Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas

Hello Everyone,

So since I last talk to you all I have since moved from the Waggett's home in Bristol to a Hotel in London with my Grandparents. I made the 3 and 1/2 hour journey from Bristol to London on Tuesday to meet my Grandparents in their hotel in Greenwich. I had to get off my train straight onto the tubes and that to be honest was quiet easy with an oyster card to be honest. It was a good move to get an oyster card before coming into the city. But I made it to Greenwich in no time in the under ground and then I met my grandparents in their hotel. We ended up getting dinner that night, where I stood true to my word were the first round was on me, and well I got dinner as well, which they yelled at me for but I was glad to buy it.

So after a first quiet night in London, we got a nice fry-up in the morning and then we headed into the city. Once Mama Liz and Ed figured out how to get an oyster card it took no time to get onto tubes and into the city. Once we got onto the tubes the decision was made that we were to get off at Westminster, and see Big Ben. For me and Ed since it was the first time we were in the city we finally got to see Big Ben for the first time. But I didn't realize that Big Ben was right outside of Westminster station. So you know that scene in movies where the actor was blind when they got off the plane or train then got to see where they were, that is what I experienced when I out of the tube at Westminster, and it wasn't until I could finally see after sun blindness, Big Ben and it was a moment I could never forget.

But the three of us made our way around Parliament Square seeing Churchill and the rest of his gang of statutes that were in Parliament Square. We made our way over to Westminster Abbey, and Saint Ann's Church, both even more beautiful than I could have even imagine. The Abbey itself was simply a piece of beauty and is something I'm so glad I got to see in person.

As you can seem to tell I got a chance to be a bit of a tourist after living here in England for about 4 months almost, and it was nice to be that with my Grandparents. But we finished off our day was a way across the bridge to see the Parliament Building across the River Thames, and of course the London Eye which I hope I get to go on later this week. But we ended up walking along the Thames and through a Christmas market to make our way over to Waterloo station to get the tubes back to Greenwich.


The next day after a slow start we ended up braving the rain and seeing what Greenwich had to offer. All three of us journeyed out to see what we could, but one of the first things we had to do was eat, and so as pictured above is the Greenwich Tavern where we all had lunch Christmas eve day. Myself and Mama Liz had the Classic meat pie, and Ed had Fish'n'Chips which is an instant classic here in Britain. From there we walked up step hill seeing nothing but the London skyline, and the old naval college, and of course Greenwich University. All thought the Greenwich observatory was closed we went on a hunt to find the Prime Meridian, which we found and got a chance to stand at zero degrees longitude. After standing on a line I only know because of Mr. Nekton's Geography classes, we managed to walk into the downtown part of the city. After seeing the Cutty Sark, I wandered off into the University. I know great minds were molded here, far more sophisticated than mine, but I know if I pushed myself I could sure past the those minds as I stood on the middle of the University.

We finished that day after our tour of Greenwich we head back to the hotel, and we got ready for the holiday today. We managed to get to fine a fine wine shop before they closed Christmas eve day, and I got a 2011 French Malbec from Chateau Croze De Pys and to be honest it was so good my uncle Daryl would be proud. But we had our Christmas dinner accompanied by our Christmas crackers, (Flatmates: Thanks for showing me these I made sure to pass on the tradition!) and it was great.

But being away from home though it is tough it makes me a better person seeing how another culture celebrates a holiday, and England surely did that. But I want to thank again everyone who helped me get here, and pushed me to get here otherwise I wouldn't have gotten here. So from the Moss's here in London, Tucker, Liz, and Ed, we all wish you a Happy Christmas, and a great Holiday season!

    Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Bit of Bristol and Bath

Hey everyone,

So over the past three days I found myself in Bristol with my flatmate Rob and the rest of the Waggett family at their home in Bristol. I got the chance to head to Bristol before I headed to London for the holiday's which as great, and Rob and his family opened their doors to let me stay with them for the past few days and I have to say it was a great time.

On the 19th Steve, Rob's Dad, came and got me and Rob from Plymouth and drove us back to Bristol with him. Steven and Rob chatted on the drive to Bristol, and I almost fell asleep in the back, but when I wasn't falling asleep I got the chance to find out some more about Rob's family. It took a bit but we finally made the trip from Plymouth to Bristol, which was one of the first trips outside of Plymouth for me since I arrived. Rob and his family live in a part of Bristol that I have never heard of, but got a chance to learn a lot about during that day, which is Westbury-on-Trym just outside of the city center.

Shortly after I arrived at Rob's home, I was greeted by Rob's mother Clare and all four of us sat down to a quick lunch and then we headed headed into the city where I got a chance to see a local Christmas fair. After Rob's girlfriend Georgia meet up with us we went on a tour of the village. In the picture above that is the local church of Rob's village, which was one of the many things that Rob showed me along our tour of Westbury. After our tour we relaxed for a bit and then just before dinner we headed to get Rob's younger brother Doug from work and made plans to get a drink after dinner. Doug had just turned 18 which was the legal drinking age here in the UK, and Rob had yet to get a drink with his brother, so the three of us headed down to the Black Swan, or the Dirty Duck as many call it, for a drink.

