London Weekend Guide

London Weekend Guide

So I began my adventure abroad in the chaos of London, England. London is a safe little step into Europe without excessive culture shock and bonus: you can already speak the language. There are actually many more differences than I had expected, but in subtle quiet ways like a lack of free public bathrooms, no salt or pepper on restaurant tables, people voluntarily eating outside in 50 degree weather and the best part, drinking wine at 11 am.

You definitely can’t experience everything London has to offer in a singular weekend, it’s a world of its own. But if your international flight lands in Heathrow, here are a few things to keep you occupied in the land of fish and chips and queens.

Places To Go 

The Royal Burroughs of Chelsea and Kensington

This is actually where my hotel was located and a perfect little neighborhood to explore. It’s called a Royal Borough because it’s actually where Queen Victoria was born but now the property value here is greater than the entirety of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland combined. It’s a perfect little fairytale land of pink houses, Mercedes and lots of pastries.


Buckingham Palace

Always a classic tale, Buckingham Palace really connects you to the magic of the royal family. This gorgeous and historic structure is a symbol of architecture, the past few hundred years and Prince William’s house is not too far away, so.


Things To Do

Take photos at a red telephone booth

These things are literally everywhere and no London trip is complete without it. Get brave, don’t be afraid of looking like a tourist and do it for the ‘gram. Still not sure if the pay phones inside actually work…



Feed the birds at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Toppins’, toppins’. Mary Poppins was one of my favorite movies growing up so this was cathartic. St. Paul’s is a beaaauuutiful church with a gift shop, cafe and pigeons to spare.



Afternoon Tea

Obviously Brits love their tea. I thought I loved tea but I never really got it until I drank tea at 3 in the afternoon and ate fancy cakes in a cafe style sunroom. Afternoon tea can be expensive (up to 200 American dollars!) at the big hotels but we stumbled upon this cute little hidden tearoom at the Fan Museum– yes a museum of fans. You get tea and cakes plus a beautiful environment for only 8 pounds!!! You’re welcome in advance.


Food to Eat

Kensington Square Kitchen

This cute little place tucked away in Kensington Square had the most amazing caramelized banana french toast I’ve ever had in my life. They have lots of English style brunchy options that are maybe life changing.


Pizza Express

I threw this in here for a quick and easy lunch option while you’re out exploring! There’s basically a Pizza Express on every corner and a decision made out of hanger and stress actually was a shockingly delicious find. This is also a chance to drink wine at 11 am so don’t miss it.



Sketch is a place you’ll often see on instagram or any trendy travle blog ever. But this place lives up to the hype. Incredible environment, wonderful French cuisine, fantastic cocktails. Dinner so good it is slightly making up for the face that European Netflix doesn’t have the American version of The Office.  And the bathrooms are weird little bean pods that play nature sounds (see photos below.) 10000/10. Pro tip: usually people have to book a reservation months in advance but we checked the day before and there was randomly an open one at 10:30 pm (the night before I had a 7 am flight and it was still worth it.)



PS. Water isn’t free and they will try to give you fizzy water every single time. Say hello to a life without ice cubes. Good luck and enjoy your stay!!!


On January 26th, 2018 I will be moving across the world. From a small farm in southwestern Ohio to the center of the city of Prague.

I didn’t know Czech was a language until a few months ago. I definitely don’t speak it. I have never been out of the United States (besides to the other side of Niagara Falls a time or two). I have to take an international flight completely alone. The longest I’ve ever been away from home is about a month. I don’t know a single person in Central Europe.

So clearly, the obvious thing to do was move across the ocean to the Czech Republic for four months.

And I will be quite honest; I am terrified.

But that’s the really wonderful thing about being alive. Being terrified of things. And doing them anyways. And trying not to vomit.

Sometimes stuff like this seem like a great idea 6 months out and then you wake up and you’re leaving tomorrow and you kind of want to blend into your comforter. Sometimes leaving can be hard even when you really want to do it. Sometimes packing all of your life into two suitcases can make your head hurt. Sometimes hugging your mom goodbye and getting on a plane all alone will seem like Mount Everest. But you can climb it and do it and love it.

