This summer we went to Croatia and Prague. The things that I like the most was the preservation of nature.
In the middle of Croatia there was a gorgeous botanical garden and parks all around the city. The reason I couldn’t say that the nature was my all time favorite thing is because the cuisine was DELICIOUS!!!
I loved the language and I even picked up some things while we were there(: I ate so much but all the walking off set that lol. We were able to hang out and get to know natives which was amazing and made the experience all the more exciting. I always have know I would like to live abroad but this showed my indefinitely that is something that I want to do. I hope that if anyone who is on the fence about going abroad reads this. It’s a once in a lifetime experience have a blast!!!
I have been here for a little over a month now so I thought I would post something to keep you all updated on my study abroad adventures.(If you don’t know me and are reading this you should know that I have a weird sense of humor and am pretty weird but back to blogging) I am totally in love with my new home. Before I left I was feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness, but now I realize I was worried for no reason. The Netherlands and the Hague are both amazing. I have completely adapted to the biking city lifestyle. It’s really different here because the bikes have the priority on the road over pedestrians and cars, I’m not sure if that is really the law but everyone seems to abide by that. The city is amazing, it is quite a bit larger than Louisville but the atmosphere is really neat. Everyone was enjoying the nice weather during August and there are quite a few places to eat and socialize outside. Even though it has cooled down quite a bit people still eat and socialize outside, they have warming lights under the tents and umbrellas so it is still comfortable. On our first day here Ashton and I took the tram to the beach; apparently our tram cards did not scan properly and we got yelled at but we have overcame that and can work them properly now haha. It has definitely been a learning experience so far and will continue to be but I look forward to it. I do miss some things about America like free refills, ice in drinks and Jimmy Johns (sorry Steph you didn’t make top 3 this time) but overall I am adapting well. Planning trips and weekend adventures has taken up a lot of my spare time but I am so excited, so far we have trips planned to Budapest, Paris, Italy, Prague and Germany planned. Last weekend we went to Ireland and explored Dublin, Galway, the Cliffs and Cork. We actually had really great weather (I forgot to mention it rains quite a bit here) to hike the cliffs so that was great. We got some really great pictures (check out my IG @h_loughran you won’t be disappointed ahahaha) and ate some great Irish food. It was a trip I was looking forward to because my family heritage is Irish so it was really neat to explore my “homeland” and I wish we had more time there because there is so much to do. School here is very different, we don’t have a lot of homework and only one or 2 exams in most of my classes so it will be interesting to see how that fares but I’m keeping a positive attitude and trying to balance my studies and fun as much as I can. I cannot believe that one month has already passed and that just showed me how valuable my time is here, it is going to fly by and I am trying to relish in each moment because this amazing opportunity does not come very often.
Gossip Girl jk its Haley
South Korea so far has been a great experience, everything that I imagined it would be plus more before arriving. I have just started my second semester here in Seoul and time is surely flying bye. Living in Korea is sometimes difficult as it is so different and fast pace compared to Louisville but at the same time enjoyable, so many things to do with friends at all hours of the day. So far I have seen many beautiful places, ate a lot of delicious Korean cuisines, been able to make great friends (international and native), and have made experiences that I will never forget. Korea is awesome, I regret not blogging until now, I really should have sent in some blog post earlier to let people to know about this great city and culture. I was going to upload my own pics and videos, but I found a great video from buzzfeed that really summarizes Korea and my experiences here. I will be uploading my own pictures in later post!
To anyone who wishes to hear about pizza, unfortunately, I will not go into depth about the pies. Don’t get me wrong; the pizza here is wonderful and makes me question if Papa John has committed some heinous act of treason. I suppose that when you’re around a crowd who practically wishes to eat the stuff for every meal, well…you get a bit tired of it.
Needless to say, the food here is the real deal. This is not your neighborhood Olive Garden that attempts to pawn off chicken parmesan as an authentic Italian dish. The eats here are honest, paying tribute to the naturally tasteful bounties that are produced using nothing but patience and a bit of science. Food is not seen as big business here, meaning that the manufacturing and processing of ingredients is virtually non-existent. Everything is fresh, really fresh; and you can taste the difference.
It should not come as a surprise that Italians, just as they live, tend to cook simply. Meals are prepared using few ingredients, intending to highlight the natural flavors that frankly cannot be harnessed using packaged, frozen, or sealed products. The pasta is prepared al dente (slightly chewy) and is typically rolled that morning. The sauces are rich, full-bodied, and taste of the local gardens. The cheese…oh my. I’m going to be humble here and accept the fact that anything I could possibly type will not sufficiently describe the cheese; only through taste can you understand it.
There is an extreme passion (understatement) for dining here. The other day, I sat down at a small café to grab lunch and noticed the server setting the tables. Everything from the napkins to the chairs was placed using extraordinary precision. After watching him obsessively shift the plates 5-6 times until reaching a point of irrefutable satisfaction, I could not help but childishly squirm around in my seat due to eagerness for my food. Just as expected, it was a symphony of flavors.
Describing anything that is perfect is an arduous task. In all honesty, I’ve read through this post dozens of times, trying to decide if I’ve done Italian food justice…likely not. What I do know is that there is something commendable about showing an intense care for anything. There is nothing complex about the food here; the Italians simply care. Perhaps we all need to reflect on a few things that we could show greater care towards and maybe, just maybe, we will discover the hidden perfections that surround us every day.
Over the summer I was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad for two weeks with my classmates. Our program was led by Beth Davis-Sramek the first week in Zagreb, Croatia and Richard Germain the second week in Prague. It was a wonderful experience to learn and discuss in depth our class material with two of our highly respected facility members. We were pushed to look at business in a completely different light and it was truly eye opening to see how different it can be. At many of the facilities we visited, we noticed how there were very few regulations in all aspects of how a business operates.
Now don’t get me wrong I love my new home in the Netherlands and all the amazing people I am getting to meet, but perhaps one of my favorite things is getting to travel to a different country every weekend. It is absolutely insane to explore these unique cities and see and try everything they have to offer. With each new city comes a new adventure.
One of my personal favorite memories happened two weeks ago in Paris, France. Now I know this may sound strange, but I was initially skeptical of Paris. I had some friends who went there and said it was over hyped, but let me tell you they were WRONG. Paris was magical. One day my friends and I got a bottle of wine, some bread, cheese, and macaroons and just sat under the Eiffel Tower. It was such a simple thing to do, but it was perfect.
Already a few friends have asked me what my favorite place is so far and I honestly can’t answer them. Each weekend brings a new city and country that is different, but equally as amazing to the others. I guess this is a good problem to have.