  After drinks we called it a night and got ready for the next day. When we arose we had a quick breakfast and planned out the day in Bristol. Rob, Doug and Georgia where my tour guides to their beautiful city, and anything they forgot to tell me about their youngest brother George was sure to fill me in on when we got home. We first stopped to see the suspension bridge which crossed the River Avon. Rob explained the history of the bridge but I was caught up in the beauty of where the bridge was and how the sun was shining on it.

After seeing the bridge Rob showed me the local rock slide that had formed because of many years of people sliding on the rock. It is something that I might have missed, if I went on a tour of the city alone, and it's a great local secret. We then went to see the ground of Bristol City FC, which they played Queen's Park Rangers the day before I arrived. But it was amazing to see such a massive stadium devoted to the sport I love. Then we made our way over to the city harbor, and walked along the docks to the city center. Along the way we saw, along with getting soaked from rain, the SS Great Britain, Aardman Animations who make Wallace and Gromit, and the Mshed which is a local museum. When touring the Mshed I got to see a piece of art that I have wanted to see for over 5 years, a piece by Banksy called "The Grim Reaper", which was painted on a local boat in the harbor, and the owners of the boat cut out the piece and have been displaying it since. It was amazing to see that piece in person for the first time, which inspired all of my art, so to see his work in person was amazing.

 We then went back outside into the weather and braved the rain to see the hippodrome theater, the aquarium, and @Bristol. And as we went back to the car we searched for one of Banksy's new Bristol pieces "The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum", and low and behold we found it right next to where we parked. Again I found myself going back to High School and looking a Banksy pieces in wonder, and to see once in the streets in person, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

We then went home to a roast lunch that Mr. Waggett had made, which was wonderful then relaxing for most of the night. The following day we took another journey to Bath. I will be writing a post all about Bath later, but with the tour guides like the Waggett's I have to let you all know what they showed me.

It was a short drive from Bristol to Bath, and once we parked the car, it took Mrs.Waggett two seconds to show me the first thing that Bath had to offer. The Royal Crescent. It is a beautiful piece of architecture that could not go unnoticed in the city. Shortly After that we went to our next stop The Green Bird Cafe, which was one of Mrs. Waggett's favorites in the city. The coffee and cake were amazing and I will be going back soon.


We then made our way down the streets of Bath. It was amazing the amount of shops mixed with the architecture of the city. There were specialty shops everywhere you looked mixed in with the brand name titans. It felt like the Kittery Outlets, ME and Downtown Portsmouth, NH mixed. Again it was great to have the Waggetts as my guide because if I was to go there on my own I would have been lost. They made sure they showed where the Roman Bath's were and the cathedral was so I can show Haley when she arrives in about a week. From there I saw the River Avon which runs through Bath and next to the Bath Rugby Club. Everything was just amazing in Bath.

After the four of us made it back to Westbury, we all had plans for the night. Rob and his mother had to go shoe shopping, Doug went with them. George was defending the Kingdoms he forged in his games, and Rob's father was making dinner. For me this gave me a chance to meet up with a teammate from my Enactus society back at Plymouth, Anthony. We went to the Black Swan and had a drink, and talked Enactus, plans for the holidays amongst other things. Shortly after we parted ways I made it back to the house in time for dinner. After experiencing my first meat pie, which was amazing I might add, I experienced something that I hadn't experienced since I left home. The Waggetts had gotten me Christmas presents. It was something that I didn't see coming at all since they had hosted me for only the past several days, but I was so happy for the fact they had thought of me during the holiday season, but they had already given me a gift for the holiday season that I didn't expect. They made me feel at home, and almost apart of the family, and that was something I was missing this holiday season, and I can't thank them enough for that. But after I got on the train today headed for my next stop I got a chance to think about what they did for me and I can't thank them enough. So Rob, and the rest of the Waggetts thank you so much for your hospitality and for all you did over the past few days, it really was amazing. I hope you had as much fun as I did.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Devon Derby: Plymouth Argyle v. Exeter City

Hey everyone,

So few weeks ago I told you all about my trip up to Grantham with Enactus Plymouth, and all the awesome things that I learned well I was there. But now it's time to tell you a different story, a story of hatred between two cities. Plymouth. Exeter. The Devon Derby. This is how I saw it and what I experienced in my first derby match.

I had gone to Home Park to see Argyle play, it was always a happy vibe everyone was welcome and everyone that walked into the stadium wanted to see how Argyle would do that weekend, but it was different this time. Just on the short walk up to the ground from my flat you could tell that every fan that you passed seemed on edge and wanted to get one over on Exeter. I walked up to the ticket booth to get my tickets and you could hear both groups of fans volleying back-and-forth with song after song.

The atmosphere was tense and you could tell that both sides wanted to win, and side that lost would lose their mind. Because of the the local Devon & Cornwall Police were out in full force and riot gear to make sure order was kept from kick off. But after walking by a legion of officers I made it into the park and taking my seat I sat there and took it all in. For these people, some of whom have supported Argyle from the day they were born wanted nothing but a clean game and and solid win over their rivals, for some this game was more important than going up to league one. You could feel the passion these fans had before the ball was even kicked.

