Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Enactus UK Nationals

Hello everybody,

So I know that I posted just three days ago about my time in Sweden, but I felt the need to write this post sooner rather than later. Since I'm writing this the night before we have our first meeting back since our journey to Nationals, I thought I would explain my experience at the Enactus UK Nationals with you all.

So my journey to nationals didn't start in the UK like most of my teammates. Mine started on a beautiful Swedish morning in Stockholm. At this point in the morning I was already checked out from my hostel, and I had my morning cup of coffee. I found a bench overlooking the Gamla Stan, and began to truly memorize my script for nationals the next day. I had read the script over and over again since I received the finalized script, but I didn't quite have it fully memorized yet. So for about three and a half hours that morning, I spent reading my script out loud on that lovely park bench. Where my bench was it was a busy footpath, and a lot of people walked past me as I was learning my script. My only thought was those people thought I looked crazy. I managed to get most of it down before I got on my train back to the airport for my flight to London for Nationals.

The flight went well, and after a getting back over the UK border it was a quick stop at the airport Boots to get some essentials for me for nationals the next morning. I called the rest of the gang to let them know I was on the way to the hotel, and to my surprise Keith still hadn't showed up so I was doing ok on time then.

So after a quick tube ride and a half a mile walk I managed to get to get to the hotel were everyone was. It was great to see Anthony, Alex, Laura, Lenni, and Keith again, but meeting there was for business and we got right down to it after I showed up. Then for the next three hours we practiced our script and folded annual reports. Annual reports, I might add, were the best of the whole competition. So big shout out to Tom S for the report. We managed to get some food and once we got back we all practiced our lines till we passed out.

After a great night sleep we managed to get ready to show Enactus UK what we did this year. I donned the suit Anthony was grateful enough to bring to London for me. And after a shower and shave I looked sharp in that suit. We all looked sharp that morning, and right then I knew we were ready to go. We did one more run through and I was confident we were going to do a great job during our presentation.

After meeting the rest of the crew (Tom D, Tom S, Catherine, Laura, Shashank, Toby, Emily, and Andrew) at the Hammersmith Novotel. We found out we were in the same league as Newcastle, GCU, Warwick, and Bedfordshire. When we saw that we knew it was a tough league, but we would do our best to come out on top. Then after Newcastle presented we were up. We were all on nevers for the three minutes of step up time, trying to remember lines to make sure that our presentation was prefect. After a bit of a rocky start we pulled it back and finished strong. I personally could have done the Q and A better, but we learn from our mistakes. However I could not have been prouder than I was with how we did.

Although we didn't make it to the semi-final round we were able to show Enactus UK what we were doing and who we plan to impact in the coming months. It was a weird weight off of my shoulders, but right there was when I realized that I am an Enactus UK Alumni, and an Enactus Plymouth Alumni. It was a bittersweet feeling, and I knew it's going to be a lot more work with my team back at PSU, but I'm ready for it. And I think it was also knowing I'll be leaving my project Recreo, however I know the team will continue to impact more people in Plymouth. But after finding out our faith we had a team dinner, and that made me mood change real fast. It was great to see everyone celebrating our achievements this year.

We got up the next morning and headed to nationals once again to see the semi-finals, and the finals. We were able to showcase our projects at the Project Fair, and get some great feedback from other teams. We stayed and watched the final presentations, and every team deserved to win it but huge congrats to Enactus Nottingham for winning it all. You guys will kill it at the World Cup. After that we headed to our hostel and got ready for a night out on the town in London. And it was well worth the feeling the next morning to have such a great send off for Nationals.

But I just want to take a second to thank everyone at Enactus Plymouth for a 'phenomenal' year. It was an honour to work with everyone of you, extremely skilled students. For those of you reading this who just joined, know your time spent here will be some of the best memories of your life. For committee this year, you all showed why you deserved your roles and made this team what it is. And for the Recreo Team it was an honour being your team leader this year. It was a pleasure to get to know you all, and I know you all will do big things with the rest of your lifes. But keep working hard and this project will be great in the coming year. But thank you all again, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and I hope I get another chance to work with you all!

Ok, so that was the last of my travel posts for now since I'm back in Plymouth. But there will be more of those to come in a few months time. I hope you're all having a great day, and remember to be safe and have fun!


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Välkommen till Sverige (Welcome to Sweden)

Hello Everyone,

So it's been a bit since I updated you all on my travels. I have since made it back to Plymouth and I'm gearing up for the rest of my studies here, and getting ready to handover my Enactus project. So it's easy to say that things here are winding down, however I want to update you all on where I was about a week ago.

Stockholm, Sweden,

So when I said my final seeya laters to my family the night of my flight, I got ready to fly to Stockholm via Reykjavik, Iceland. I felt very anxious on the flight from Boston to Reykjavik. I think it was because I was leaving family, and they were leaving and I won't see them until they get back home. And to add to that the language barrier in Sweden I thought would make my trip difficult, so I read a Swedish phrasebook all the way to Stockholm. When I landed in Reykjavik I didn't see much of the city due to the fact that city was so far away from the airport, however I did see the snow covered mountains that are everywhere on the island and it was beautiful. I made a mental know that I will be back. I did manage to get an Icelandic stamp in my passport because I entered the Schengen Area via Iceland.

