For my last Study Abroad post, I wanted to share a round up of a few of the places we visited, some of the amazing views and super special people I got to know along the way. I was so blessed to have been accepted and I am glad I was able to take a step out of my comfort zone and explore the world. I will always remember this experience and this group of people because they each truly made this trip extraordinary. I would encourage anyone to apply for a study abroad trip because it is truly a life changing experience!
First day right off the plane at Buckingham palace
These two pictures were taken by my friend Wilson, he’s an amazing photographer, check out his insta @wnrphoto
Tea time at Harrod’s, We definitely got lost just exploring the huge luxury department store!
The ball pit bar, definitely one of my favorite memories from London!
We got to sit in on a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva, truly exciting!
Our boat tour was one of my favorite memories from Geneva, we all got to just have fun and be together for fun
The food was beyond amazing, I wish I could go back since it was all so healthy and yummy!
The Swiss Alps and the Glacier were such a surreal experience, I am so glad I got to go with these girls, it was like a fun girls trip!
Whenever I go somewhere new I always try to scout out fun places to go, see and take pictures. When in London, I found this super cute place for a some tea and eat some sweets and I had to go! The background was perfect and I would have taken even more pictures if I hadn’t just walked around for a few hours of media visits and had fresh makeup on!
Anyway, I’m sharing how I get ideas for places to take cute pictures and find the perfect backgrounds!
Pinterest : My first stop! I always look up the city and surrounding areas and do about 10 different searches, from cool food places, to instagram walls and new attractions, Pinterest has it all!
Instagram : Use hashtags and search for places, and when you find a place to visit go to their instagram page to get a feel for the vibe before you go!
Facebook : The fun videos for more popular cities always have unique places to visit! Usually pages like Buzzfeed have the best videos!
Archives : Whenever you see a cool place you want to visit, save it, you never know when you may have a chance to go and explore!
Explore : Walking or driving around is how you find the cutest places in my opinion! That is how I used to find where to take all of my pictures for Instagram! Especially in a new place, walk around and find a cute wall or little shop for fun pictures!
Ask a Local : They live there and know the coolest spots, it’s always better to make a new friend along the way too!
JumpSuit : Berkley Elleven, (similar), Asos, Forever 21
Back to the Study Abroad Posts!
Did I even go to the Swiss Alps if I did not sing the songs from The Sound of Music when we got to the top?! Seriously a great experience and so beautiful! The pictures definitely did not do it justice and standing at the tallest point we could was like being on top of the world! Truly a great experience I will never be able to get back!
We were also able to go to the glacier near the bottom and take lots of pictures! There were tabs while we went down the mountain showing how much the glacier has receeded over the years. It was so sad how small it is now compared to even a few years ago. Global warming is a real thing and it is super important to all do our part to watch over the world.
We went on several train rides and rides up and down the alps. The little french town that surrounded the Alps were so sweet. We had crepes which were so authentic and tasted amazing! We were told it would be freezing so we all bundled up in jackets and sweaters only to find we could have worn shorts and a long sleeve! We definitely needed this for the glacier though!
Sweater : Zara (similar) // Jeans : TopShop // Convertible Backpack Bag : DSW
Everyone knows the basics, cut an inch or two off the tips of your hair every few months, reduce heat on your hair and sleep on silk pillowcases. Well if you didn’t know those, there are a few more tips! Here are a few of the tips I found out work well for me and my hair type! I have a straight/wavy type of hair and it’s very thin. So what works for me may not always work for you but I tried to keep the tips as general as possible!
- Weekly Hair Mask : I usually do a quick hair mask when I shave so I can be doing something while I’m waiting for the mask to set in. That or for some serious repair an overnight hydrating hair mask will do the trick, just sleep with a shower cap on!
- Don’t wash everyday : Okay this one may be basic but I cannot stress the importance and the difference I have seen in my hair! I for sure go AT LEAST two days without washing it and now I am shooting for three. It takes training, patience and lots of dry shampoo, but it really does make a difference!
- Hold off on the Product : I try not to use product the day I wash my hair to let the natural oils set in. I also try super hard to not straighten, curl or blow dry it after a wash just for a “reset” for my hair and give it some rest.
- Use Product : On the second day I always use a product that my specific hair needs. I usually use a hydrating product for the ends like a leave in conditioner and maybe a repair serum on the ends. If your hair is curly use something specific to your hair type and what you need.
