I'm throwing it back to a very fun and romantic sunset shoot I did of my two good friends Miranda and Tyler as a goodbye to the romantic summer photos and hello to the gorgeous lighting and dreamy and foggy moments of winter.
So, I've been here 20 days. Twenty days! Here are 20 things I've learned about England so far.
- They drive fast and the roads are small, and I'm squeamish.
- They eat dinner (or "tea" as they call it) really late, I like my dinner at 5-6 but they like to push 7-8. Snacks are a must.
- "Do you want a coffee?" It's so much coffee, so much tea, and not enough water around here. I've faced the starting phases of dehydration a few times already...
- It's cold, all of the time. Like even in the warm houses, I still find a way to be extremely cold.
- English professors are not as hard to understand as I feared. The British accent can be tough, and the slang is sometimes hard to pick up on but so far, so good.
- Beans on toast is a thing. Yeah, toast some bread and throw some baked beans on top. It's like the top ramen of England but you can have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I honestly really enjoy it.
- Curry is a common take-out dinner option. Why don't we do this in Portland?
- A lot of people smoke cigarettes. I don't think walking through Portland I inhale as much second-hand smoke as I do in Leeds. This might be because people here stand outside buildings and smoke and in Oregon you have to stand so far away. I probably just don't notice it as much in Portland.
- People use cash for everything. You don't use cards and if you do on something small like Starbucks, they give you dirty looks.
- THEY DON'T HAVE ICED COFFEE. They only do iced Americano and to be honest, I'm not coping very well.
- Jay-walking, do it or be run over....by other people. Little ol' Oregonian me had to learn that if there are no cars, or one approaching at a far distance...you move your little booty across that street or be stampeded by the people behind you.
- Don't ask people how they are or make small talk before they serve you food or give you a train ticket...in England, people don't care about strangers the way they do in Portland. They're very friendly, but not in the same way. What do you mean you don't want to have a three-minute conversation about yourself with me before finding me my library book?
- I love the English fashion. I want to wear tights and dresses and oversized sweaters/coats everyday. EVERYDAY.
- Don't expect food of any kind to be the same to what you're used to in America. Pizza? It's different. Chinese? Super different. Bacon=Ham. It's all delicious, just not the same.
- There are a lot of things we call one thing, and they call the exact same thing a word I've never used in my life. I've been dating Liam for a few years now and am still finding these little differences. Example: Trunk of the Car = Boot of the Car, Gas=Petrol.
- Make Up, Make Up, Make Up. Girls wear a lot of make up over here vs. in Portland.
- English tend to walk a lot more than we do at home, in fact - it was like that in Spain and Dublin too.
- TRAINS! You can get a train anywhere, and it's very easy to figure out.
- They do everything on 24-hour time. I've had to learn what 17:00 translates to (it's 5pm) very quickly. To help me from counting on my fingers like a dweeb, I learned that you can subtract 2 and know what time it is. Well, technically you have to subtract 10 also. It's really very easy, 17-2=15=5pm. 19-2=17=7pm. 22-2=20=10pm.
- All in all, it's not that hard of a transition from America (so far). Take everything you know from America, change it ever-so-slightly, and poof - you have England. Actually, historically speaking it's probably the other way around.....
This was a really fun project that we pretty much jumped on the moment I got to England. Jenna (Liam's little sister) is turning 21 in December, which like in America, is a big deal - even if they are able to drink alcohol at 18 here. She's going to be throwing a big party at a venue in her local city and needed to send out invites.
So we broke out the camera one afternoon and went to a local park for some pictures. From there, we honestly planned to upload the pictures into a online template site and have them do the rest of the work, but Jenna wasn't finding one she loved.
I decided to try one afternoon to design a simple one that would work for what she was searching for and after some edits and a few versions we found one that worked. I'll share some more images we took of Jenna in another post, but here is the invite (with details removed):
I did it! I got myself to Leeds and back multiple times navigating train times and walking phoneless around the city. Here is the basic info:
- Don't call it school, or people will give you weird looks. It's Uni, and only Uni. Not school, college, class...just UNI. Short for university.
- I'm attending Leeds Beckett University for the Masters of Arts in Public Relations and Strategic Communications.
- I have classes on Tuesday's and Friday's and every-other Wednesday. Not bad!
- I ride the train from Skipton to Leeds, which is about 36-44 minutes.
- My class has about 30 students, and about 17 different countries represented. Only three from the United States, and only two from the UK!
- I'm taking Editing & Production, Strategic Communications Planning, Research Methods, and Corporate Communications in an Intercultural Context modules.
- Leeds is a much bigger city then I'm used to for University. It's huge (bigger than Corvallis for sure) and there is plenty for me to do in my hours between classes.
- I have to complete a dissertation, but I don't begin it until the Spring 2016 and turn it in for September.
- I don't have a british accent, yet.
I've always had this website, but never really a solid direction for it. When I was in my undergrad, it was a requirement for us to build a portfolio website and keep it updated with our work. It was a fun creative project that I loved being able to change, create, and make it my own. I loved having it available as I was looking for jobs after college and it was a great place to send friends or family who wanted to know what I was up to. After I landed my first job, it really became kind of a black hole for me and I couldn't figure out what it's purpose was anymore. What do I do with this internet real estate that will help me grow and still be a outlet at the same time?
For those of you who don't know - I've packed up and moved to England from the United States. I moved here to get my master's degree, mainly. However, there are a lot of secondary reasons that supported me heading abroad. It's a long story, one for another blog, another time.
The process has been in place since late January 2015 and although lengthy, it's been very easy. Whenever I've told people, they're shocked at how easily I have been accepted, approved, and the steps along the way to get myself to England. Again, another blog for another time.
I feel like there is a common string of questions I get from family and friends, even strangers, when they hear my story. This will be a good place to share my process, my studies, my travels, and life while answering a lot of those FAQs. If there is something you'd like to know, let me know in the comments and I'm happy to share.
As I approach the job search again at the end of my degree in late 2016, I'll hopefully have shared all my stories and experiences in life, travel, and in my studies while still being creative along the way. It can be a whole new kind of portfolio website.