Moments before the whistle we were all asked that if we have something under our seats to hold it up. I had never been apart of a tifo and I finally got a chance to. I held up my piece of green plastic and I started to sing with all of the green army to push the argyle boys. It is a moment I will not forget. The plastic went down and then the whistle blow and the game kicked off.

From that whistle you could tell that Argyle were on the back foot and went down 2 to null in the first half. The fans knew the the boys had something in them that they were not showing, and Derek Adams the manager needed to get the boys going. They clawed one back in the second half but it wasn't enough. Plymouth fell 2-1 against rivals Exeter. I felt as angry as some of the fans, but I put it aside knowing that it was only a game, but for some it's not just a game and for those people they had armored police on the pitch right after the match. I hurried out of the park to make sure that I wasn't going to get caught up in the violence if any was to happen, and made it home in one piece. But that game will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was by far the most passion match I've been to behind any USMNT games with the Outlaws, but the fans made the match. When they say football is nothing without the fans they mean it 100%.

Well that was the Devon Derby. I hope you found reading this as interesting as it was for me to be there. I want to take a second and just say thank you to everyone who has helped me get here. If it wasn't for you all I wouldn't be able to experience these amazing things, and I thank you all for that. I will be out of Plymouth for the holidays so I will keep you all updated on my whereabouts in the next few weeks. Till then, stay classy everyone!



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Enactus: UK edition

Hey Guys,

So I know a few weeks ago I told you that I was going to fill you in on some of the things that happened during that spell in October where I really didn't post because I was so buzy. Well now I'm going to try and fill you all in on a few things here and there that I think were cool that happened to me that month. So the first thing that I want to tell you about is the trip I went on with Enactus Plymouth to Grantham for the Enactus UK training weekend.

So that weekend started really early, and I mean really early. We all meet in front of the Cookworthy building at 5:00am to make the journey up to Grantham. There were eight of use including myself that piled into the van. There was Katie, Laura, Eleanor, Leecy, Fabian, Tom, Anthony, and myself that got up to get up to Grantham. When we left Plymouth I talked to Fabian for a short time then I was out like a light. We stopped once on the way up to Grantham, and that was at the poshest highway rest station I have ever been in. The rest stop had its own butcher! But after the quick ritzy stop we continued our journey. 

After Fabian took the wheel and finally got us to Grantham we pulled up to the place that we would be calling home for the next few days. The place that we would be staying at was called PGL, which I later found out stands for Parents Get Lost. Yep staying at a summer camps style place, but to be honest it wasn't as bad as some of you reading this might think it is. We got the room key after a bit of a wait where half of the group were off in pre-session to our actual training that the weekend had to offer. So it was myself, Tom, Fabian, and Anthony staying in a room, but since me and Tom had gotten to the room first we claimed our bunks first. But it was nice to be there. Made me miss working at Camp Lincoln this summer.

But after that me and Tom went to a career fair, which employers were looking for English born students, not international students. So it really didn't help me, but I still tried to make a few contacts. After that we all meet up as a group to get dinner. The food there was actually pretty good for what it was worth. After dinner we all went to the field house and had our kick off meeting. Enactus UK was still riding the high of winning the Enactus World Cup for the first time so everyone was extremely keen to hear what the speakers had to say. It was a lot of speakers and they gave out a few awards and grants where we, as Enactus Plymouth, got two grants. Shortly after that they explained how the weekend would work, and one of our many sponsors Enterprise Rent-a-car spoke, they also sponsored a bonfire and all the drinks for that later that night. I got a laugh of a rent-a-car company supplying drinks, when all we here in the states is 'don't drink and drive.'

We all when to the bonfire after and had a great time. We all called it quits early because we all know the next day was going to be a long day. We got up in the morning and right after breakfast we went right into sessions. It was a lot to take in a short period of time. I had three sessions back to back to back before lunch. Then after Lunch it was back to back to back again until we finally were done for the day. It was a lot of powerpoints early, and then later in the day it was a lot more hands on. But I will say some of the buildings that were on the property were stunning.

After all of our meetings we got a chance to relax for a bit, then we had to get ready for our send off dinner. We were all dressed nice and we got a great 3 course meal (it was only 2 courses for many of us because we were off to socialize), and we got to see the presentation that won the World Cup in person which was really great. After the presentation for some reason we got a picture with the World Cup. The rest of the night was filled with socializing and seemed a bit of a blur the next morning, but it was a lot of fun.

After slowly getting up the next morning we all headed off to the ropes course, where I realized I wasn't the only one moving slow that morning. We all had a go on the ropes course, and after we all jumped off a perfectly good tower, we went back to the field house to hear one more sponsor speak. Then we walked over to the other side of the camp and got a large group photo for Enactus UK.