- Use Protection : I never blow dry my hair without blow dry serum. It makes my hair silky smooth and I use it on “cool”. Also you should ALWAYS use heat protectant, I sometimes even do it when I know I’ll be out in the sun for a long time but that’s me being over protective now.
- Cut between cuts : My aunt recently taught me this but if your section off your hair and twist it then cut the ends that stick out because those tend to be the split ends.
I found a really great Keratin hair treatment by a hair care company called Finesse. I’ve been trying the MAX deep conditioning treatment and it has really changed the softness of my locks. Not only is it easy to use and came with this perfect comb, it’s easy to purchase as well. Check out Target.com , HEB, Meijer, Winn Dixie and Woodsman Market (depending on where you live) to try some for yourself!
I like to tease my hair a lot so this treatment makes my hair silky and easy to undo the knots I create.
More products on my Beauty Wish list!
So the reason I said this is a throwback is because I wore this almost exact outfit a year or two ago when I went to California. I obviously like to save this maxi for fun occasions! I paired it with a white top that I tied last time and this time I added some bright turquoise earrings and a light pink cross body. I really never wear my hair up for blog posts but this day was a bit hot after all the walking around geneva!
Switzerland was never high on my list of places to travel. I always heard it was beautiful but I wanted to visit Paris, Rome, Italy and Greece before I started venturing to new places. When I heard that the study abroad was going I thought hmm, still worth a try and I submitted the application. I was super excited when I was accepted and the whole trip was beyond amazing!
Geneva was truly gorgeous, clear water, mountains in the background, nice locals and amazing food. We walked all around the city and while we were there the pope even came! I tried to see him but there was a conflict with our media visits.
BACK TO THE MAXI! I love a good yellow especially one that brightens up my skin tone! The jean jacket made the look a little more casual and neutral along with the pony hair which I think made the look a little better for the daytime. Also these sweet earrings went well with the bright yellow without over doing it!
Jean Jacket : H&M // Maxi Skirt : Zara (similar) (similar) // White Crop : Asos// Earrings : (similar) (similar)
I had the most amazing time in London and our group had a truly amazing tour guide! I wanted to share a short list of a few of the things I decided to do as well as a few of the recommendations from our tour guide!
The London Eye : There is a champagne tasting you can sign up for while you are on the giant ferris wheel like attraction, so fun and amazing views!
Carnaby Street : This is where these pictures were taken! It’s so colorful, filled with great restaurants and lots of shopping!
The West End / The Globe Theatre : You have to see a show whether it be a broadway like showcase or a Shakespearean play at the famous theatre!
Harrod’s : We went to this huge designer department store and went to had tea and sweets! Despite the designer prices, a tiny tea pot was only 5 pounds and was super yummy!
Peggy Porschen : Super cute and pink filled place for a sweet! (Blog Post to come)
Ballie Ballerson : A ball pit bar! We had so much fun here, it’s like your a kid all over again! Definitely a must do, it was one of the best parts of my trip!
Take a tour : hit the typical tourist attractions like seeing Big Ben, The London Bridge and Buckingham Palace one day to make sure to also hit all the basics! We actually took a boat tour and it was so lovely!
Don’t forget to do the basic things like pictures in the (smelly) telephone booths and ride at the top of a double decker bus!
Top : Asos // Denim Skirt : (similar) (similar)
And when you get the chance, go to France! 10 out of 10 would recommend. I actually got to visit France twice and while I did not go to Paris (I’ll save that for my next trip) it will still just as beautiful as I imagined! We drove about 45 minutes from Geneva Switzerland to Annecy France, there were the most beautiful mountains and country side as a backdrop it was like a dream!
This was honestly one of my favorite parts of the trip! Walking around a little french town and eating genuine french food. There was a beautiful park that was so quiet and filled with natural beauty. It was like stepping into a movie! Best of all I got to experience it with the most amazing group of girls. The mountains and water were so beautiful, the food and wine was amazing, and I was excited to wear my new clothes as well. Truly an amazing day!
One thing though was the city we visited did not have an uber back to the city we were staying in and the trains were not running. One thing about traveling is you always need a back up plan. So we ended up taking a taxi after trying bus stations, train stations, uber and lift. It was worth it though and I wish I could have stayed longer than the two days we went.
My only regret was not trying escargot! The girls did not want to try it with me and even though I know I probably wouldn’t be fond of it, it’s all about the experience! Also when we crossed from Switzerland to France we did not get our passport stamped which was a major bummer. But it was beautiful and I cannot wait to go back!
Pants : Pretty Little Thing // Crop Top : Asos // Bag : (similar) (similar)