But after the short two hour flight I finally made it to Stockholm. It was super easy to get through the customs area after my flight there and then it was buying a quick return train ticket to get me to and from the airport. And finally I was on my way to the city. It only took about twenty minutes to get to the city from the airport, and after getting a city map I managed to make my way to my hostel. The walk to my hostel made me begin my love affair with this city. I was walking right along the water that separated the Gamla Stan (Old Town) from the rest of mainland Stockholm. I managed to find my hostel and to my surprise I had a beautiful view of the Gamla Stan and the Royal Palace across the water.
After getting situated at my hostel I managed to fall asleep even though the plan was to go out and explore. It seemed my body had other plans. It was around now that I realized that all the signs and the people here spoke some level of english, and my fear of not being able to understand anyone or being able to talk to someone faded away. Throughout my time in Stockholm I tried my hand at swedish that's why I woke up the next day with my phrase book on my chest.

After getting some sleep back from the flights and short fight with jet lag, I was up early the next day and headed out to explore what Stockholm has to offer. My first stop was the Vasamuseet. For those of you who don't know it is a museum dedicated to the Vasa, a Swedish naval ship that sank after fifteen minutes at sea taking about 30 people with her. The ship as be restored and it really is a sight for anyone going to Stockholm. Shortly after I left the museum I went on the hunt for food, and ended up at a place called the östermalms saluhall which is this giant food hall in the middle of the city. After my senses were attacked with so many delicious smells I managed to get some food and a great cup of Swedish coffee.

Shortly after lunch I made my way to the Gamla Stan and when exploring I found the Nobel Prize Museum. I ended up going to the Nobel Prize Museum (I totally forgot the award started in Sweden), and I was put back a step after seeing some of the things accomplished by these Nobel Prize winners. It made me think if I would ever end up in these halls. After that I managed to do the very touristy thing and get two swedish horses, one for me and one as a gift, and then after that I went back to the hostel for some much needed sleep.

The next day I walked around the Gamla Stan and ventured back into mainland Stockholm, but I couldn't do it long because my online PSU class was calling out to me, because I needed to get work done. This whole trip I had to work on class work due to the fact that PSU's spring break was the week before my trip, and it has been a pain the whole time. I did however see the simplicity of eating at a restaurant alone with just your thoughts. It was quite peaceful. But after that slow day I made a point to spend that next day doing everything I could before I left.

The first thing on that list that I needed to do before I left was get Swedish Meatballs, because I knew if I didn't I would regret it for the rest of my life. So Haley told me about this little place in a part of Stockholm that I hadn't been yet so I went on a little bit of a hunt for some meatballs. I will say that after eating those meatballs, Meatballs for the People make some of the best meatballs I've ever had.

Since my stomach was filled with food I walked around for a bit and after awhile I found myself waiting in line at the Fotografiska (Photo museum) to walk around and see some local photography. Some of the exhibits were amazing! There was a great piece all about the 99% movement that took place in New York City a few years back. Needless to say I wanted to go outside and try and become a photographer myself.

 Favorite Photo of Stockholm: @tucker_moss

But that was my last full day in Stockholm, and I will tell you all about my last morning there when I write my next post about were I went after my journey took me to Stockholm. Some of you reading this already know what happened, but I'll tell you all again soon. But that is my story so far, and I just want to take a second and wish safe travels to both my Dad, and my Step-Mother on their trips and I hope to see you both soon. Kate, just keep being good. But I will write again soon, and remember be safe and have fun.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Hello Everybody,

So I've been quiet on here the past few days, and that's because well I went back home. Yes, I went back home to the US for a bit to see family, and friends. During my time home I did get to finally see some snow which instantly made me feel at home. And the first thing that I did when I got back to the US was go to Sonic's and get a burger. I missed american hamburgers.

But I came home because in January I got some news that both my step-mother and father would be doing some traveling over the next year, and I won't see them until after they get back from their travels. So I made the decision to fly to the US after I spent some time in Dublin. I felt that I needed to see everyone before we all went our separate ways. But this trip from the beginning felt slightly bittersweet.

I was overjoyed when I landed in Boston from my flight from Dublin, and since I went through customs in Dublin and because of that I got to skip it in Boston. I found Haley and we ended up making our way up to Epping to see everyone. The week went great, I hung out with family, I got a very much needed date night in Boston with Haley, and then I got to have a huge bonfire with the whole family before we all left.

I think it was the night of the bonfire that I finally realized how much family meant to me and what they have given to get me to where I am today. I really am so proud of everyone in the family. I am so proud of the adventures that my Step-Mother, and Father are about to embark on and I wish them the safest journey possible, and the most enjoyable time where they go. I'm so proud of my little sister, and what she has accomplished this year, and what she is going to accomplish in the months to follow, and for once she got a someone by her side that I actually like. So if you're reading this treat her right. Also of Haley for sticking with me through all the BS, stress, and especially my Enactus stuff. I know you're proud but you don't wanna hear about it anymore, and I'll be taking a break from it all when I get home, but for right now you'll still be hearing about it. And finally for all of you who I didn't get a chance to see, thank you for your support over this past year and for the rest of the time that I am there in the UK.

But I know that although we're going to be spread across the globe we'll be supporting each other through it all. Like I said before I wish everyone safe travels and the enjoyment of their trips. I'm proud to be apart of this family and everything that we have accomplished, and what we are going to accomplish over the coming year. I love you guys!

                                          Photo Credit: Haley Hamerstrom (@706Hales)

So I will be off traveling again here soon. I will be filling you all in on that as soon as I can once I've got settled at my next stop. I have just a little bit more traveling before I head back to Plymouth to continue my studies. Then it's just a few more months and I will be traveling Europe and then back home. But till next time stay safe and have fun.