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 12.46.57 PM

illustration by Maeve Scully (

I’m leaving. Because in the chaos of college, we hear many well-intentioned voices telling us what we should do; what we should apply for; who we should hang out with; what we should major in; how we should spend our Thursday evenings; what we should enjoy; where we should go tonight. One day you’re talking about what you want to do in the future and realize the noise coming out of your mouth sounds a lot like everyone else and nothing like you. I’ve gotten pretty lost in the deafening roar of well meaning advice. I’ve been so busy listening to everyone else’s voices, I have basically forgotten what my own sounds like.  So I’m putting an ocean between what I’m being told I should do and what I actually want to do. Because I can’t remember what that thing is anymore which is crazy because this is my life and I almost got bored of it!!! What!!!

We grow in the discomfort and we learn in the new stuff. I miss how it felt to see things for the first time and learn from people I’ve never met. “A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.” I’m looking for some new scary, exciting, different, Czech-speaking soil.

So here’s to new things and old things and electricity converters and packing all the ibuprofen you can into a suitcase and having to narrow down your shoe choices to only 3 of your favorite 7 pairs of black boots and hugging soulmates goodbye and leaving your new home for an even newer one.

See you on the flip-side, America.

How To: Pack Your Entire Life Into a Suitcase for Four Months

How To: Pack Your Entire Life Into a Suitcase for Four Months

When I first decided to study abroad for a full semester, my first thought was excitement: I was going to get to live WHERE? But then my second thought was panic: I’m going to have to pack WHAT? My international airline allows me to bring one checked bag weighing under 50 lbs, one carry on and one personal item. For living in the Czech Republic thousands of miles away. For four months. As a former Girl Scout and life-long Type A, my motto is always be prepared. So for me, being prepared means overpacking for every possible scenario imaginable. Like bringing 6 pairs of shoes for a 3 day trip. Just in case.

However, the first tip any experienced traveler will give you is do NOT overpack. *sweat trickles down my forehead* I made an excel sheet listing everything I wanted to bring, (if you don’t make an excel list for everything, you do not understand me) and then cut it in half. Then cut that by a quarter. And thus, had a manageable amount of items to pack into a suitcase for four full months for a girl who truly believes variety is the spice of life.





Hats are important because they add a little something to an outfit when you’ve basically been wearing the exact same thing for three days. They are more important because I hate washing my hair. Two birds, one stone.



For bags, I brought a small black Rebecca Minkoff crossbody for nights out and a larger forest green circle bag from Zara for more daytime adventures. Zipper closures are important, as well as preferably a crossbody style to prevent pickpocketing in touristy areas.



The hardest part; the shoes. Like any self-respecting hoarder, I love shoes. So only bringing one pair of black boots instead of the four I originally wanted, took a lot of self control. I brought only flat shoes because apparently cobblestones are a thing in Europe and I am hoping to only wipe out a minimum of three times on this particular trip. I also brought my comfiest of shoes because I will be doing a lot of walking and I am not in the mood for blisters. Black is a go-to for footwear and you can’t go wrong with classic white sneaks. I’ll be there until late May so I slipped in a pair of sandals for those balmier days. I brought rain boots for their versatility in both snow in the cold winter months and slush/rain in the springtime. Athletic shoes are essential in case I work up the nerve to *gasp* exercise, as well as comfy for travel days. And I love mules to dress up or down, and slip off whenever I feel the need.



You’ve probably been warned of this but European medicine is not quite the same as in the States. I was told to bring a healthy dosage of Advil, Tylenol, the works– just in case. I also packed allergy medicine, vitamins and supplements. My immune system never does well with a change in environments so prevention is key in this situation. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.



In classic millennial fashion I will be packing my MacBook, iPhone and DSLR camera along for the ride. (I have a Canon Rebel if you were wondering!) Don’t forget chargers as well as outlet adaptors for these bad boys. Pro Tip: The UK uses different adaptors than most of Europe so you may need to buy two different sets, I found both of mine on Amazon.



For the average person, this may not need to be an entire category. But I am a huuuuuge sweater guy. I packed sweaters for all the different occasions; thick ones, thin ones, turtleneck, v-necks, bell sleeved, fitted, you name it. This may seem excessive, and honestly it probably is, but I’m wearing a sweater almost always in the winter. They’re my favorite and my chunky cardigans transition into the spring too. Sweaters are nice to pack because they are a one-layer outfit that pairs well with the exact same pair of jeans every day. I have an irrational love, so maybe just ignore this entire section, I will never know.



So for the days you’re not wearing a sweater; here are other things that also cover your upper body. I brought a few different basic tees because when all else fails, a t-shirt and jeans never does. I also threw in a few statement tops because I couldn’t resist and many of these tops transition well from day to night. There’s a lot of variety in this category to keep life interesting.



