Graduation Feels

Four years of college has already flown by. I swear I was moving into my freshman dorm only yesterday. Now graduation has gone & past & I now have a Bachelors of Science in Psychology.  Everything still seems very surreal; even after walking across stage it hasn’t gotten me into the proper mind set that I will not be returning to Penn State in the fall.

The whole day of graduation I was battling an upset stomach, scared of the fact that I had to leave another comfort zone, leave my friends, & leave a school that I had come to love so much. Dressing up in my cap & gown, looking in the mirror, I still didn’t believe what was happening. Despite the nerves I was so happy to show off the work I had done for my grad cap. I don’t consider myself to be very artistic, but I have to say I am very proud of how my cap turned out!

 

As the day went on I became more excited about future endeavors, such as traveling new places & moving into an apartment with my best friend! Celebrating the day with my family also made me in better spirits, knowing that I was supported & loved through this whole process. Even though my brother couldn’t make it to the ceremony he made sure to contribute to my day by drawing a cartoon of me, which made me so happy!

Cartoon version of me

So those of you still in college, ENJOY your time there, take advantage of every opportunity, because trust me 4 years flies by so fast. Now I’ll be here trying to figure out this post-grad life!

Cheers,

Hannah

My brother is a cartoonist so feel free to follow his youtube account here: Banjaxed Oracle

 

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Tattoo Stories

Tattoos are very personal and permanent works of art. Though it seems the world has a love/hate relationship with them, I can’t seem to get enough of tattoos.  I currently have two tattoos, which I got both within the year. Even though I have been in love with the idea of tattoos, it took me 21 years to get my first one. Not every tattoo needs to have a story behind it, as long as it’s special to you that’s what matters; my tattoos do have a few meanings that I wanted to share with the rest of you.

My first tattoo is the world on my ankle. Though it may be a bit cliche, I choose this as my first tattoo because I love to travel. It has always been something that I loved to do and I feel as though it is a large part of me. In the tattoo you can see both the East coast of the USA as well as parts of Europe, most importantly England. I wanted this view because I wanted to be able to have both of my ‘homes’ seen in the tattoo. Many people may find the tattoo cheesy, but as a first I love it and I often use it as a motivator as well. Before I left for my internship in Australia, I was terrified, but I thought, you have the world at your feet now, you have to do this!

Do your Tattoos Tell Tales?

 

My second tattoo is a shark tooth on the inside of my right arm. At first glance many people are like ‘oh wow, you just have a shark tooth on your arm’. Which is true, I do, but instead of explaining a long story I just tell them sharks are my favorite animal, which they are. However, the tattoo does have a little bit more meaning to it.  I got the tattoo while I was completing my internship in Australia, whenever I look at it I remember all the fun I had while adventuring. Not only that but I envision sharks as powerful, strong & beautiful creatures; a few of my family members face mental illness, while overall I have been unaffected by these illnesses I feel that it is my job to stay strong for the family & keep everyone together. It is a reminder to be strong, loyal, and above all else be like a shark… never sinking & always moving forward.

Whether it has a deep meaning or not, tattoos are wonderful works of art, & a fantastic way for an individual to express themselves. I’d love to hear your tattoo stories!

Cheers,

Hannah

Spring Break in Chicago

Wow.. first and foremost where does time go. Spring break was in March and I’m a full month late on this post. Final months of college are taking over my life, and truthfully it all slipped my mind.  I was just looking through the photos that I look during the time, as well as it being my lovely friends birthday that I stayed with while I was there I figured it was time to write this up, even if it is a month late!

I came home from school ready to start spring break only to be met by a massive snow storm that was closing down airports all over the east coast. Luckily, my flight was only delayed 30 minutes or so, and I was able to make it to Chicago bright & early on Friday morning. I was met by a friend who I had not seen in 2 years after our amazing adventures in London together. We had made a promise to not lose touch even after we had returned home, and it is a promise that I refuse to break!

Much of Friday was spent catching up, having a few drinks and reminiscing over past travels. Soon a craving of tacos came over us and we spotted the cutest exterior of a restaurant, Su Casa & we couldn’t resist trying it out. It had amazing food & I wouldn’t hesitate to go again. We were also able to take super cute pics in the bathroom so definitely go check it out!

Saturday’s plan was to pretend that we were back in London enjoying our favourite afternoon tea. We had made reservations at The Allis, about 2 weeks before and everything was amazing. We dressed up and of course took a few pictures posing sipping our tea. But when you go be sure to order 2 towers, we easily scarfed down 1 tower ourselves!

