Adventure Time

Well, it’s about the end of the line, and this is where we all make sappy blog posts and say cute things that our parents will love to read. But I don’t think we do that because we’re supposed to; I think we do it because this really was one of the most unique and amazing experiences that any of us have ever had. And it’s really hard to sum up this past month into a couple paragraphs. Of course I’m looking forward to telling everyone who will listen about my trip, but I’ll never really be able to tell you about the way it felt. This has been the best time ever.

My grandma has been getting really sentimental and telling me that this will be the time of my life and that I’ll be making memories that I’ll look back fondly on. And I knew I’d have fun, but I didn’t really take that very seriously back in June. It’s incredible how much can change in a month. I can’t tell if it feels like the shortest or the longest month of my life. But Prague feels like forever ago, and everything has just gotten more and more exciting since then.

Now for me and a few other people, it’s time to head off to one more stop on our adventure, as we travel to Rome. It’s simultaneously exciting and sad, because leaving everyone else feels so unnatural at this point. All we’ve been able to talk about today is how there’s no way it can be our last day as a group. But things don’t really end, and the adventures will continue, and I know that my life is better because of the people on this trip and everything we’ve done together. There’s a lot more fun to be had. Cheers.


The end

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past five weeks with amazing people. I came into this not knowing anyone or anything about photography. I am lucky enough to have met these people and truly become good friends. Howard and Darcy taught us so much about how to take a good picture. The speakers we met were so interesting and enjoyable. It’s amazing to see what it takes to be successful in photography. A wonderful aspect of our study abroad was having Jim and Kathy join us. For our last luncheon today we went to a lovely Italian restaurant. The pizza was delectable and the company was wonderful. Dylan, Katie, Olivia, Erin and I are leaving for the airport in approximately 2 hours. We have to take a train from London to Gatwick which is about an hour away. Then we wait for our flight to Rome! This experience was the most amazing thing I have ever done. The past 5 weeks have been the best I have ever had. I can’t fathom leaving yet but it’s time to pack up and go. I will miss everyone dearly and it will be weird to only have 5 of us in Rome instead of 14. It’s been an interesting ride, can’t wait to see everyone in the states! Toodles!




The Perfect Mix

We started as 13 strangers in late June and now, after five short weeks, I consider all of these people my friends. I believe our group had the perfect mix of personalities in it. I cannot believe the study abroad program has come to an end and I have to say goodbye to a majority of the group. Although, I will never forget the laughs we’ve shared and the memories we’ve made.


Howard waves goodbye as he and Kathy leave after lunch

We finished the program with a farewell lunch at a delicious Italian restaurant after our critique wrapped up. I will miss the critiques because so many suggestions were always made about everyone’s photos and I learned so much.

From what I have observed, everyone in the group has developed as a photographer, including myself. I have taken so much away from the speakers, but especially the words they have spoken about determination. To be a photographer, you have to be committed and persistent. I will try my best throughout my life to have these qualities so that I can be the best photographer I can be.

This study abroad program has taught me to push myself as a photojournalist. It has helped shape the way I see the world visually, and has provided me with what I hope are lifelong friends. I could not have asked for anything better.








The end is only the beginning

It’s the last night of an incredible adventure so naturally the dream-like memory of the five weeks is setting in. The five weeks have moved like the speed of light but our photographic progress and relationships seem like the only evidence that this experience was a reality.

During our final critique today the culmination of our hard work was evident. The projects had depth and complex thought behind them, even photographs of the same subject were unique from photographer to photographer. More remarkable than the work was the valuable critique that came from my peers. The thought provoking comments from trained eyes were night and day compared to our first critique.

As the discussions developed there was an invaluable element that enriched the critique and the entire trip. Our level of comfort and care for each other is that of long time friends. Sorry to get so “Hallmark cards” about this but it’s inevitable that after living in close quarters with a small group strong bonds form.

Since I graduated in May, I am especially sorry that I didn’t meet this group of talented and incredible people before yet even more thankful that I had the chance to before the end of my undergraduate career.



Critique, Pizza , and Packing… Goodbye!