We had one more meeting after the photo, and then we all packed our stuff got back in the van and we started our way back home. But as I slept on the way back to Plymouth I realized everything that I learned here will help me with my project Recreo: Renewing Creative Opportunity, and with any projects that I will work on when I am back home at PSU. That weekend I made new friends that will be around for a lifetime, and information that will shape how I do things, and interact with people for years to come. Thank you Enactus Plymouth for letting me come with you on such a great trip which let me learn so much. I hope I can put everything that I learned to use to make Recreo an amazing program.

So that was one of the things that I got a chance to do over the month. I have a few more updates that I need to give to you all, and those will be coming up over the next few weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for my experience watching the Devon Derby at Home Park, my first derby match here. As always I hope you have a good day!



Monday, November 30, 2015

My Sunday League Experience

Hey everyone,

So yesterday I got a chance to do something that I wanted to do since I started the process of coming to study abroad here. I got to play in my first proper English football match, and for the folks back home it's soccer. But earlier this year I tried my hand at getting a team together to play in a sunday league and that unfortunately failed, but it opened a door to play for another team instead. I decided to join the Football society and play for the UPFC Sparrows. It's was a while till my first game, but I didn't mind the wait because I just wanted to play.

Sunday came around and I met the rest of the team in front of one of our local bars to get a cab over to the pitch where we play. I got a ride over with one of the guys, and we talked football over the way there. I was just itching to put on my boots and get on the pitch. When we finally got to the pitch a match was already underway. It was a 3g turf pitch just like the Seacoast United ones I played on back in high school and it made me feel right at home.

I was told that I would be playing center back during our match, and I would be starting. I was pumped that I would be getting the start, but granted that there was only 11 of us so we didn't have subs or a man to offer as a linesman. O yeah in sunday leagues to players for each team are the linesman for the official. But back on topic when we were able to get our kit tops, it just so happens I grab my number, 14, out of all the tops we had so I know this was going to be a good time.

   Unfortunately, since we didn't have any subs I didn't have anyone to ask to get a photos of me playing. But it was alright, and even though we played well we lost. I had some great plays and the cleanest slide tackle in the box I think I have ever had. I got up the pitch twice but didn't have a chance at goal. I'm looking forward to playing more for the Sparrows, and seeing where the season takes the team.

I hope you all liked this post and if you want more updates about how the team is doing let me know in the comments below, and I'll make sure to post more. I'll also leave a link below so you can see the table and see where we are. Have a great day, and I'll talk to you all soon.



Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey everyone,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this post finds you all well, and in good spirits. Yesterday I celebrated my first major holiday away from my family, and to be honest it was a bit weird. I did miss having everyone around the table and someone else cooking the turkey, but I made due. I didn't miss the family drama that always ends up coming up around Thanksgiving which was a healthy change. But I cooked all the food for the meal, and might I say I cook a good turkey, and an alright job carving.

But I got all of my new friends around a table to share in a tradition from home, and for many of them it was the first time that they celebrated the holiday. I told them about the tradition and why we celebrate it, and gave thanks for everything that got me here this year. I think this year more than any other I found that I am thankful for everyone back home that have helped me get to this point and that they will be in my corner no matter what. I am also thankful of the new found friends here and what other adventures lie in store for me.

I miss you all back home and I'll be home before you know it, but I'm going to enjoy every minute that I have here. But for the blog I will be writing about a few past events over the next few days that I haven't been able to talk you all about. But until then keep eating turkey and drinking beer and enjoy the days off before the madness of the holiday season kicks in.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

So I've Been Busy

Hey Everyone!

So I'm assuming most of you are trying to figure out why I haven't posted in over a month, and I have a reason for that. For the past three weeks I have had course work that was due that weighted either 50%, 30%, or 70% of my overall grade and having only two assignments here that make my grade able to transfer back it's been stressful. But I have made it through it all. So over the next few days I will be filling you all in on what's been going on with me over the past few weeks. I have no real order I'm going to be doing this in so expect several posts really fast. So I will be talking to you all again later this week. Have a good day everyone!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

First Time at Home Park

Hey everyone,

I know I just posted a few days ago, but with Plymouth Argyle playing away this weekend at Notts County I thought I would tell the story of my first time watching English football.

First let me say this for any of my American readers. When you come here get out of the habit of calling it soccer, it's a dead giveaway you're from the states. It's not a big thing just trying to make sure you don't stick out like sore thumb when you come here. But I will say that I will not look at football the same after going to a Plymouth Argyle Football Club match.

Since I love football and I was coming to England I wanted to see if there was a team in Plymouth to see play when I was here. It only took a few minutes and I found out about Plymouth Argyle. They are a Football League Two side, which is the fourth tier of English Football. Even though the team is a League Two Side they still draw an attendance better than some MLS teams back in the states.

But back to the story, I knew from the first day I was here I wanted to see them play and I asked a few of my flatmates if they wanted to go and Sophie wanted to go. So last saturday we took the half an hour walk to the match. During the walk to Home Park (the name of Plymouth Argyle's stadium) you have to walk through Central Park. Getting to walk through the park before the stadium is great, because I found out the park was just so beautiful. This walk ended with the front of the stadium.

