Search

Hey…Welcome!

4 years living abroad

5 years ago I got the opportunity to live abroad in Abu Dhabi. If none of you know where that is, well its in the Middle East, the Capital of The United Arab Emirates. Now most teenagers at the age of 14 weren’t thinking about jetting off to a different country to study their GCSEs / A Levels, however, that was the case for me.

My parents asked myself and my older sister if we would like to go live out there and to study. (My dad works out there hence why they asked) My sister wasn’t up for it however I was. I knew I couldn’t miss this great opportunity to experience something new, a new culture, a new way of life.

When the day came to fly out there, I panicked. I had that scary thought of “Am I doing the right thing?”. Saying goodbye to my sisters, my horse, my mum was probably the worst thing in the world however my dad and I got into the car and drove to the airport. I will always remember the flights to and from Abu Dhabi and England because throughout the 4 years of living there I flew back to England every school holiday, so as you can imagine it was a fair few times. I will say one thing though, flying on your own is very boring but it was just a routine for me, and I got the hang of it fairly quickly. Plus the food on the plane was always yummy and I’m a girl who likes her food!

Now living out in Abu Dhabi is pretty much like living in a sauna all day, everyday. I don’t think I ever got used to the heat and if I went back now I probably will still sweat just as much…it was horrible. I remember my first week at my school and being the only person sweating constantly. We would have to sit outside at break time and lunch time and that was probably the worst time for me everyone else seemed cool whereas I was literally dying of heat. Due to the heat meant walking back inside the school was like walking into a freezer they would have the AC on -10000 degrees just so it was durable for us to work.

Obviously over the 4 years, I gained knowledge of the religion, culture and learned so many different things. The school I went too was very diverse with people from all over the world so I did learn a lot about everything as we celebrated pretty much every celebration a culture or religion can celebrate. The best day that was celebrated has to be National Day. For readers who don’t know what National Day is, its a holiday that marks the unification of the seven emirates and the founding of the country in 1971 under Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president. And boy was it celebrated we would have Falcon Shows, Camels, stalls explaining the heritage background and buffet of food the list is endless. But the celebrations wouldn’t stop there. People would be out on the streets all night, all the roads chock-a-block of cars, they’d be spraying silly string, party poppers, people sitting on the roofs of cars it was crazy but amazing! Everyone would then gather for the fireworks at the end, where I used to live was right on the Corniche (beach) and they would have a big display of fireworks and I wouldn’t have to leave my house to watch it because I could see from my bedroom window.

The one thing that I never got used to about living in Abu Dhabi was the fact that you’d make friends with people and they would then be leaving the country because their dad or mum got asked to work in a different country. However the friends I did make whilst living out there are unbelievable, you know when you meet someone and you get this feeling you’ll always be friends even if you don’t speak everyday, well that’s what it was like when I met my friends. I just knew that no matter where we are in the world we will still talk and when the day comes to meet again it wouldn’t be awkward it would be completely normal.

Living aboard has made me become more independent and sort of helped me grow up. It helped with the idea of living away from home but also allowed me to see the world. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to study abroad and to whoever is reading this if you get the chance to live in a different country take it with no hesitation.

Featured post

Summer

Hello Strangers been a while!

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while a lot has gone on in my life – coursework, uni life, riding its all been happening and all been non-stop!

Thought I’d talk about everyone’s favourite time of year……SUMMER!! As my second year is coming to an end and I will soon be in my final year (scary) my summer will be relatively boring with the fact I will have to find an internship or get a summer job that brightens up my CV so when I graduate I have something that ‘stands out’ to job interviewers…….yes thats how boring my life is right now! Who would have thought I would be wasting my summer away just so I could get a job at the end of year 3 – Where did the fun times go?????

ANYWHOOOOOOOO

I bet all you readers have a favourite holiday place that brings back all your memories from your childhood. I know you are now thinking about it and probably smiling 🙂

My favourite holiday place is France. Every year my family and I would go to my grandad’s house out there and in all honestly it is my second home. From having birthday parties to the french market to amazing food its my favourite place.

The best thing about where the house is in France is that it is so close to the beach I mean walking distance – so everyday the same routine, get up eat breakfast and off to the beach some days we would spend all day at the beach and have our very own olympics. Other days my parents would spend hours calling me in from the sea and in the end end up coming into the sea to pick me up and carry me out!

Now some of you may be thinking what she on about Olympics – yes my family do our very own Blaxland Olympics – sounds crazy but its really not. We do standing jump, ball in the bucket, 100metre dash (more like 50 tbf), skipping etc and we place each other. Whoever wins gets sweeties as the prize. Yup my family are very competitive loooool. My dad usually comes in 1st or 2nd and I usually come in last HAHA oh well 😦

Talking about my dad he made the best sandcastles, you could never beat his imagination the things he could create were incredible. From sand seats to the biggest sandcastle and fort. Honestly whatever you could imagine my dad would go and make it for you.

Growing older sandcastles became less, tanning became more but swimming was the ultimate go to. As I grew older I got to play catch in the sea with the family, being a family of 6 means 3 vs 3 and it gets messy! We are all so competitive and every frenchman on the beach must think we are crazy LMAO.