Sunday & Monday were jammed packed with everything I wanted to complete during my time there. Of course I visited the Bean 2 times, I couldn’t help myself. We also took on the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It was so beautiful inside with all the amazing flowers. Another photo shoot worthy destination. It was an amazing break from the cool weather outside & even more of a plus it’s FREE! Right next door is the Lincoln Park zoo, which is also free! Even though it was a little cool outside, the sun was shining so we were able to peak at the lions sun bathing. A short walk from my friends apartment took us to Cafe Iberico where we had our fair share of tapas & sangria. Let me just say, the sangria was amazing. Even though the waiter was a bit surprised when we ordered a full pitcher for the two of us he can’t say that we disappointed him by leaving not even a single drop behind.

Monday was a more artsy day, where we stopped by the 3 Arts Club Cafe for breakfast. In my ‘where to go’ search of Chicago on Pinterest I came across this place. First and foremost its beautiful there. When you walk in it’s all brick inside, there are trees and fountains inside with a glass ceiling, and you get to eat in there! I could have stayed there all day, and not only did it just have a pretty face the food was excellent as well. We explored some history at the field museum, even though Sue, the giant T-Rex that normally greets you, was being moved I still got to see her skull was pretty exciting.

Now, I may not know about you but cheese is an important thing in my life. So of course, one thing that my family made sure that I did when I went to Chicago was have Giordano’s pizza. WOW. Deep dish pizza is just amazing, I don’t care what any one else has to say. Even though I could eat one piece I wanted to marry that pizza, and that is not an exaggeration.  The night ended in a food coma and we shared a few beers at the closest thing we could find to a English Pub. Unfortunately, I had to go back home on Monday, but we made sure to stop in the Art Institute. Of course I had to see my favorite man, Vincent Van Gogh before I went back home.

Even though I did not get a break from the snow or cold over spring break, I was able to spend time with a friend, which truly was the best thing ever. Though you may not see your friends every day, or live states apart like we do, make sure you take time for the people you care about.

 

 

Chilling in Cairns

At the end of my internship my mother came to spend a little time with me in Australia. We decided to travel around Australia a bit ourselves before we went back home to the States.  One place I think everyone should have on their bucket list is the Great Barrier Reef.  I mean it’s incredible in every photo I’ve seen, and now since I am in Australia I know I have to make the trip up to Cairns to go see it.  So my mom picked me up from my lodging and off we went!

The flight was about 3 hours from Sydney to Cairns, which isn’t bad at all. Since I was there in the winter months the 80 degree weather in Cairns was a BIG difference from the 50-60 degree weather we had in Newcastle.  We spent our first day relaxing in the sun, getting to know the area we were staying in.  We were about a 20 minute walk from the Esplanade, which was so cool! So many restaurants and little places to stop and shop, and so many dogs!

I’m a lover of gardens and flowers so when I saw that there was a botanical gardens close by we had to go! Everything in the gardens were blooming and colorful, it just made you happy to be there.  There was also a greenhouse with butterflies everywhere, some that I had never even seen before! Even though it was a little bit too hot for me it was definitely worth the walk around. They even had their own rainforest and bamboo walk. Totally scenic for lots of photos.  We made it an early night because our boat for the Great Barrier Reef left pretty early in the morning.

I get sea sick very easily, so I had to wear a sea sickness patch that did work for me the most part of the trip.  The trip out to the reef was little over an hour on the boat, we snorkeled in two different locations and it had to have been one of the greatest things I’ve seen in my life! I mean so many colorful fish and coral, I even saw a reef shark! I even saw a little nemo in his home too. It was a great experience and if you ever are in Australia this has to be one of the top things that you do!

One other little trip my mom and I went on while in Cairns is taking a ride to Paronella Park.  The Park houses a so called ‘castle’ built by a man who had been poor his whole life, but had a dream to build himself a castle.  He worked hard, and was able to make his dream a reality.  The park is beautiful, even though some of it is in ruins from a hurricane. We were able to see the park in both day and night, which gave us a lot of different views. By the end of the night we were stargazing and even able to see the milky way! Absolutely incredible!

We also spent a lot of time admiring the trees and drinking beer, I mean we are on vacation right!? The food was excellent everywhere we went, and the outdoor seating couldn’t have gotten better. Cairns was a great experience, relaxing and tropical area.  There’s also so much more to do in the surrounding areas we didn’t even get the chance to see half of what is available. I will definitely be going back whenever I get the chance!

