Twice As Nice

layered[2]In my absence a lot has happened. Firstly, I finally made what I believe to be the right decision… to stay in Leeds for another semester! After goodness knows how many emails, phone calls, angry mutterings and random bursts of crying (the stress of admin incompetence and the time difference got to me a bit), I’ve finally achieved my goal!

Of course, as soon as I realised this it became pretty obvious that I didn’t have the funds to stay without some assistance from my parents. This is definitely hard for me to take, as I dislike owing money, feel awful to have to borrow from them and even more awful that I had plenty of money myself which I spent very quickly because I thought I’d only be staying half a year! It’s worth it though, by becoming more conscious of my budget, slashing out things I don’t need and applying for jobs (fingers crossed) I’m turning this into a challenge rather than a setback –  this is not to mention that I’m eternally grateful for their support, they’ll never understand how much more I can breathe knowing that I’m over here feeling as though I have them behind me.

I’m also so excited to keep creating a life here! Unfortunately the hardest part is yet to come, because Amy won’t be staying with me. This means in a few weeks time I have to say good bye to my twin and partner in crime for close to 7 months! But hey, that’s what Skype is for. x

Rome | Day One

rome[2]Hi there! My name’s Gemma, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d forgotten, lately I’ve been forgetting myself! Life has been so hectic and wonderful I’ve neglected the blog just a tad, and my Instagram perhaps even more so! But I guess that’s a sign that I’m spending more time in the moment.

I was in Rome for Christmas last year (it feels odd to say that!) and absolutely loved the city. I spent four days in the centre with Amy, we stayed at a lovely boutique hotel (a festive gift to ourselves!) and managed to see everything we wanted and more. The Italian culture was also super refreshing after having been in Leeds for close to a month with no travel.

Then basically I got back, got sick, got better, got on a bus to Bedford, stayed a week and a half there, got back to Leeds and have now gotten sick again. Who doesn’t love the unintentional rollercoaster that is life? I’ll have more pics up from Italy soon, unfortunately on the first day around Ancient Rome I managed to drain my battery so there wasn’t as much as I’d have liked! x

Merry Christmas!

Have an absolutely splendid day to everyone reading, I hope you get spoiled rotten from the ones you love and share in lots of good food and laughter! This year I’m spending the holiday in a city I’ve never been to, with just my sister. It’s been a great chance to reflect on what I care about and where I want my life to be going, and an even greater reminder that Christmas isn’t just about turkey and ripped wrapping paper, but also making sure you spread the happiness beyond your own home.

A little kindness, whether it’s well wishing a stranger or making peace with a friend, can go along way. For 2014 I’m grateful for a few things – this absolutely amazing experience abroad, the life-changing people I’ve met who could never know how they’ve shaped me, and the family and friends I’ve left behind who continue to prove that distance means nothing. So this Christmas I’m wishing you all the happiness, health, beauty and peace in the world, and urging everyone to realise what’s important and follow that path – sometimes there’s too many signs out there pointing in far too many different directions… all you need to do is follow what makes you smile. x