods                                          June – Nights in Rodanthe

March – The Curve of Binding Energy                                  July – The Five Love Languages

April – Persepolis

Write everyday

I make this a goal of mine every time I make a list of goals. It’s always something I feel I can improve on. While I do not always get to write a blog post or write in my journal on a daily basis, I do still write papers, blog posts at work, journal entries for school, etc. each day, so…I’ll call it even. Still lots of room for improvement.

Create and stick-to a realistic budget

Unfortunately, I have not worked on this one as much as I would have liked. I did look through some money planning and budgeting books in the beginning of the summer, and I hope to look through a few more during the school year. By the start of 2014, I hope to set a budget for my post-grad self.