Enough about my holiday – time to think about your favourite memory from your holidays maybe bring it up over dinner who knows.

Holidays are great fun especially when you are younger but my holidays always have stayed fun and memorable even growing up and I think growing up is the scariest thing.

Enjoy your summer, stay humble and love unconditionally. ❤

Christmas

Sorry I haven’t written as much recently. Uni suddenly got stressful due to deadlines and then Christmas suddenly came around so it’s been very full on!

I thought I’d switch it up and write about my families traditions over the Christmas Period as I am now thinking of writing about pretty much anything, from University to my hobbies to night’s out etc. So here we go go ho ho (LOL) …..

Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year (apart from my birthday)

In my family we have probably only one big tradition which is to get the biggest Christmas EVER usually it’s about 16ft, but this year it was around 12ft (RUBBBISSSSHHHH) however we usually get the Christmas tree the weekend before Christmas so that usually starts us off to get into the Christmas Spirit.

^ This was our christmas tree two year’s ago!!

So after we have our christmas tree we decorate our house and the Christmas Feeling kicks in, fire blazing mince pies making – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The next tradition I would say is probably the Carol Concert. Over the years my whole family has taken part in singing in the Church choir but now a days its usually just my eldest sister and myself and my other sisters usually read. Singing in the choir means going to a practice in the morning to get the songs and the tune correct finding the choir outfit which I must say is extremely sexy…..NOT!! we have to wear a Hat and a cape! LOL.screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-9-12-42-pm

^ something like that but in Royal Blue and a hat on our head!

The Carol concert happens at nighttime then everyone goes over to the pavilion for drinks, yes people get drunk after church!

After that we don’t really have any more traditions until Christmas Day.

My household gets extremely busy during the Christmas Period due to family always coming to us. This year my mum had to feed 13 mouths on Christmas Day usually its more so this year was much easier I would say!

I feel like every family has a christmas game you always whip out during Christmas. For my family its ‘Pass the Bomb’ – now in this game you have a toy bomb and cards. On the cards are letters and you have to think of a word which includes the letters on the card and if the bomb explodes you gain the card – person with the most cards looses (I usually lose). Its extremely stressful trying to think of a word and I usually end up adding ‘ing’ onto the last word said by whoever is next to me – LOL (media student at her finest)

On Christmas Day we have a tradition of opening up Father Christmas’s presents in my parents room (in our pjs and all us sisters have the same spot which hasn’t changed for all my years living there) we then get changed have breakfast and set up for Lunchtime. Usually lunch is around 1 o clock and we have finished our main’s just in time for the Queen’s Speech at 3 o clock. After listening to the Queen we have our desserts then open the presents under the Christmas tree. Then that is really it we ether all fall asleep on the sofa or watch a movie on T.V.

I hope you all enjoyed reading and all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

University so Far

As I am now half way through my second year at Coventry University. I thought it be best to talk about my experience of first year and the work up to first year.

First off I’m going to start with my Course. You all know I study Media and Communications but what you don’t know is how little time I actually spend at University. We were only in uni for about two days last year, guaranteed we were expected to meet up to do group work but our actual contact hours with an actual lecturer was about 4 hours twice a week!!!! As a first year that was amazing as being a fresher the main priority was going out and creating new memories with new friends.

Studying Media and Communications is probably very strange as its the broadest media course you can take. Plus you have to get used to all the jokes about taking an “easy” course or a “course in which you just watch movies all day” – if only that was the case. Obviously being a first year I would respond back and ask them to look at everything that entertains them such as magazines, tv, phones – all media/social media. Which proved to people that it is a tricky subject as it is so broad and media is changing everyday there is never the correct answer in my course. I took media due to the challenge it has as you almost have to be an active member within the social/media world. However last year I didn’t have this blog and I wasn’t really an active member but I still came out with a 2:1. Within my course last year and also this year we had to make reflections on everything in the lecture/seminar/workshop. The Lecturers wanted our reflections to allow our creativeness to come out. In fact I have a blog of all my university work in which I will leave here. http://www.carolineblaxland.wordpress.com

Secondly, making friends!! As I have three older sisters they gave me friendly advice and told me to go out and get involved and that’s what I did. I signed up for the Equestrian team as well as the Netball team. This allowed me to gain a different set of friends straight away and I advise anybody joining university to get involved and sign up to pretty much everything as it is great for meeting new people and I haven’t regretted joining up to the two sport clubs.

As I went through clearing to get into Coventry, I missed out on the opportunity to live in Student Accommodation so I moved into a student house with 7 other first year students. 3 girls (plus me) and 4 boys. We all came from different areas in England and all had different backgrounds however over the years we became a family and decided to live with each other in year 2 (well apart from 2 girls but they are still our family). Living in a student house in first year did mean we missed the “student life” however we created our own and still went to pretty much everything. I would say that my housemates are the craziest yet funniest people I know and I love all of them so much. I didn’t settle into University that well and found the first couple of months very difficult but they made sure I was always laughing when I was in the sitting room with them and thats when I knew Uni was going to be okay.
Finally, you will always meet people on your course. I was lucky enough to know someone on the first day as I met him on my Interview with Coventry. This meant I had someone to sit with in the very first lecture. I was also lucky to have a Media and Communications chat which was created over the summer. This helped me put faces to names and allowed me to get to know lots of people in which I have made a great group of friends.

