When we moved into 2018, I took a step back from my Behind the Scenes posts. There was no particular reason for this decision; I just didn’t really feel like writing them. Luckily I can follow whatever whims I want because this is my blog that I write for fun. However, today I thought I’d do a little check-in since it’s been some time since I last shared what I’ve been up to and since I’m about to be up to a whole lot more.
I finished my classes a little under two weeks ago, although it was pretty anticlimactic since lecturers had been on strike for four weeks in February and March. By the time the strike was over, it was already the last week of the semester! The strike was a bit of a bummer – it took up a huge chunk of my semester, and that’s time that I didn’t have access to my brilliant professors. And that’s not to mention the fact that I’m paying international tuition to be here. But I totally support lecturers’ right to strike considering their pensions are being cut dramatically in a climate of increasing tenuousness of academic jobs. I know that they don’t exactly want to be striking, either.
Anyway, I’m all done with my classes, but I still have a lot to do. I’ve finished a 4000 word research proposal and a 3000 word essay, and I still have a 4000 word literature review and a 2000 word dissertation proposal that I have yet to start. Technically none of that is due until April 20, but I’m going to be away starting next Wednesday (more on that in a moment!), so I need to crank out those 6000 words in the next week. I mean, I could work on the road, but I’d really rather just enjoy my travels without deadlines hanging over my head. I’m a fast writer and have excellent time management skills, so I know it’ll be fine – but I’ll feel a lot better when it’s actually done. Although when that’s all over, it’ll be time to write my dissertation. I’m feeling pretty confident about that, luckily. I started reading widely back in February, so I know I’m prepared in terms of having a good body of academic literature to draw from. I love writing essays as long as the topic interests me, so it’ll be really cool to get to dive into a topic I’ve picked in a lot of depth.
In the last month or so I have been really working on my fitness. I’ve actually come to look forward to working out first thing in the morning, so, uh… that’s unlike me. I’ve cut back on my junk food, but I’m never going to be all about clean eating. I like cheese, I like dessert, I like chips, I like fried things. That doesn’t mean I have to eat those things every day, but I am going to eat them some days. Probably more than one day a week, even. But I’m living a healthier life these days! I’ve already noticed a difference in my core strength, which was probably my worst area going into this. In case you were wondering, I’ve mostly been doing Blogilates – I find her workouts push me while remaining manageable, and they’re really great to do at home without equipment.
Next week I’m going to be headed to Brighton to visit with my good pal Aisling. We’re seeing Arcade Fire and Harry Styles in London (uh, separately, although I would not be mad if they played a show together and made my life easier). Then on the weekend we’ll be celebrating Aisling’s thirtieth birthday. I’m really excited because I love London and Brighton (and Arcade Fire and Harry Styles and Aisling), and I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to go back!
The day after I get back from Brighton, my parents are arriving from Toronto. We’re going to drive around Scotland and then do a tour of Ireland as a family. Me and my mom have both been to Ireland, but my dad never has. We’ve been trying to convince him to go for years now because Ireland is basically everything my dad likes distilled into one country. My dad will be flying back to Toronto after we’re done in Ireland, but my mom and I will be moving on to Denmark and the Faroe Islands. I’ve been to Copenhagen, in 2015, but my mom has never been to Denmark at all before. I know she’ll love Copenhagen as much as I did! And I cannot wait to see more of Denmark and to go to the Faroe Islands. It’s a busy itinerary, and I’ll be on the road for about a month total. I love travelling so I know I’ll have the best time… but I will no doubt be exhausted by the end of it.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to share posts about my travels on here – when I studied abroad in 2014/2015 I kept a travel blog for my friends and family, and it’s a lot of work to compile those posts. So we’ll leave that up in the air. I have prepared some posts in advance so that this blog doesn’t have to die while I’m on the road for five weeks. I may or may not add in some more spontaneous, in-the-moment content, but at the very least I have about a post a week ready to go.
When I’m done with my travels I’ll be heading back to Toronto for the summer. I was initially planning on staying in Glasgow for an entire year, but there are several reasons why it makes more sense for me to be in Canada. (Number one – the exchange rate is shit right now.) Luckily my professors have been really understanding and have given me permission to write my dissertation from afar. I’m half and half on this, really. Obviously it would be really cool to get to live abroad in a city that I love for a few more months, but I won’t be sad to get to see my friends, family, and cats a little bit sooner. Plus, it will be great to live with somebody else again because then I don’t have to be the person to deal with spiders. (I have a soul-crushing fear of spiders. Like, I know it’s irrational but I can’t help it.)
And that is what’s going on with me! Send me good flight vibes, because I have a lot of them coming up in the next little while and I don’t want any trouble.
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