After we got the the stadium we walked over to the ticket office and waiting in a short line to get our tickets. I had to grab a program it was my first game how could I not right. I have to make the journey back to the stadium one of these days to get a scarf and a Custom top with Boateng on the back. After getting the program we went through the turnstiles, and even though it's a small club the moment I went through I felt at home. 

But we both realized that we walked through the wrong turnstyle and the provided for a moment I didn't think I would get to do. We had to get stewarded to our sets, and because of that we had to walk across part of the outer pitch at home park. Even though I will never get a chance to play on a pitch like Home Park in my life it was still nice to say that I've been on that pitch.

We finally got to our seats and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed at all. We were one row back and a walkway across and then there was the pitch. When Sophie told the guy get us close I didn't realize how close he was going to get us. We were only sitting for a few seconds until the players took to the pitch, and from that moment nothing could have pried me from that seat, because there was no where else I wanted to be.

I had an idea of what English football was like, and all I've ever wanted was to see it in person. Well I finally did, and I don't know if I want to watch it anywhere else again. There was a support section, but all they did was start the song everyone else began to sing. All 9441 spectators started to sing, and it's something that I can't describe. Reuben Reid scored for Argyle just before the half and when every single person went up on their feet and started to celebrate I was amazed. Watching as much football as I do back home when our team scores back home only a good chunk stand and cheer, but not here every single person did.

We ended up conceding late in the second half, and a lot of us thought it was going to end in a draw, but Boateng had other ideas. We scored in the 89th minute, and because of that goal it meant that on points and goal difference we would go top of the table, and the chants begin when we realized that.

All you could hear for the next 15 minutes was "We're Top of the Table!", and not even 3 minutes into the chant I had to join in. That day was an experience that I want every person in the world to experience, the heart and passion that every fan showed to the players that day made them dig deep and get the result. That alone is why I love this game. I've walked by the stadium a few times since, and all I've wanted was another home game so I can go and be a crazed supporter. Needless to say I think I might have become a Plymouth Argyle supporter.

"We're Top of the Table!"


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

First Week is Over

Hey everyone,

So it's been a little bit more than a week since I last told you all what was going on, and the reason being is that I have been a bit busy. When I say a bit I mean really busy, because classes started last week, and I had a huge project that I had to finish by friday worth 50% of my grade. But other than that this first week went really well.

On monday I started classes with ENT 100 which is Introduction to Enterprise. The class is about how to become an entrepreneur, and the different forms of corporations an entrepreneur can form. It is a great class, it just came at me real fast with our first presentation being due last friday. Needless to say it was stressful, but I got a good group of guys as partners and we got the project and presentation done very well. We got a 2.1, which for me was an A back in the states.

Above is a picture of my first classroom at Mast House which is one of the University buildings that isn't on main campus. It's a nice 15 minute walk from my house which is nice in the morning. I feel like a morning commuter to be honest. Mast house is down on the Barbican so it has some beautiful views first thing in the morning to be honest, well more like all the time.

Then I also started my second class here (I start my third class later this month), and I really like this class. It's STO200 Introduction to Operations Management, and it's the biggest class that I have ever had to far. It's a lecture hall of over 100 people, and for this small town boy from the sticks it's a bit of a change. But the lecturer is really good so far I just need to read and study everything that he puts online and in his lectures I should be fine I would like to think. 

Things are starting to calm down with classes here and I'm getting into a pattern which to be honest I think I need. I have joined the ENACTUS here in Plymouth which is great and I'm really looking forward to working with them and seeing what I can create.

And my flat is still great, the girls in the flat above me are awesome. There flat and ours have diner with each other on sunday's, and it's nice makes me remember all the family diners that we have back home.

And I continue to walk around Plymouth here I keep seeing more and more beauty from around the region and its nice. I can see why people from PSU want to stay here, and not leave. I saw the Mayflower steps the other day and it made me think that in 1620 the first people to come to my country set sail from here. I took a minute when looking at the monument of what Plymouth must have been like when they set sail and it really put things into perspective for me which made me think about how thankful I am to be here.  

But that's what's happening now I'll keep you all posted on what's going on throughout my time here, and all the adventures that I'll be going on well I'm here. I hope you all are having a great day wherever you're reading this. And remember Stay Classy.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

I'll Call it Home

Hey Everyone!

So I'm alive, but it's been a super busy past few days so I haven't been able to update you all on what's going on. I'm doing well but there is so much that's happened I'll try and tell you what I've been up too.

So the last time that I talked to you all I had just enrolled into the university. And now I have my classes all sorted out. It was a bit of a nightmare at first due to the fact that I really didn't understand the timetabling process here. Timetabling is basically just how a student's class schedule works back home. I had a class overlapping with another class so I had to drop one and pick up another one to make it all work out but it's all good now.

Last Sunday I went on a harbor cruise which was great fun. I got to see the bay and the harbor, as well as see the Hoe from the water. For those of you that don't know the Hoe is one of the biggest parks in all of Plymouth and one of the most scenic ones as well. As you can see with the pictures above and below.

