Lately, I’ve been feeling very nostalgic about my year abroad because of my impending deadlines and the terrible weather. I thought I’d relive some of the best nine months of my life through the medium of photos.
Ok, I know this isn’t one photo but I couldn’t pick just one picture of me and my friends that showed enough of the amazing people I met in Texas. Though Yik Yak, radio shows, Model United Nations and Multicultural Affairs I met some of the best people ever. Meeting new people is one of the best things about travelling abroad, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed my time in Texas nearly as much if it weren’t for my friends that took me in for Thanksgiving, listened to me when I was homesick, and took me on adventures around the Metroplex. Not pictured, everyone I met at ISI (International Students Incorporated) and my awesome comic book and spring break companion, Brittany (she doesn’t like selfies).
As much as I hate for this photo to see the light of day again, this haircut was a big part of my year abroad. It’s a funny story I still share with people and it took me the best part of a year to fully grow out. The abomination was a result of poor cross-cultural communication and language barriers. It’s ok though, once it grew out for a couple of months it actually looked pretty punk rock. Luckily, this was the worst thing that happened to me in the whole year! A bad haircut is one of many things that the British Consulate in Houston could not have helped me with.
These wildflowers that appear on the side of highways across Texas every spring are the state flower, and people in Texas take their bluebonnets very seriously. You’ll regularly see cars or trucks parked off the highway while their drivers search for the perfect annual bluebonnet picture. I felt I had to take part in the tradition. If you’re in Texas in the spring, please don’t get killed or break the law for the ‘gram – it’s not worth it.
‘But your year abroad was in Texas’ I hear you cry. Correct, but I have family in Canada so I was lucky enough to be able to go and visit on the way back to the United Kingdom. Above is a picture I took at Lake Louise which is breath-taking even in the fog. One of the best things about a year abroad is the opportunity to travel across the country or continent you are studying in, but do make sure you have all the proper visas and relevant paperwork to travel and get back into the country you’re studying in. In the US, you must have your I-20 stamped if you plan to leave and re-enter the country.
The food in Texas is on a whole other level. Be prepared to eat your bodyweight in tacos, flautas, burritos, BBQ brisket, pizza, fried chicken and other deep fried foods (especially if you visit the State Fair!). Above is a picture of chicken fried bacon that I sampled at the State Fair, and it looks a lot nicer than it tasted. It wasn’t all good eats though – the catering on my college campus left a lot to be desired. When planning for a year abroad, make sure to consider any dietary requirements and how they might impact your destination decision. I’m not sure how well I could have managed my new vegan diet in Texas!
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