Showing posts from 2019

Hiking the Seven Sisters

London is amazing. It's a bustling city with so much diversity and so much going on. Despite the ample green space in London, sometimes living in such a big, busy city can be a bit overwhelming. That's why the one thing people told me to do when moving to London was to get out of the city for the day.

As an avid hiker (check out my hikes in the Drakensberg and on the Wild Coast) I joined the UCL Hiking Club and ventured out with them on a hike in the English countryside. Keep reading to learn all about hiking on the Seven Sisters.

What are the Seven Sisters?
The seven sisters are made up of seven white chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel. They are in the southern part of England in East Sussex between the towns of Seaford and Eastbourne.

How to get to the Seven Sisters from London
Hiking the Seven Sisters is an easy day trip from London. It only takes about two hours to get to Seaford from London on the train. All you need to do is book a ticket to Seaford and then a…

Life Update // Moving to London

After almost 5 years in South Africa, I MOVED TO LONDON!

My plan has always been to move to London, but, I have to admit, the timing has changed a bit over the years. My original idea was to take a year off between Peace Corps and graduate school, but I ended up taking 2 years... oops haha, but I knew I'd eventually make it, and here I am!

I am a student at UCL (originally, University College London but now it is known only as UCL) working towards my MSc in Global Health and Development.

--- Why I chose the UK (and specifically, London)
When applying to graduate school, I knew I wanted to move to and study in London, therefore I mostly applied to British schools (with one American school as a back up). I applied to UCL, LSE, King's College, SOAS, and Queen Mary. I could write a lot about why I chose UCL specifically, but these are the reasons I chose to study in the UK:

I was ready to leave South Africa but I was not ready to go back to the States. America will always be there,…

Where to eat in Pretoria

I lived in Pretoria on and off for about two years, and over the years I've found a few places that I love to eat. Now, keep in mind, I am not a foodie. In fact, I prefer inexpensive, chill, local spots. So, if you are looking for high-end, fancy, Pretoria hotspots, this is the wrong list. But if you are looking to hang out with your friends and have a chill, fun meal, keep reading.

1. Capital Craft (craft beer + great food)
Capital Craft is one of my favorite restaurants, not only in Pretoria but in the world. Capital is a craft brewhouse that serves locally brewed beers and ciders as well as great food. I love their jalapeno poppers! $$

2. Nandos (peri-peri style)
Okay, I am well aware that Nandos is a chain restaurant, but it started in South Africa and even though the UK thinks of it as their own, it isn't haha. We don't have Nandos in America (at least when I was last there) so I had no idea how amazing it was until I tried it in South Africa. Nandos serves Brazilian/…

3 days in New York City

The last stop of our 5-week America tour was New York City. Alex was highly anticipating NYC because it's probably the most popular city in America and it's really hyped up to foreigners. I lived in New York City for three months when I was 21 so I am pretty familiar with the city and was excited to show Alex around. I also have two friends in the New York area who I got to see, which was awesome! We packed in so many classic NYC activities in only three days that by the time we left we were completely worn out. Here is our insane, three-day, NYC itinerary.

Guggenheim Museum

I really liked the Gug (as it shall be henceforth be known). I normally get bored in modern art museums but the Gug was well organized and easy to take in. The spiral structure of the museum made it easy to follow and you didn't feel like you were missing anything. Even Alex enjoyed it and I was worried he would struggle. Tickets are $25 with discounts available. 

Explore Chinatown and Little Italy

Touring the West Wing of the White House

The West Wing of the White House houses the Office of the President of the United States and contains the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Room. If you watched the show, The West Wing, you get it.

The West Wing is normally closed to the public for security reasons, but my sister interns at the White House and arranged a tour for our family when we visited D.C. (for more about visiting D.C., check out this blog post).

The West Wing tour only starts after the president has left his office, therefore we had to wait until almost 10pm to get into the West Wing. Also, since there is no official tour, our "tour" was led by my sister's boss. We even saw Trump's Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, giving a tour.

Many people don't know that the White House and West Wing are actually quite small, so a lot of the White House staff works out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door. It's on the White House property but it is ra…