This summer has been full of magic, coffee, traveling, and dissertation writing. I know everyone says this, but it genuinely flew by. Looking back at pictures and memories that I’ve made over the past several months fills my heart with bittersweet feelings- I’m so sad these days are already over, but I’ll forever be grateful they happened. Here are some of my favorite days and travels this summer:
Visiting Jaycee for her wedding
I submitted my last assignment for the spring semester and in less than 48 hours I was on my way to Colorado for Jaycee’s wedding! I spent a few days in Colorado with her and David, and then we drove to Missouri for some final wedding prep and then the actual day itself! This was my first time back in the States after eight months in Scotland and it was very weird experiencing the reverse of “wait things are different here”. It was a lot of fun to see Jaycee and my family, and I’m so glad I was able to travel back!
Finally seeing Little Mix in concert
The day after I got back from the States, Ariëlle and I went to Glasgow to see Little Mix in concert! I’ve wanted to see them for ten years, so as soon as I saw that I’d be in the UK during their last tour, I knew I had to go. It was so fun singing and crying to my favorite LM songs with Ariëlle!
Celebrating my birthday with Jagriti
I was in the States on my birthday, so when I got back to Scotland, Jagriti made me an Oreo cake from scratch to celebrate my “Scotland Birthday”. We baked, danced to music, and then watched Star Wars: A New Hope together. It was a very simple night but it was so lovely with one of my favorite people, I’ll remember it for a long time.
Flowers in the park
One thing I love about Scotland is that in the spring, things are constantly blooming. It feels like every few days, there’s a new patch of flowers where there wasn’t before, and a week later, they’re gone and replaced with new ones. One of my favorite flower weeks was when a park a short distance from my flat was full of flowering trees. I went there alone one day to read (and the book ended up being my favorite of the year so far) and then the next day I went with some friends and roller skated and took pictures. Everything was so pretty.
A pirate party!
Ella threw a pirate-themed party to celebrate her birthday, which gave me the perfect excuse to dress like a pirate and drink rum! At one point I accidentally dropped a plastic baby (origin unknown) into my glass and it was somehow the funniest thing that had ever happened to me.
Watching Eurovision (and listening to all the music)
A classic European summer means experiencing Eurovision for the first time! It was a very fun experience and I added several songs to my May playlist and still listen to them. I was obsessed with “Space Man”. I have so many good memories centered around Eurovision ❤
Glasgow with Ariëlle
On a random day in May, Ariëlle found out that an author she really likes was giving a talk in Glasgow, so I decided to tag along to spend time with her and in the city. We walked around and found some cool murals, got books and coffee from Waterstones, and after her event, we went to a restaurant that had an amazing vegan menu. We got a few things to split and everything tasted so good. It was such a simple day and very fun!
Seeing Ashe in Manchester
Over a year ago, I bought tickets to see Ashe in concert in Manchester and the day was finally here! Ariëlle, Bailey, and Jagriti came with me to Manchester and we spent some time before the show walking around and exploring. Ashe was amazing, although the crowd full of Gen Z kids was a little unbearable I’m not gonna lie. After the show, Ariëlle and I met up with Bailey and Jagriti and we went to the Gay Village. I sang karaoke (Don’t Stop Me Now) at a gay bar and it was so fun and iconic.
I decided to call June my own personal “Dinosaur Month” and dedicated my time to satisfying my dinosaur obsession. I read books, shamelessly listened to my favorite dinosaur podcast, forced Ariëlle to watch all the Jurassic Park movies, and saw Jurassic World: Dominion in theatres twice (the first time in my Dr Grant costume). It was a very solid time, I recommend it.
Bookshop Crawl in Edinburgh
Every day in Edinburgh was one of my favorite days of the summer, but this one was especially fun! Bailey, Abigail, Ariëlle, and I went to the city for a day and explored several different bookshops. I managed to only buy one book! We ended the night at Ask Italia which was very tasty. 10/10
24 hour Read-a-Thon
Bailey, Ariëlle, and I had the fun idea to attempt a 24-hour read-a-thon where we would just sit around and read for 24 hours. While we did sleep and take a couple small breaks to watch Love Island, we did read quite a lot and it was a ton of fun! I managed to finish my re-read of Lost World, and I believe both Ariëlle and Bailey finished books as well.