Today started out with us hurrying to Regent’s College for our final critique!  We left late, the gate wasn’t working, but we still managed to get breakfast before class! Marketa joined us again today and gave us feedback once again! I love hearing what she has to say and she has the best stories.  The only complaint is that I never know when I need to start writing down what she’s saying and by the time I think about it, I begin to forget what she had said already!


Marketa visited us for our last two days in London and participated in our morning critique.

After critique was over we headed down to the cafeteria for the last time to spend as much of our cards as possible.  We bought snack foods and drinks to hopefully last us on our plane rides and whatnot in the morning.  I ended up having around 20 pounds left on my card.  I wish we could have used them in the gift shop – then it would’ve been gone!  We headed off to lunch at that point.


Our final group lunch consisting of pizza, pizza, and more pizza.


After finishing our huge personal pizzas we said farewell to Howard and Kathy and went our separate ways.  Some people went back to Abbey Road to take pictures, packed, went shopping at Brick Lane, while Carra and I went to another tourist spot…


Can you guess what tourist spot lurks behind these walls?

Platform 9 3/4!!! Did you guess right?? Interesting fact: the cart is not between platforms 9 and 10 anymore because it was causing to much delay for the actual trains by having so many people on the platforms.  It’s just out in the main hall area and we would’ve passed by it had there not been a line of red shirted Canadians!  You can tell that the two people working there definitely love their job (Alfie and Maddy).  Alfie was what I would call the “scarf flipper” and greater of the team.  He became best friends with a mom from New Jersey and was even trying to talk with a Jersey accent.  When I got to the head of the line he was whistling a song and quickly asked me what song it was.  I quickly shot back – “Hedwig’s Theme.”  He said, “Good. Someone earlier said Lord of the Rings…” I thought it was funny that he asked me about that particular song since that was one of the first songs I learned how to play in my junior high marimba lessons.After missing out on the Harry Potter studios I’m so glad that Carra tagged along with me to find this place!  Thank you, Carra!!


Photograph by Carra, pre-scarf flip.

After this we headed off to Primark for the last time, I bought a couple more things, we got separated for a bit (I mean what do you expect in a 4 story store?) met back up and headed home.  Overall, it was a good, somewhat relaxing last day.  I wish we had more time here to explore, but it just wasn’t in the cards, I guess.  We’ll just have to come back sometime in the future.  So here’s hoping to safe travels tomorrow – whether it be back home to the states or to Italy.  I’m grateful for this opportunity I was given and the experiences we have all had together.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Thank you everyone, for a wonderful trip!

The Final GoodBye

Today, the final day in London, the final day of the Photo Communication study abroad. It’s very bittersweet for all of us. The day began with critique for our final projects which were very open to whatever we chose to do.

After we had a farewell lunch at Santore Italiano, where we all ate delicious Italian style pizza, then said our farewells to the Bossens family who took care of us for the past 2 weeks.

The Restaurant we ate our farewell lunch at today.

The Restaurant we ate our farewell lunch at today.

The rest of the day, I went with Sarah to see where Harry Potter filmed and then after we went to Primark to do some minor shopping. After doing some shopping, we returned back to the apartments to pack for our early returns home tomorrow. Most of us return home as others continue the journey around Europe, going to Rome and Spain.

London was a very large and beautiful city, the weather, the people and the food was remarkable.

These past 5 weeks have been stored in a special place in my memories, the friendships I’ve made shall continue at MSU, and the next journey will be just as wonderful.

Th group

Th group enjoying Pizza.

A group photo.

A group photo.

My favorite memories from the trip include the times we all enjoyed together going to local restaurants and photo exhibits. I must say, studying abroad has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I am very thankful I came along.

Final Farewell

Today, is a sad day, it’s our last day all together and even though many of us are traveling after it will be very different. As A.A. Milne wrote “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” We have all been very blessed to have been given this opportunity and I am so happy to have met everyone that has been here and have learned so much from all of them and Darcy and Howard as well as their spouses. Safe travels to everyone tomorrow and see you back at school.