But I learned a lot about the history of the city and how it was a huge naval town, and the fact that the Mayflower took off from here (which I already knew). But it was great to learn so much about the city and about the British flag as well. Fun fact for you all the only time you can call the British flag a Union Jack is if it is on one of Her Majesty's Ships.

I now have flatmates and they are all awesome, and want to see me have the time of my life here. I have six other flatmates, Tom, Rob, Sophie, Ellie, Katie, and Rose who are all great to live with. We have made plans to have thanksgiving here and they are all pumped to do that. They have also made me a list of British things that I need to do, and I got to cross one of those things off my list the other day.

I had proper fish and chips, and I don't think I will ever get fish and chips this good in the states. So I think I might have ruined fish and chips for me back home. Tip for everyone who is going to plymouth go to the Harborside in the Barbican, and get the fish and chips with just salt and vinegar and you won't be disappointed.

I know this is been a crazy update post but I wanted to let you all know I'm all good here and having a blast. I start classes on Monday so I hope to post more often because I will be a lot more structured on how much time I have on my hands. I hope you all have a great day, and I'll talk to you all soon!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I'm here!

Hey everyone,

So after a long what seemed like two days of travel due to the time difference I've finally made it to Plymouth, England! It was extremely stressful and I still feel drained from the trip but it was worth it. So I started out on a flight from Logan International Airport to Halifax International Airport up in Halifax, Canada. My flight was delayed about a half an-hour due to some weather that had moved in when I was in Boston, so that made getting to my connecting flight a bit stressful. I had to get off my plane, to go through customs (got my first stamp in my passport though), get my luggage to get it on another conveyor belt to get it to my other connecting flight. I then had to go back through security, which I had never taken my shoes off so fast in my life. I then ran through the Halifax airport and I ended up catching my flight by about ten minutes before it left.

 That's when it really hit me "I'm on the way to England!", and I can't tell you how big the grin was on my face. I had a TV on that flight and saw Furious Seven before it came on DVD in the states. And I don't know why every comedian has to crack a joke about airplane food because it wasn't bad at all, well the breakfast was good. During breakfast I got a chance to talk to the women next to me, who just by chance was on her way to Plymouth Uni as well, and we got to talk about that.
I got off the plane about ten UK time and I was to happy to realize that it was it was five back home. It took forever to get through customs because of the amount of non-EU passport holders that were going through at that moment. I got through and went to terminal 3 to meet the Plymouth Uni students that were going to get me on my shuttle down to plymouth. I ended up having to wait, so me and a friend from the states, James, went and got some food, and I had real Guinness for the first time. I don't know if I'll be able to drink it in the states because it tastes so much better here.

After that we got on the shuttle, and started a five hour shuttle ride where I meet a few more people, of which was Jacob from Sweden, and Terezka from Czech Republic. But we all were stuck on that five hour shuttle ride so we slept, and tried to get to know each other. The whole ride I was just amazed at how beautiful the countryside in the UK is.
 But we made it here safe and sound. James and Jacob when out to the club that night, I on the other hand opted to stay in un-pack and most importantly sleep. The first night was a bit rough not being home, but it got a lot better. I did a ton of shopping last night and got enrolled and collected my BPR, all the usual stuff an international student needs to do. I finally got to see Plymouth Uni in the daylight and the pictures online don't do it justice.

Well guys I'll keep you all posted on what's going later this week. I just wanted to update you all on how I'm doing. So I'll talk to you all later this week!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

It's Go Day!

Hey everyone,

This is just a quick little post to fill you guys in on whats up. I am currently sitting at the airport waiting to get on my plane. I'll be boarding in about 15 minutes so I'm pumped! A little nervous but thats only natural. I just wanted to let you guys know whats going on, and the next time you hear from me I will be sitting in my flat in Plymouth!

See yah,

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Nerves and Packing

Hey guys!

So it's the day before I leave, and I'm really pumped about it. But with leaving comes nerves and just the goodbyes and to be honest I'm not looking forward to that. I think once I get through the gate I'll be good, but I'm just a bit nervous with traveling. Like I stated before its the first time I've left the country so I think thats one of the things.

The goodbyes on the other hand is something that I am not looking forward to. I've been doing the farewell dinners, (I'm actually going to one after I write this), seeing friends, and hanging with family I won't be seeing in a while, and to be honest it sucks. I love my family and my friends, and I hate seeing them get upset. But they need to understand that I'll be back in no time, and I have to do this for me. Yes tomorrow will be hard, but it just means that I have people back home that care and want to see me succeed.

Ok, now that I have vented I can tell you guys now whats ahead. I have to finish packing today and tomorrow, and later in the day tomorrow I will be going down to Lynn, MA with my family hanging at my Uncle's place and he'll drive us to Logan. I'll probably check-in there, and got through the gate. Its going to be a long night of traveling and won't end till around 7pm UK time on Monday, so I do have to say I will be exhausted.