Watching Love Island
For those of you who don’t know, Love Island UK is a dating reality show that premieres in the summer, six nights a week for two months. All my friends were excited to watch it, but after the first couple of episodes, I wasn’t convinced. I’m asexual! A show where a bunch of conventionally hot people sit around in swimsuits and date each other did not sound like a good time to me! However! The more I watched the more I got swept into the drama of it all. Aaaand I ended up loving it. I loved watching it with my friends almost every night and once it ended, I didn’t know what to do with myself at 9pm every evening. And I’m very happy Ekin-Su and Davide won!
My Self-Date in Edinburgh
Edinburgh may be my favorite place on earth, and I love self-dates, so I combined the two. I didn’t do anything too spectacular- I got coffee, sat in Princes Street Gardens and read, got another coffee, read some more, journaled, and walked around listening to music. A very fun, wholesome day.
Yet another day in Edinburgh (where we went to the Botanic Gardens)
I headed back to Edinburgh a couple of days later with some friends, and we spent time in the Botanic Gardens, drinking coffee, reading, and eating at a vegetarian restaurant I had been dying to try. Paradise Palms lived up to my expectations and the day was so fun and beautiful.
All the days I just got to hang out with Jagriti
I’m so grateful the housing employees at my university put Jagriti and me in the same flat. Whether we’re watching a movie, dancing in the kitchen, making TikTok references, or studying, any day I spend with Jagriti is a good one.
A week in Belgium
In July, Bailey and I flew to Belgium to spend time with Ariëlle in her hometown! We spent a lot of time working on our dissertations, but we also got to explore the country and do a lot of fun things! I really loved Gent (where we went to Gentse Feesten) and Brussels (where we went to a really cool natural history museum), and we also got to meet some of Ariëlle’s friends and family! It was a very fun week!
A week in France
After Belgium, Abigail joined us and we drove to France! Ariëlle’s parents own a house in the countryside, so we had a little dissertation-writing retreat for a week. We did a lot of research and writing, but we also danced in the rain, played games, and drank plenty of wine.
Seeing Briston Maroney in Paris
I had bought tickets to see Briston Maroney in January, but covid messed that up and it got postponed. His Paris date happened to line up with our time in France, so I changed my ticket to see him in Paris and I got to go with my best friends! We were in the front row and the show was very good, Briston sounded amazing and I even got to meet him afterwards! Then we spent the whole next day exploring Paris. We went to Shakespeare and Company, saw all the classic sights, and had a traumatic bathroom experience that bonded us for life.
Showing my family around Edinburgh, Stirling, and The Highlands
The day I arrived back in Scotland from being in Belgium and France, my mom and younger siblings arrived from the States! I hadn’t seen Briar and Brenna in nearly a year, and it was so fun getting to show them around the place I call home. We spent a couple of days in Edinburgh, took a bus tour up through the Highlands to Loch Ness, then spend a day in Stirling and a couple of days in London. It was a very busy and exhausting week but I really enjoyed having them here!
London with my family
We didn’t spend a ton of time in London, but we took advantage of our day and a half! We saw Come From Away at the Westend and it was an incredible show, the music and directing was amazing! The next day we walked around the touristy parts of the city and saw some sights, and also went to the Natural History Museum to see Dippy the Diplodocus!
Every August, hundreds of performers make their way to Edinburgh for Fringe, a theatre and arts festival all over the city! I spent several days in the city enjoying the festival and saw one comedian and two incredible plays. I also drank at The Underbelly a few times, and of course, enjoyed the city as a whole with my friends.
Writing my Dissertation
This is definitely my least favorite part of the summer, but it has been very rewarding. It also gave me a good excuse to spend so much time in my favorite coffee shops in town. I’m currently finishing up editing my writing, but by the end of this week, I will have completed my masters program!
This summer has been one for the books. I’m so thankful for my friends for making every day so fun, and for Scotland providing a beautiful backdrop for all of our adventures. Onto the next ❤