Although I’m a little late (it’s October now), it’s fitting to start my year abroad blog at the start of summer. It’s been a pretty full few months and I’m very fortunate to have met so many lovely people and travelled to so many beautiful places, both near and far. This post may be a little long because there’s so much to fit in so if you do read the whole thing, thank you very much I do appreciate it!
I kick-started my summer with a small festival in Cornwall, called Masked Ball. This was a last minute spontaneous decision made by two friends and myself to go to celebrate the end of our exams. It was probably one of the most wonderful yet weird weekends I’ve had. However, it didn’t go off without a hitch. A few issues included a heavy rainstorm, a collapsed tent and a burst tyre in the middle of the motorway. I can safely say that I now know how to change a tyre. I can also say that my faith in humanity has been somewhat restored. If you’re reading this (I know, it’s unlikely but still), thank you kind stranger who gave us somewhere to sleep when we were drunk-panicking about being tent-less.
Moving on from tyres and tents, the next holiday was Barcelona with my boyfriend, Tom. We wanted to go on holiday together and it happened to work perfectly that Tom’s favourite band was performing at a festival there. The first couple of nights were spent at the festival, where we saw some awesome acts including Tame Impala, The Last Shadow Puppets and Radiohead. Little did we know that at festivals in Spain the music goes on until 6am so it turned out that we didn’t get much sleep those first few days. When the festival was over, we did all the typical touristy things that you should do when you go to Barcelona (mainly drinking sangria and eating tapas). Our favourite attractions were La Sagrada Familia and La Boquera market, which we saw on my birthday. Other than that, we even got to see some of our friends who happened to be holidaying there at the same time as us. So, yeah Barcelona was awesome.
I was sad that Barcelona was over, but extremely excited for my month long interrailing trip with one of best friends, Laura. Starting in Milan, we travelled to Venice, Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split, Hvar, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf in three and a half weeks. Without going into too much detail, we met lovely people, saw beautiful sights, slept in a lot of parks after a lot of long, tiring journeys, ate a lot of delicious European food and drank a lot too. It was amazing. I was lucky enough to meet up with a friend of mine in Berlin and Laura did the same in Prague with her friends. To top it all off, we got to see Beyoncé at our last stop in Dusseldorf before heading home. The trip was an eye-opener for both of us and we already want to go back (if she’s not too sick of me yet!).
You’d think I’d be sick of travelling by now, but there was one more important trip left. Jamaica. My brother was getting married to his Jamaican fiancé and the wedding was going to be there – lucky us! We lived in Jamaica many years ago, so this was a very special and nostalgic trip for my family. Only two days after returning back from my interrailing trip, we were set to fly to Jamaica – talk about busy. I could fill up so many lines writing about this trip, but I’ll (try to) keep it short. In the two weeks we were there, there was never a spare moment -as is expected, it’s not a Henderson holiday without a bit of craziness. We saw old friends, did last minute wedding preparation, stayed in seaside villas and climbed a mountain, just to name a few. Oh yeah, and we also had my brother’s wedding! I was the best man (unconventional, I know), so it was pretty nerve-wracking knowing I’d have to do a speech, and a funny one too. On the day, however, everything went off without a hitch. The ceremony was beautiful, the speeches were beautiful (I like to think mine went down well), the first dance was beautiful – it was a magical day. To top off this wonderful holiday, we spent a few days in New York on the way home. Once again, it was super busy as we had to fit all of the city’s attractions in 2 days. We managed to do that AND see friends who happened to be in the city at the same time.
Those two months were possibly the busiest of my life, so it was only fair that I actually spent some time at home not doing much. That being said, I still managed to see family and friends, do a visit to my university town and go to a festival. Other than that, I was preparing myself (mostly mentally) for the year ahead, where I’ll be in Spain for my third year abroad.
Next blog post – Baeza, Spain!