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When I did a quick Google Image search of Chester, England and saw the Tudor style buildings lining the beautiful cobblestone streets, the history buff in me nearly fainted. My friends had me look up Chester several months before I arrived in the UK to see if it was a place that I would be interested in visiting; my longtime fascination with English history and thus, the changing architecture throughout its longtime existence, had left me desperately hoping to see as much as I possibly could while visiting the United Kingdom this past November/December, and Chester looked like the ideal place to start. The Tudor architectural style of buildings was the final development of Medieval architecture in England, taking place during the Tudor period (between 1485–1603, but sometimes extending beyond this time frame). In Chester, what appears in most places to be solely a Medieval village was actually built upon an original ancient Roman town. In fact, Chester is one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain — walls which were constructed when they established the fortress of Deva Victrix between 70 and 80 AD.
In this last week of 2017, though shocked that another year of my life is coming to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what this past year has been like: the highs, the lows…all of it. I usually take time for reflection during this week every year, setting goals for myself that I believe are attainable, thinking on how I did or didn’t meet the goals I set for myself the previous year, and also just generally thinking about all of the things I’m generally grateful for from the past 365 days.
Perhaps the most beautiful place in Wales, the magical town of Conwy has held onto its Medieval roots for hundreds of years, bringing both townspeople and tourists into the heart of a time seemingly long forgotten. I spent the better part of a rainy afternoon meandering through coastal Conwy, located just off the coast of the Irish Sea, with my two friends and their dog Rosie, breathlessly taking in the sights of the town. To present, this is the most ethereal place I have ever been to, which I’m sure anyone following my Wanderous Affair Instagram account can plainly see — I swear, 99% of the recent pictures on my feed are of the gorgeous town.
“Your accent! I love it!” was something I never expected to hear while on my recent trip to the United Kingdom. For one, I never really thought of myself as having an accent (aside from when I try to speak French, or even butcher my way through Italian when talking to my family), but for a proper English person to tell me that I have a beautiful accent compared to theirs… well, that seemed so crazy to me that the thought never even crossed my mind. However, it was one of the first thing that my friends said to me the moment I stepped out of baggage collection at Manchester Airport and we waved each other down, running toward each other with arms flailing and a chorus of, “Oh, my Gods”.
While packing for my trip to the United Kingdom, I compiled a list of all my travel must-haves to share with you guys! I had the privilege of trying out and bringing all of these products with me during my trip and they made my travels significantly easier. I’m going to go through each of them below, and include tips & tricks, pros, and cons of using them. I’ve also included links to all products and company websites in the subheadings of each. 🙂
I recently finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s incredible book Big Magic, after waiting far too long to get around to it. It’s a book that I wish I’d have read a lot sooner, as it put a lot of the things I already knew innately into plain English; it kind of threw it all up in my face. It’s impossible to ignore the truth when it’s so far up in your business that you need to take a moment to let your pupils uncross in your poor, dizzied head.
“Big Magic” is exactly what you would think it is, in terms of creativity. It’s the BIG MAGIC that sweeps you off your feet, inspiring you to leap forward and take charge of that which is moving you to express said creativity, or even (should the time not be right), the magic you can allow yourself to be left awe-struck by while respectfully telling Inspiration, “Thank you for considering me, but I think it’s probably best if you found another person to take you on. Someone who is ready to give you their full, undivided love and attention”. I can easily admit all the times that I’ve had to let Inspiration slip through my fingers — sometimes calmly and collectedly, other times kicking and screaming.