Today I read this comic on The Oatmeal. It did amuse me, but it also made me sad, because I started thinking about travelling.
I haven’t been out of the country since September. This may not seem particularly unusual, but between September 2010 and September 2011:
- I went on fourteen flights.
- I visited eleven countries.
- I travelled on six overnight trains.
- I learnt to call three different countries home.
At the time, I didn’t realise how lucky I was, but now I miss it. I miss the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want. I miss the cheap train fares. I miss having the rest of Europe on my doorstep. In short, I miss being on my Year Abroad. I still hope that I can incorporate travel into my career, and be paid to write about my worldwide travels, but I realise that there is only a slim chance of my dreams becoming reality. And so, tonight, I am nostalgic. And if anyone is reading this who is currently on their Year Abroad, make the most of it! It slips away far too fast!
Amazement, pride, and just a hint of smugness are all emotions which I’m experiencing at the moment because I did it! I pledged to blog every day for a month and I succeeded! In fact I’ve posted consistently every day since December 26. And not only that, but I’ve discovered that I have enough material to blog daily whenever I have the time. So with that in mind, I’m rewarding the completion of this challenge with another challenge: I am going to complete February’s NaBloPoMo. Never mind the fact that February is the shortest month of the year, if I do this, I’ll have blogged continuously for over two months! (Excuse my overuse of exclamation marks, but given that I was struggling to stick to blogging weekly not so very long ago, I’m more than a little excited.)
I’ve included the badge for next month’s NaBloPoMo, which you can click on for a link to the BlogHer website if you’d like to sign up. Really, it’d be rude not to!
Upon moving into my new room, one of the first things I did was to get out my laptop and attempt to connect to the internet. When I discovered that I couldn’t, that there would be no internet for at least the first few days of term, I almost burst into tears. It just proves how dependent on it I am, when the prospect of just a few days (which has swiftly become a week, but who’s counting?) without the internet can reduce me to a quivering wreck. But, surprisingly enouygh, I’m rather enjoying its absence.
It isn’t as though I’ve been completely deprived, having a phone with internet capabilities (albeit limited ones unless I want my phone bill to skyrocket), and a free-to-use computer room five minutes down the road, but I have cut my internet usage drastically. I’ve taken to scheduling my blog posts, checking my e-mails once or twice a day instead of the usual twelve times, and above all, not spending hours refreshing Twitter, playing free games, or Googling obscure words “just because I can.” Without my usual means of procrastination, I’ve discovered the joy that is having enough time to do everything I want to.
In fact, I’m almost dreading the moment when the internet returns. Because, despite the best of intentions, I know that I’ll revert straight back to my old habits. No more intensive studying, no more being in bed by one, just hours and hours of internet-based procrastination. Maybe I’ve just gone completely round the twist, but I love how productive not having the internet makes me. I only want it back for the TV. (Oh BBC iPlayer, how could I have taken you for granted for so long?)
Way back in December I set myself some goals for the Christmas holidays. I believe there was even some mention of public whipping if I failed to complete them (or that may just have been a punishment which I refused to accept). And now the question is, did I…
- Write 5,000 words of my dissertation? I changed this target to 3,000 words pretty much as soon as I sat down to work on it and realised that 3,000 was all that I had to hand in to my supervisor. I’ve actually written 4,000 words, and have enough notes to write several thousand more – that’s this week’s job!
- Blog twice a week? I more than succeeded in this goal, blogging every day from December 26th onwards. In this time I also managed to double my site views, proving that regular blogging really does work!
- Update my CV? Added 2 bits of work experience to my CV, CV was updated. Easy goal is easy.
- Apply for postgraduate journalism courses? This I didn’t do, but I did research the courses for which I wanted to apply and discover that most of the applications don’t have to be sent off until a couple of months before the courses start, so I have some time. That said, I won’t be leaving it much longer!
- Consume my own body weight in chocolate? Chocolate, crisps, cake, pumpkin pie, you name it I ate it. And I have the spots to prove it!
I may not have quite succeeded in completing all of my goals, but I feel happy in what I’ve achieved in the past four weeks. Now to keep up the productivity for the next term!
I heard some very sad news today. Klute, worst nightclub in Europe and home of many happy memories from my first two years in Durham (and a handful from my fourth), is under new management. No more quaddies (which were technically illegal anyway, but now they’ll be expensive and illegal), no more sticky floors, no more nights of dancing to exactly the same playlist. This may not be what I should be pining for, and some of the students who are complaining (and there are many of us) are being criticised for refusing to accept change. But to this who think that we’re a bunch of whiners, I’d just like to say this.
Klute’s makeover may turn out to be a change for the better, at least for the management (given that it will now be open to locals as well as students, there’s certainly a chance that they will be ). But for those of us in our final year, about to face the big wide world where we’re expected to get up before midday and not drink on week nights, this change comes t0o early. We’re afraid of everything that’s familiar to us being taken away, and even if the revamped Klute is better, it won’t be as familiar as the old.
So here’s to the old Klute, we loved you not despite the sweat, the stickiness and the lack of loo roll but because of it (well, alright, maybe not the lack of loo roll), and here’s hoping that the new Klute is at the very least a good enough substitute to get us through the remainder of our final year!
Just one of many happy memories!