Jackets are essential for transitioning weather months. You should probably never go anywhere without a classic black leather moto jacket, least of all Europe. I also threw in a denim jacket, a plaid blazer in case I ever need to look professional and a camel suede jacket for kicks. Because “my perfect date is April 25th, because it’s not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.”





Pantaloons. I packed a variety of denim ranging for white to black plus my favorite classic jeans. I’m also a big fan of striped pants so I brought along 4 pairs of loose fitting ones. In most European countries, the athleisure (leggings, sweatshirts, nikes) that we live in in America is not so socially acceptable in public. Loose fitting striped pants are a perfect substitute for leggings on days when the thought of restrictive jeans makes you want to vomit.



If college has taught me anything it is that you can only go so long without doing laundry before you run out of socks. That’s why I prioritize bringing as much socks and underwear as possible, even when traveling. I also brought a pair of black tights, a sports bra and 2 pairs of wool socks– crucial in any colder climate.



I’ve learned from past adventures: when in doubt, pack a swimsuit. You never know when a pool, hot tub, natural spring, waterfall, lake, pond, ocean is gonna pop up so I like to be prepared just in case.




I’m headed to Europe in January soooooo coats are a must. I’m wearing a black pack-able down coat and packed my waterproof trench and a thicker plaid winter coat. Scarves are also amazing for travel to cover up with if you get cold, for more culturally conservative environments, to dress up a casual look or to cover your snoring face on a plane ride. Snazzy.



Packing Cubes Saved My Life: a memoir. You can find these little guys on Amazon and honestly they change the whole packing game. You’re able to cram way more things into one little space while also staying organized. Win, win, win people. I separate based on the my categories above but you could also pair outfits for a weekend or clean/dirty clothes coming home. Also ALWAYS, ALWAYS, stop, drop and roll those clothes.


I’m bringing my Patagonia backpack for the actual studying aspect of studying abroad as well as most weekend trips. In my backpack, I threw an umbrella, sunglasses, my passport (+copy), planner, headphones, Swell water bottle, chapstick and a journal. Pro tip: my favorite brand of journal is the Leuschtturm 1917 pictured above– thick, line-less pages, bookmark, solid cover, 10/10.

Don’t forget your toiletries, hair products, makeup, etc. that aren’t included in this post for concision’s sake. This is Europe people, brush your hair.

So there we have it. A true testimony of the earthly belongings I’m bringing with me for the next four months of my life. (I also threw a various few odds and ends into my suitcase at the end for good measure) What a time.  I may be nervous, terrified, thrilled, ecstatic and/or nauseas but at least I’m packed. Let me know any other packing tips and tricks you may have in the comments below! Let’s get ready to ruuuuumbleeeeeee, kids.

You Are a Feminist

You Are a Feminist

In college, I’m surrounded by many bright young women. Many of these bright young women believe they themselves are not feminists. I’m not going to quote the statistics about the wage gap that you may not believe exists or cite The Feminine Mystique. Those things are there but you already know about them and you’ve already decided what you think about them. I just want to talk about our experiences. There are moments in your young life that you became wholly aware that you are female. Being a woman was not something I consciously thought much about before college. In high school, I identified myself as cheerleader, clarinetist, NHS member, cross country runner, class officer, sportsmanship committee member, academic team participant, homecoming attendant, any number of arbitrary high school things that I loved. I did these things and laughed and ran and created and lived in the privilege that gender was never really something I had to think about on a daily basis. But in college, I was repeatedly told I couldn’t walk home alone in the dark. I was told I could get into all the bars easier. I was told to never accept a drink from a stranger. I was told there wasn’t a women’s bathroom on the entire first floor of the engineering building. I was told a lot of things based on a trait I didn’t pick out. And so were you.

You were told to smile sweetheart. You were told that he liked your hair, but don’t worry he’s not hitting on you in the line at the gas station. You were whistled at from passing cars. You were nervously clutching your pepper spray walking back to your dorm at midnight. You laughed at misogynistic jokes that weren’t funny because you were trying to play cool. I did too.

You are a feminist every time you are angry when someone grabs your lower back to push you aside at a bar without asking. You are a feminist every time you comfort your crying friend who did not say yes. You are a feminist every time you succeed on your own, for yourself, by yourself. You are a feminist every time you question these rules and these structures or every time you are scared, purely because you are female.

