Back in the lovely winter of 2016 (what I like the cold?!), I found myself living in the heart of London for a short six months while studying abroad. Fast forward two years with a college degree, a few freelance jobs but nothing set in stone yet (career wise), and a move to Dublin I find myself making a trip back to a city that I fell in love with.
I think I only dream and pretend to plan a trip back to London, but I never thought I would return so soon. I love everything about the city from the architecture, the food, the culture, and the vibrant atmosphere. The best part about the trip this time around was being able to go back with a few of my favorite people that I had met during my time studying abroad in London. It was the best way to return to London after being away for so long (I know two years, it's so long).
Naturally, I could not put my camera down for a second while we were in London, so I have been editing through the hundreds of photos my trigger-happy finger could take.
xx, A Traveler's Bliss | Grace Anne
A few weeks ago, I had my first visitors since moving to Dublin. A few truly great travel friends that I met during a few years ago while studying abroad in London. We all had similar interests, different and similar majors, and hit it off instantly. We started traveling together while we were in London and here we are two years later and two reunion trips all together to mark each year. To celebrate our two years of friendship and travels, I thought this post would feel a bit more special if I shared some of those memories with you.
The Beginning – London 2016
We all met - literally - in the Heathrow Airport in London on the first day of our study abroad. We were all studying abroad through the same company, CIS Abroad, and were in the same program. We started our daily adventures around London almost immediately, even with our horrible jet lag.
Our top goal we set for ourselves while living in London was to get out every day and explore the city as much as possible; even if it was just to go for a short walk. We never wanted to feel like we were wasting any time or not taking advantage of the incredible opportunity that we had. Weekdays became days designated to exploring London and the weekends were designated to exploring England and the rest of Europe. With major airports and train stations it was incredibly easy to plan weekend trips at the last minute and to jam pack every weekend with mini adventures.
Year One – New Orleans 2017
Well, what can we say. One year later, one friend had already graduated and the rest of us were finishing up, getting ready to toss our grad caps up, and get ready for the “real” world. We had been trying for months to meet up, plan a reunion ANYWHERE, but it just never seemed to work out with four different work, school, and life schedules. Once we could all finally agree on a set date and destination were finally ready to roll and on our way to New Orleans! Our trip fell along roughly the one-year mark since we last saw each other in London, so it was a crazy time to be together in New Orleans. It also just happened to be all of our spring breaks and St. Patrick’s Day, so talk about a crazy time to be in New Orleans.
We spent about a week together in New Orleans with Kelly as our designated tour guide. The week was filled with beignets, beads, and little too much booze. We all had one of those bonding moments of the realization that no matter if we don’t get to see each other that often, we have one of those friendships where we can be reunited for one day and it feels like no time has passed. On our last night together, we made a pact that no matter what we were doing in our lives or how chaotic and busy we were, we would all meet up at least once a year.
Year Two – Dublin and London 2018
So fast forward one year now and here I am living in Dublin. How is that for life changing events? Because I have some of the most amazing travel friends, they did not hesitate at all this year to come to Dublin to visit and then take a little hop over to London to reminisce. It was a little complicated working around four work, school, PTO, and holiday time schedules but we made it work. We made our annual trip a little later this year so everyone could spend as much time abroad as possible.
Our week was nonstop from the moment everyone arrived till the last one left. We toured Dublin by bus, did a day trip to Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and didn’t sleep the night before we jetted off to London. While we all were really excited to explore Dublin together, I think we were all bit more excited to be going to London, to be honest. It was the place we all met, was the place we all called home for six months, and the place we have all missed dearly for the last two years. I don’t think any of us thought we would get to go back so soon, let alone together!
While it breaks my heart that I don’t get to see these amazing ladies all day every day, I know that they are there whenever I need them and whenever an adventure calls. And those are the best kind of friendships to have.
xx, A Traveler's Bliss | Grace Anne
(hey - hey you. click the bliss above... do it.)