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joey17787's picture
on November 29, 2010 - 3:57pm

My first post!
It's nearly the end of the year. 2010 has probably been the most interesting year of my life.
I graduated from university a year ago and decided to take a gap year afterwards. The plan was to spend 6 months working A LOT to save lots of money and then 6 months travelling around the worrrrld. I was lucky enough to get a job (and a good one!) straight away and I met so many lovely people who have been great influences. It was here that I decided I wasn't done with my education yet!
I guess one of the reasons I took a gap year is because, even at 23, I still don't know what I want to do with my life! I really envy people who have definite aims and goals in life. All I know is that I want to do the best with my potential.
So anyway, when I decided on doing a PhD I spent the beginning of the year going to a lot of scary interviews. I had a few offers and fortunately one of them was my first choice here at UCL (London)! The official title of my course is "Structural, computational and chemical biology" and I won't bore anybody with the details (maybe next time muahaha).
I was due to start in September 2010. This was ideal as I popped into a travel agent one day and booked round the world tickets from March to August! After some emotional goodbyes I put on my ridiculously large backpack and set off to.....
New Zealand!!! I have wanted to visit this country for YEARS! One of the reasons (I'm almost ashamed to admit) is because the locations looked so stunning in the Lord of the Rings movies! I went to some really interesting, beautiful, places. My favourites were Kaikoura (gorgeous mountains and wildlife spotting) and Wellington (a great city where I got to see some LOTR locations eek!). After this I flew to....
Argentina!!! I was a little scared as I didn't speak a word of Spanish! I found the people there were SO welcoming and friendly. And patient with my language struggles. Buenos Aires is my favourite capital city in the world! Out of the ones I've been to anyway. I also visited Iguazu falls in Argentina (/Brazil/Paraguay). This was my number one highlight of my travels. It is quite unheard of but its beauty is unimaginable. (Picture attached)
After, I visited Brrrrrrazil!! Wonderful, happy people!! I loved Rio so much I stayed there for 3 weeks! Unfortunately the Christ Redeemer statue was under construction while I was there so I didn't get to see it in all its glory but I still went up there and felt its magnificence. Rio was a fascinating city with its stunning beaches and interesting culture- rich and poor living so close together with mansions and favelas practically next door to each other. Then I flew to....
Colombiaaaaa!! My Mum was so worried (hehe) about me visiting Colombia with the bad stories she'd heard but I actually felt it was the nicest, safest country I went to! I spent some good nights dancing in Colombia! Next I went to...
Peru!! Wow Peru! I couldn't believe how diverse this country was with its mountains, jungles and deserts. I started off in Lima then went north up to the border with Ecuador. Another highlight of the trip for me was Huaraz and climbing the mountain to lake 69 (picture attached).
Then on to Ecuador....lush and lovely Ecuador. Fascinating culture! I took a trip into the jungle and had a guide from the Quechua tribe who took us down the river in canoes and we visited the village and the Shamen.
On the way up to USA I stopped over in Mexico City for a few days. I LOVE this city and I LOVE Mexican food. Especially the abundance of jalapenos haha. I visited teotihuacan while I was there and went to a tequila farm. I would like to see a lot more of Mexico.
The next part of my adventure was a road trip from L.A. to New York in 2 months. I travelled through the Southern states and went to some beautiful, luscious, breathtaking, funny (Roswell), lively, relaxing, HOT and damn amazing places! My highlights were Las Vegas, Zion national park (picture attached), visiting the navajo in Monument Valley, New Orleans, Panama Beach, Key West, Washington D.C. and (of course) New York.
It was a fantastic 6 months but it had to come to an end. So I'm back in England and feeling the post travelling woes. I've moved to London and started the PhD now. All is going well, I really enjoy living in London. The research has it's ups and downs but that's what is expected.
One last thing. I have seen JG for the first time! Last week I saw him perform a very intimate gig at Union Chapel. His voice was everything I expected and more. I cried (and I never cry at anything!) at the beauty in his voice.
2010 is the best.
Jo x

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