Cheers,

Hannah

Melbourne

The last trip with the three other girls I met while in Australia had to be a big one! We were leaving soon and wanted to make sure we could see as much as possible in such a small window of time.  We decided to take the short flight to Melbourne from Newcastle, it only ended up being an hour or so of a flight. We found a cheap hostel before hand, even though none of us are fond of them, and we were ready to explore the city.  Friday was a full day, we booked a tour that would show us around the Great Ocean Road.  It was pretty spectacular! We got to see koalas in the wild, hold parrots, see the 12 apostles, and see the beautiful sights as we drove along the Great Ocean Road. Before getting on the road itself we stopped at this Chocolate Factory, and let me say I felt like a kid, so overwhelmed with all the candies and chocolates to choose from, I couldn’t contain myself.

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A few of the 12 Apostles

The road is quite windy so if you get car sick, much like myself, I recommend taking something before hand! The story of the road is filled with lots of history, it was built to remember those soldiers from Australia who died in World War I.  The 12 Apostles are rock formations that come up from the ocean, which honestly I could have stayed and looked at them all day.  There are no longer 12 standing because of erosion and what not, but there is still a lot to see!

 

After a long day Friday, we spend Saturday just roaming around the city.  Of course we had to stop and have a photo shoot at the Brighton Beach Boxes, I mean how could you not! We also stopped at the famous Hoiser Lane to check out all the awesome street art.  I also tried to visit the Van Gogh exhibit at the Melbourne National Gallery, but sadly the line was incredibly long. My favourite thing that we did was check out the South Melbourne Market.  Being the foodie that I am I was so excited to see all these food stalls and the smell was just taking me to my happy place.  I couldn’t resist and get some fresh oysters as well as some gelato that was just out of this world!  The atmosphere was just amazing, if I could go back right now I totally would.

I was grateful to check off Melbourne with those lovely ladies. I had a wonderful time and it is definitely a city that I will be returning to!

Cheers,

Hannah

Weekend in New Zealand

Trying to fit everything you want to do into 8 weeks in a gorgeous country can be difficult to say the least.  For one weekend I thought I could visit Australia’s neighbor, New Zealand! When else am I going to get the chance to visit a country down under! So the other interns & I decided to take a weekend excursion to Christchurch, New Zealand. The second largest city in New Zealand has been going through a serious  resurgence after a 2011 earthquake destoryed buildings & even had some casualties. Despite the destruction that happened years ago, the city is still growing.

IMG_2761.JPGThe flight to Christchurch was memoriable, each of us was upgraded to a business class.  And you may be saying, “okay what’s the big deal”, but as a college student, whose never flown first class, & whose gotten a free upgrade, it’s a very big deal!  I got my own little pod, champagne, even breakfast with a table cloth! The flight there was amazing, so I had high hopes for the rest of the trip!

 

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The first night was spent resting, grabbing some pizza and getting acquainted with our city for the weekend.  Saturday we got up early to head over to the Christchurch Gondala.  The Gondala takes you up onto a mountain, which shows you extraordinary views of both Christchurch, and the moutains that surround the city. Though it was extremely windy and chilly up on the mountain, the views were just something that I couldn’t pass up. The rest of the day was spent exploring the city centre, checking out the Cathedral, that was boarded up because of the earthquake.  We also explored the restart mall, which are storage containers that were converted into shops. There were all these food trucks surrounding the area, each had such an inviting smell, but how do you expect me to pass up a burger! I got this lamb burger from The Burger Joint, which was incredible! It had all the right spices & I couldn’t pass up a lemonaide to wash it down.

Sunday was a jammed packed day! Starting with a tour of the Botanical Gardens.  Though it was winter time in New Zealand there were still flowers in bloom, which we couldn’t help and take photos with… lots of photos! Then onto punting on the Avon, which also went through the gardens giving us a different view.  It was nice to get out into the city, and talk to locals, just have a relaxing day.

The weekend went by fast, but I was happy to get back to Newcastle & sleep in my own bed again.  Christchurch, New Zealand is definietly a place I recommend to visit, I will totally be going back.

 

Onto the next adventure!

-Hannah

 

Blog Resurgence

Quite like my favorite boyband, I have been on hiatus.

IMG_2348After a semester abroad, I tranfsered up to Penn State, Unversity Park.

I celebrated a 21st birthday & was given another opportunity to wander to a new country!IMG_1314

Junior year for most means internships, & that is what lies ahead of me.  Psychology is a huge department, with many sub-categories along the way.  This summer I got the amazing chance to intern at a Neuropsychology Clinic in Australia! With a quickly approaching depature date and a 20 hour trip ahead of me I can’t deny that I’m a bit scared.  But, in the words of Jack Canfield, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear,” & I’m not one to let things stand in the way of what I want.

So with a new adventure means I need to document my travels; the places that are explored, sights that are seen, & of course the foods that are eaten.  So if you’d like to travel along with me, I’d love the company!