But I just want to say thank you to everyone that's read this. I hope you have found this helpful on your study abroad journey. I'll be writing a post about the visa process shortly because I want you all to know how to not make it a headache like I might have. I also want to take a moment and thank all my friends and family that have pushed me and helped me get this far. If it wasn't for you I would not have got this fair. Well the next time I write I will be out of the country, and I will leave you with the exciting words of Bilbo Baggins, "I'm going on an adventure!"

Till next time,


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Time to Start Packing

Hey everyone,

So pretty much all of things that need to be taken care of have been its been a nightmare trying to figure out the loan stuff, but I think we have finally figured it all out. So now its down to just getting everything together to start packing to get ready for my flight. Its crazy to think that in two weeks I will be flying to England and living there for the year, but I can't wait. To be honest I think I might feel like I'm going to overpack. I did today get on the Facebook page for my all and I think that I have found one of my roommates which is pretty awesome. I just wanted to let you guys know whats going on right now, but I'll fill you all in more as the next two weeks pass.

Have a good one

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Lot Has Happened Real Fast

Hey everyone,

So a lot has happened since I've last posted, and that have been the reason I haven't posted on here since then. So now its time to give you all a bit of an update.

So first things first I had my interview with Homeland security to get my biometerics done so they could be sent to the UK to get my BRP made. For those of you who don't know what a BRP it is a biometeric residency permit, which will be my id well I'm in the UK. I have been told that I have to get it within the first 5 days that I am in the country.

So after I got the biometerics done I found out that I had put the wrong name on my application. No I didn't put another name besides my own, but I forgot to put my middle name on my application. The reason for this is because you need to write your full name as you see it on your passport. So keep that in mind for any of you that want to study abroad and need a visa.

After dealing with that I had to ship the whole application down to the UK consulate in New York in order to get it processed. I shipped everything that I needed to ship with my application and within a few days it was processed and approved, but silly old me I forgot to send a shipping label on the return envelop. Because of that I had to find a place that would make a pdf file of a shipping label to then email the label to the consulate. I hope its being shipped now because I kinda need my passport and visa before my flight.

And yes I have booked a flight. I'm flying with Air Canada, and I have one stop then I'll be in London. After I get to London I kinda hang around there for a bit then I board a bus to go all the way down to Plymouth. So I will have a lot of traveling to do that day.

But the only other thing that I had to get down was a loan, and I'm only saying two things about that. One, its super stressful, so if you know you need a loan to study abroad do it a lot earlier than I did. Second, I love my grandpa Ed who is my cosigner and didn't let a year and a half of hard work slip away if I couldn't get money.

So I have two more weeks in the states then I am off on this journey, and I just can't wait. I will miss a lot here and I know I will be homesick, but I know I will have the time of my life when I go to abroad so I can't wait.

I want to take a second to thank all of you who are reading this and who have helped me get to this point. I am taking this opportunity with both hands and running with it. I know this is a once in a life time opportunity and I am not going to waste it. I hope those of you reading this have found this helpful on your own journey to study abroad. But the journey has just begun and I hope you keep reading to see my journey through my eyes.

Stay classy,

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Little Stress but Good Stress


So to be honest I am just a little stressed out about all of this study abroad stuff more than usual tonight. I have my interview and my biometric scans tomorrow in order to get my visa. I just want it to go through smoothly so I can finally book my ticket and start packing. I mean I know that its just a step in the process but I still hope nothing goes wrong at this point so I can get it on time so I can travel smoothly in order to go to Plymouth on time. I have my interview in about thirteen hours so we will have to wait and see how things go, but I'm sure that it will go smoothly. I'll update you all tomorrow on how it went.

All the best


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer Update

Hey guys,

So its been a while since I've posted anything because I haven't had anything to update you guys on, but now I finally do. After about a month and a half wait I finally have my CAS to I can start the visa process. Its such a stress relief that I finally have that so I can start the process so I can finally buy a plane ticket. I guess it took so long because there was a computer issue in the UK so I had to wait a bit longer. But now I will start the process for a visa and I will eventually need to head down to the British consulate in Boston to finish up the process so I can get my visa. So I will be doing that in the coming weeks and I will also need to get some loans, which I will also start looking for next week.

But the summer is flying right by and before I know it I will be on the flight to head over to heathrow, and on a bus down to plymouth. I have also found out that I will be in London for the holidays, because my grandmother and father are going to be coming to see me well I'm in the UK. Maybe I can get them to see a football match when were there. I'm going to try and see a Fulham game, but we'll see. So as things keep progressing I will be able to keep you guys updated on my progress to finally get to Plymouth. I hope you have a good one, and seize the day.


Link to the go fund me-

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Peace Out PSU

Hey guys,

So this is a bit late due to the fact that I've been super sick the past several days. I fell like its been months since I've felt normal and not sick, but maybe because I'm home I'll feel better.

So things are going great. Finals are done and over with, and I've finished my sophomore year at Plymouth State University. It was a super busy year with classes, organizations, and this whole study abroad thing going on, but it will be missed I think. This year was a lot of fun, and I really don't know the proper way to describe it, because I had no idea that this year was going to turn out the way it did.

