Tag Archives: Travel

Thea Walks the World

The idea: in each new country or notable city I visit, take a 10 to 20 second video that starts with me walking and then pans around to take in my surroundings.

The intention: bring together a six-month span of travel in a fun way

The timing: Paris, France in December 2011 to Blue Bell, Pennsylvania in May 2012

The locations: Paris, Cologne, Aarhus… just watch it.

The result:

A big fat THANK YOU to all those who were involved, especially Aunt Margaret, Uncle Eric, Nina & Sarah, Malin, Laurie, Caitlin, Claire, Ciera, Lauren, Nina, Gracie, PhoebeMaia, Katie, my Mom, Moutaz (for the music), Sander, and Jorge.





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So many people I can understand!  This might seem like a preemptive move, considering I’ve spent most of the past year in places that do not have English as their primary language and considering I only have A WEEK left in Europe as of today, but Ireland is a magical and mythical place in my head that I wanted to explore a little, actually for similar reasons to why I went to Egypt.   I’ll be here until Friday, when I head back to France and hit up some cathedrals and then swing by Menton before I fly out of Milan on the 29th.

I have very little connection to Ireland itself, but as someone who feels quite connected to my Scottish roots, a Celt is a Celt and my smiling eyes could be Irish, too, for a few days.  Tomorrow I plan on sightseeing around Dublin proper and Thursday I’ll head to somewhere outside the city, probably to Howth.

For this trip I brought my laptop so I can write and post a bit more than I have been as well as catch up on things I haven’t finished yet.  I had a feeling it’ll be a very rich few days and coinciding with the end of this semester and this year abroad, I’ll have a good deal to write about.

* * *

The guy next to me in the terminal is having a loud skype conversation in a very heavy either Italian or Eastern European accent (not sure yet) with a friend of his, who is busy apparently.  “You’re beezee?  So cawl mee when yurr feesheeng.  Noah, my train was laayd. It was layyd.  Layyd! Yes. by an awarrr. yeah, my friend is working there.  Eet’s a shop, you know. I don’t know which kind of shop.”

Ok. Time to stop eavesdropping and head into the city!

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3 weeks left!

As of today, I have three weeks left before I fly back to the US.  My tentative plan is to travel after finals end and spend at least a few days exploring the south of France, as I still don’t feel like I know the place very well, aside from Menton.  During that time I hope to catch up on all of the posts I intended to write or wrote but never published, including all of my travels, some pictures, general commentary about life in Menton, and a tidbits from here and there that caught my fancy.  If you have suggestions or questions, please let me know and I will do my best to respond to them.

I also have been working on a few informal  blogging projects this semester, the final results of which I will post when I get back to the States.

Right now I’m not sure if I’m going to keep this blog going after May 29th, since I’ll be back in the States and I started blogging because.. well, take a look at my goals page.  I do have a propensity toward seeking out interesting things in ordinary places and who knows if I’ll be inspired to explore my own country and blog about that.  What’s your take?

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On a scale from one to snotmonster…

Aaaand the million euro question: who’s sick today?



Having returned from Milan (a visit with my mom!) I’m moon-struck and alone in my room while my magnanimous roommate went to a sociology lecture.  So I’m singing a lot in creaky, nose-blowing delirium and blogging to you, my pretties… When you’re a slug, you’re a slug all the way from your first (toilet paper nose plug) to your last (creaky, snotty, sluggish, bleh) day… clearly, I was not cut out for show business.

Things I really appreciate right now:

my mom, who is coming to visit me in Menton on Wednesday! I am so beyond excited! It’s been 7 months since we saw each other before this weekend, so it’ll be great to spend some time with her.

toilet paper because I just made myself a little roll for the train from Milan back to Menton to blow my nose.  Yes, people stared at me.

darkness because it facilitates sleep and somehow my sinuses don’t feel as backed up when it’s dark.

blankets, for similar reasons

Mad Men because life is better with Mad Men.

This week because it’s the last week of classes!!!

You all.  I’m 132 views away from 10,000 views and this blog now had 40 subscribers!  It’s really nice to think how far it’s come since T Minus 7 Days!

Things I really do not appreciate right now:

9 PM fire drills with attendance lists and reprimanding for being too sluggish to pull myself out of bed fast enough

Arabic final at 8 AM tomorrow… If the professor won’t mind me drowning everyone in snot.

The kitchen in this dormitory being a goddamn mess every time I walk into it.  Sharing such a space with 24 girls is uncomfortable when some of us expect others to clean up all the time.

After this week, I want to FINALLY start catching up on posts.  I’ve lost the oomph I had last semester, which has some to do with the lackluster administration at this school, some to do with the social environment here, and a great deal to do with the fact that I haven’t been home home (Blue Bell, PA or Pittsburgh, PA or really anywhere in America) in 7 months.  I’ve become less excited to go to school each day or even post about things I do, as life in general is very pretty but god-awful boring around Menton.  Anyway, the places and things I want to cover when i get some chutzpah back:

  • Denmark/New Years
  • The Netherlands
  • Lyon
  • The Menton Lemon Festival
  • Carneval
  • Morocco
  • Spain
  • taking the train all the way from Salamanca to Menton
  • Florence
  • Milan
  • that post I wrote but wasn’t happy with about when I watched The Mummy on a Nile river cruise
  • an ode to cheese
  • the stupid words I know in random languages and what that says about the role that language represents in my life
  • the sea
  • the things that are the same in every language or culture I’ve encountered
  • art experiences this year
  • old friends/new friends
  • advice for future exchange students to Sciences Po Menton (basically, do your research, and don’t you dare go for the name-drop factor alone)
  • what I’ve learned about me, travelling, living in France…
  • my quick travel tip list
  • et cetera


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Gentlemen prefer baabs: Bahia Palace

Even in such a beautiful place as the Bahia Palace in Marrakech, the fatigue of a night of traveling didn’t escape me.  In Arabic the word for door or doorway or gate is baab and there are a LOT of them in Morocco.  It certainly didn’t help being with three other punny Arabic learners on my trip, as we came up with some seriously bad baab-related wordplay.

Seriously, though, this place is beautiful.  Imagine your feet sliding smoothly over the marble floors that are decorated intricately with mosaics of white, red, blue, black, and green.  The heat is palpable and heavy on your skin, but as you stroll on the cool stone, it’s as if your skin were taking a long, satisfying sip of iced mint tea.  You sit down on a step and admire the painted woodwork on the ceiling, the stark white walls, and you imagine the peacocks and parachute pants that would be your first investment if you lived in a place like this.

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Off to Morocco and Spain for a week!  Suffice to say I am really really excited to enter the Arab world again, this time in a total different capacity and within a totally different culture.  I am looking forward to catching up on commentary and apt cultural observations when I get back, or just provide you with a mind-numbing series of drool-worthy food pictures.   I am especially looking forward to tracing some of the historical routes and roots of Arab influence in Europe and European influence in Arabia– if all goes well, I’ll wind my way through Marrakech, Fes, Meknes, Chefchaouen, Tangier, Algeciras, Granada, Madrid, and Salamanca over the course of the next 10 days, visiting new places and familiar faces along the way.  I do not plan on blogging this week as I can’t count on having reliable internet access, but in the meantime, check out the blogs of the friends I will be visiting along the way:

Gracie– Gracie, Global in Granada

Phoebe — Rapunzel en Ruta in Salamanca

Happy trails!

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