You may not realize it. You are not crazy or man hating or bra burning and you probably shave your legs. But if you believe you are more than what is between your legs, you’re feminist. If you believe women should not be working for free past October 26th, you’re a feminist. If you think that your voice matters just as much as the person beside you, you’re a feminist. I hate to have to be the one that breaks it to you but odds are despite that Odyssey article you shared on Facebook or the fact that you’ve never heard of Roxane Gay– you are a feminist. Revel in it.


art by @artsyalexx

How To: Blog

How To: Blog

So lately, I’ve gotten a few questions from other people interested in starting their own little thing on the internet. I’m not an expert in anything, ever but these are a few of the things I’ve learned in my three years of writing down stuff and putting it online for fun:


So figuring out the why is crucial when beginning any new endeavor. A valid why allows you to create authentic and meaningful content. For me, I do this whole thing for myself more than anything else. It’s fun to me, it’s a hobby I truly enjoy and it’s what I do when I don’t want to do anything else. It’s also a place for me to keep track of my life so I can look back and remember what the heck was happening when I was twenty. It’s a grasp at permanence in a very impermanent world and a chance to put all the things I think down on a white background. There’s at least 7 billion different reasons to do this. Figure out your own because defining the why sets a template for your vision.


I use WordPress as the content management system for my blog. There are lots of different options available like SquareSpace, Winx, etc. but I’ve found WordPress to be intuitive, inexpensive, flexible and simplistic enough to get what I want done without a lot of coding knowledge. WordPress allows you to customize your domain and site design for minimal fees and it’s also easy to learn for beginners. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube about WordPress to teach you about things like tagging, best practices for online sharing and site design tips. I’ve basically learned how to be alive from Youtube tutorials so I 10/10 recommend.


We live in a day and age where internet safety and responsibility has been pounded into our heads since middle school. The same rules that apply for social media obviously apply here too. Create content that you would want your grandma or future employer to see. Because they probably will. Your digital brand can make or break you and this is an opportunity to create your own narrative. Sharing online is a fine balance between authenticity and personal privacy and it’s also different for everyone. Share responsibly kids.


Consistency is important. I know a lot of people who start these things and then get bored and don’t post for months or years. Like anything, you get better the more you practice. Posting schedules work well for some people, not so well for others. There’s a feature on WordPress (and most other platforms) that allows you to pre-schedule a post for a set time and date. This is useful during crazy times like finals or holidays but also not completely necessary. How often you post is up to you but I recommend maintaining a certain level of consistency for yourself, as well as everyone else.


Write what you write. This is the most wonderful part of being alive in the 21st century aside from probably modern medicine, increased personal hygiene and Netflix. There has never been less of a barrier to entry in the world of publishing. This is a platform to speak truths or jokes or make stuff up. Share your lens and translate it to pixels on a webpage. People might love it or hate it or think you’re wasting a lot of time. Welcome to being alive. Create your own stuff, take inspiration from others and do your own thing.

This is a very brief overview on a very beautiful and intricate thing. My best advice is to just go for it, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Especially, if you have no idea what you’re doing. Get brave. It’s definitely an intimidating thing, sharing your thoughts publicly for critique, putting words in different orders to be read by who knows who. But it changes you. There are marketable skills to gain, fascinating people to meet and a whole world of 1s and 0s for the taking.






Veganism has taken the nation by storm. It’s a commonly googled term, a cultural trend embraced by well-dressed bloggers and your favorite celebrity probably swears by it. There are cookbooks, tv shows and bumper stickers dedicated to a lifestyle without animal byproducts. For over a million people in the US, this is a dietary choice that allows them to live better, feel better, do less harm to the planet and protect animals.

But I have seen this trend of plant based eating and stringent routine sometimes go from healthy to dangerous and I think we need to talk about why.

Eating disorders are also taking the nation by storm. Eating disorders are a mental illness categorized by an unhealthy relationship with food. While most of us could stand to eat a few more vegetables and a few less Oreos, people who suffer from eating disorders live lives impaired and made difficult by the simple act of eating food. According to, more than 24 million Americans struggled with an eating disorder in 2017.

The thing about veganism is that it is intended to be a healthy lifestyle choice. However, for individuals predispositioned for disordered eating, veganism can be a vice or alternative form of extreme restrictive dieting. It can slow heart rates, deprive muscles; it can quite literally kill.

I am definitely not claiming that all vegans have an eating disorder or that all diets are harmful– not even close. Don’t mess that up! But any dietary restriction can go too far. For those among us who suffer from body dysmorphia and disordered diet tendencies, these trends can go from healthy to dangerous really fast. The temptation of restriction, calorie counts and control can take hold. And they do not let go.