I mean I moved into Langdon Woods last summer (building above) not thinking this year would be anything different from last year, but I was wrong. I realized that I have made some great friends that would do almost anything for me at the drop of a hat, and that I became a huge part of programs on campus over the year that they wish they could keep me for next year. If I had to do it all again I wouldn't change a thing about it.

But the thing that I think got me the most during the final week I was at PSU this year was that I was saying goodbye to people that I wont see for a year. That really didn't hit me till I started to drive home, but I won't see these people next year, the organizations will keep growing well I'm away, and someone is taking my job at the HUB when I'm gone. I mean it's weird in the sense that I won't be there, but then I realize that I am going on a trip of a lifetime, and to be honest life here can go on here and I'm perfectly fine with that.

So I'm sitting here thinking what has PSU taught me this year and I would like to think that there is a list of things. But one thing that I think that has to stand out to me that I've learned over the course of the year is due the things in life that make you happy because no one will do it for you. This year I've done so much for myself and to make myself happy, and its been a long time since I've focused on myself like that and I've learned from it. But there is still one thing that I am going to be doing for myself, and it starts in September. PSU thank you for the past two years, I'll be back in a year, but I'll be heading to Plymouth, UK in the fall and going on a whole new journey.


The GoFundMe is still going so if you want to donate fell free at the link below:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pre-departure Orientation

Hey guys,

Its been a while since I've had a chance to write, but things have finally slowed down class and work wise so I wanted to update you all on whats going on.

First I just want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to help me get over to Plymouth. Whether it was just a share or it was was a donation it means a ton and I can't thank you enough.

But on to some good news. Over the past few weeks I had the opportunity to figure out what classes I want to take well I'm abroad, as well as the online classes that I will be taking from PSU when I'm abroad. We figured out that I will need to take a online class over the summer in order to graduate on time because of my study abroad. Other than that its just a matter of hearing back from Plymouth, taking care of housing, a visa, and a flight then I'm ready and set to go.

Last night how ever I got the opportunity to meet several students from both Plymouth, and Middlesex Universities, as well as go through my pre-departure orientation where I meet the other two PSU students that will be in Plymouth with me next fall.

First things first we all sat through a powerpoint that filled all of us in on things like culture shock, what and how to act when getting off the plan, dealing with money the whole nine yards. I asked a few questions, and some of my key questions got answered last night which is helping me to prepare. I got a chance to meet both James and Josie who are going to Plymouth with me which was really great to put faces to names.

After the powerpoint we had a chance to speak with Josh, who is a student here from Plymouth University. He filled us in on what the first two weeks are like, and what life in Plymouth really is like. But one thing he said really kinda stood out. He had just finished talking about what life in Plymouth is like and he told us rarely to say no to doing something. Whether your extremely tired, little bit sick or just want to relax, try your best to go and do as much things that you could do. That stuck out to me because I really want to do as much as I can theres, so it makes me thing that I will follow that philosophy when I'm there.

The chance to meet the people that I will be studying abroad with, and the fact that its so close to heading over there is crazy. They asked how we feel now that we had gone through the pre-departure I was the first to say pumped and ready to head abroad.


Gofundme link:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I Need a Little Help from My Friends

Hey everyone,

I wanted to take a quick minute of your time if you have stopped on my page to ask for your help, and really what the main goal of this page is.

First I want to talk to you all about my go fund me account that I started. I was told recently that I am currently going to need to find the money to cover my flight and my housing when I study at the University of Plymouth. Due to my fathers G.I. benefits only going so far, and that my family can not assist me monetarily its up to me to find the money. And that's one of the reasons I'm turning to you my family, friends, readers, and supporters. I need as much help as I can in reaching my goal and ultimately my dream of studying abroad. I am doing all that I can to get as much money that I can to achieve my goal, but I will still need your help. I will leave the link to my GoFundMe at the bottom of this post so you can take a look at how you would donate. If you can't donate please share it if you can, but above all anything that you can do to help would be massive.

Now my goal of this page is to show other students the process of studying abroad, and how it can be an eye opening experience. I am going to posting at least once a week to keep, all of my readers informed about what I'm experiencing well I am studying abroad, and keep you all up to date with what I'm doing. I want people to have an idea of what to expect when they go to study abroad.

I want to thank everyone of you that have been reading this since I started writing it, and for those of you that are about to join me on this great adventure. I want to give back to my school and to any students that want to know what the experience is like studying abroad, and with your help I can make that possible.

Thank you all,

Link to my GoFundMe:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Update #1 Still Waiting

Hey guys!

I know it feels like forever since I've last posted, but we are still playing the waiting game with hearing back from Plymouth University. I am sure that we will be hearing something soon, and then I can focus on planning and fundraising for this trip. I also will be working with the VA to try and see how they will deal with my VA benefits when I am studying over in England.

But overall everything is moving really smoothly as of right now, and just waiting for things to get processed. I also got a chance to make a logo for this blog, and if you like it let me know in the comments below and if you guys would like it on a shirt.
But I will keep you all posted on what else is going on next I hope all of you have a great day and I'll take to you then.