I think we need to start redefining what health looks like as a society. Health isn’t eating only carrots; health is a consistent and constant heart rate. Health isn’t drinking all of your meals; health is having enough energy to get through the day. Health isn’t necessarily being able to see your ribcage; it’s being out of the hospital and into the world.

We need to be mindful that eating a salad for lunch is not simply a task to check off a to-do list for everyone. We need to be aware that a restrictive diet is not an option for some people and shift our language to involve that. We need to understand that shaming is triggering. We need to know that some well-meaning advice or that crazy fact you learned on Food Inc. is not always helpful. We need to stop turning a blind eye to self-harm in the name of health because I don’t think it is a coincidence that we live in a country facing both extreme obesity AND an influx in eating disorders. Our crippling fear of obesity is beginning to become just as dangerous as the threat.

Someone very close to me has been fighting this battle for years. I’ve watched up close and seen how something as essential as food can destroy us from the inside out. These diseases are often not taken seriously and only 10% of people battling eating disorders ever receive treatment ( It’s scary; we need to be scared. We need to look for the signs and support eating what makes you feel good and stop eating dairy if we want to and use better language for looking good and prioritize health over appearance and eat chocolate if we feel the need and do things for the right reasons and reach out when something feels wrong.

To be Full.


Cool Resources: 




At the beginning of this school year, I was tired. I was interning at a nonprofit trying to better the world in some small way but was seeing little to no results. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to save the planet via a temporary internship at a local nonprofit organization but I was surrounded by people there who truly wanted nothing more than to do that; tirelessly, constantly, incessantly. And all the while, the world felt like it was falling apart. A summer of immigration bans and failed climate agreements and terrorist attacks and mass shootings and political turmoil piled up around me.

The problem with wanting to fix things is that sometimes you kinda can’t. It’s out of scope, unrealistic, untimely or too late. And that feels like failure and that turns into exhaustion. So by the end of the summer I had given up, I was just tired of caring so much about everything.

The thing about passion is that it’s fire; a burning that gives you energy and makes your eyes light up and your Leslie Knope come out. But the thing about passion is that it’s fire; it can burn out if you don’t give it any fuel.

I was burnt out. Passion had given way to apathy.

I was trying to figure out how to shift my career plan before it was too late, to something easier, something I wouldn’t have to care so much about, something that wouldn’t take so much soul or burn so much of my fire.

You’ve probably heard the old adage like,

“An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

‘A fight is going on inside me,’ he said to the boy.

‘It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment and ego.’

He continued, ‘The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf will win?’

The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.”

Cut to a night when I was begrudgingly watching the Disney movie Tomorrowland with my family at home; half paying attention, half online shopping. This little parable was enough to pull my consciousness from the FreePeople website. I had heard the analogy many times, from many sources, all citing various old men who said this– probably none of them very accurate. But I’d never thought about it in a societal context before.

The whole movie is about saving the world from the futuristic apocalypse– of course. It was about finding the “dreamers”, the people who hadn’t given up on fixing the world yet. And by finding these dreamers who still believed they could do it, they inevitably saved the world in classic Disney fashion. They started feeding the right wolf.

This kind of hope is hard to maintain. There are some days that I wholeheartedly believe that I am somehow contributing in a small way to fix a small problem and that piece by piece, the world will be made better. But there are also days that I feed the other wolf. The wolf that has given up, complains about society on social media, points fingers, finds the bad in everything and tries to stay out of the whole mess, while doing nothing to fix it– therefore contributing to the monster. It is my scariest demon, this apathy. Wars aren’t won by passion, they are lost by indifference.

But over the course of this semester I have given myself a chance at more fuel– fuel so passion can burn. Take it in, soak it up, turn the sunlight into life. Fuel is the small successes. The things that work. It won’t be everything. They might not even be truly significant in the grand scheme of things. Little victories and sparks and proof that what we’re doing, it really does work. Slowly, surely, sometimes backwards, but there are golden days when it works.

This is what scares me most: that we might grow into our indifference like grey hair and wrinkled skin. That we will give up before we get anywhere. I almost did and some days I still almost do. That’s the real danger. Not icebergs melting and mutual assured destruction (okay, actually those are really, really scary and I’m terrified but I’m just trying to make a point). The real danger is that we leave the fixing to someone else. That we accept the bad things about this planet and look at our phones instead. That we bury our heads in memes and macchiatos and reality TV. That we become too damn exhausted to try anymore.

Keep drinking coffee.