First year was definitely a shock with how much you need to put into the work but how little contact hours you actually get. However in second year I knew what to expect and created this blog to keep me being creative. Second year has been good so far but its still early days so we will see what happens!!

 

Becoming A Student

After four years of living abroad you’d think moving back home to become a University student wouldn’t be any different but I was very wrong.

Becoming a student was very surreal. I still honestly can’t believe I got into Coventry especially with my results!! I do know one thing I am happy about never having to experience that dreaded result’s day ever again!

Moving up north (yes the midlands to me is up north) was exciting but terrifying as well. I remember the long shops with my mum, she’d be picking up everything I’d need and I would be the one pushing the trolly. I honestly never knew how much stuff you needed for university but my mum made sure I had everything from bottle openers to bed linen you name it I probably have it. The one thing that scared me the most is that I wouldn’t have my mum to hold my hand I actually had to fend for myself which meant paying for my food shops, rent, pretty much everything and money is hard to save! I was constantly worrying about being in my overdraft – I remember my first couple of months up at Uni and I told everyone I wouldn’t ever go into my overdraft but by the end of my first year I was very far deep into it. Ooops!!!

As I lived abroad I didn’t really experience the “nightlife”. Being a student meant I could experience the nightclubs and getting drunk for pretty much the very first time. I think that was one of the things I was looking forward to experience as I never did the fake ID night’s out (not that I’m telling people to go out with a fake ID…please don’t) I just never got to experience all that before going to Uni, so I think my housemates all thought I was crazy as I constantly wanted to go out and drink. (That’s probably were all my money went) I definitely lived up to the expectations of being far to drunk as I was named “Chunder Queen” in my house – which I am not proud of but at least it means I had a good night eh?

Being a student is extremely hard. You have to have the motivation to make yourself study or else you would just be in bed all day doing nothing. It was a big change for myself especially organizing my spending money (which I am still trying to figure out). I love being at Uni and I love what I study, and I am grateful I was able to come and experience these 3 years at Coventry.

 

 

MY Pros and Cons to living abroad

Living abroad for many people is a dream, representing years of work and saving just to secure an ideal living situation in the country of their choice. Usually, the average person in this situation doesn’t just decide on a whim to pack up and leave; weighing the pros and cons can help in deciding whether or not to proceed with this plan.

PROS:

  • If you move abroad to a country that doesn’t speak your language you get to learn this language over time so it is a plus for your CV or work environment.
  • Developing professional skills in another country
  • In some countries the cost of living is much lower then in Western countries
  • Starting over is perhaps the most common justification for moving overseas
  • Meeting new people in an exciting locale is why many people go on vacation and decide to expatriate.

CONS:

  • Being away from family and friends can be unexpectedly stressful, even for short periods of time
  • Living in a different culture is hard – getting used to what you can or can’t do
  • Money is by far the biggest issue when moving to another country, because in many cases, you’ll either need or want to sell or get rid of all your property, assets and anything else that either you can’t or won’t bring with you
  • You’ll need to have some means of supporting yourself once you’ve relocated, whether through savings or having work secured for you in your new host country.

All in all, this is an incredibly risky decision and one best undertaken with the consideration that it is an expensive, difficult and pressured situation.

4 years abroad – moving day

Today was the day that dawned upon me all summer, moving abroad didn’t really hit me until I was sitting in my living room talking to my older sister about how scared I am and asking her if I’ve made the right decision. Before tscreen-shot-2016-10-12-at-3-58-14-pmhat day I just kept it in the back of my mind and didn’t really think of how big a decision it actually was.

Honestly saying goodbye to everyone at home, every animal in my house, every sister and my mum was the strangest feeling in the world. I was crying my eyes out and hugging everyone made it so much worse. It just dawned on me that I was moving away to live with my dad, which was the strangest thing because my dad has always worked in different countries or different places in the UK so we rarely saw him but now I would see him everyday and loose seeing my mum everyday. (btw my parents are still married they just do long distance).

I think my dad was just as worried as I was because on the way up to Heathrow he kept holding my hand and telling me that it was going to be okay. Although I had him by my side I was still freaking out as I had no idea what to expect and I remember wishing I didn’t say yes to moving abroad.

Reaching Heathrow, checking in, walking to the gate was all honestly a complete blur they all seemed to merge into one. I was just taking it by stride. Walking onto the plane was when it hit me. I was off on one of the biggest adventure’s of my life and I had no idea what the future held or what would happen but its new beginnings and its exciting.

The flight was probably the longest 7 hours of my life. Eating so much food and watching 3/4 films was a ritual in the end. I can never sleep on planes so I would see how many films I can watch on the flight. I think once I watched 4 movies and 1 episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ on a flight, which to me was pretty impressive. Whenever I travelled back with my Dad he would always ask me when we reached the luggage collection how many movies I had watched. I always made him guess and my dad being my dad he always guessed correctly!

In all honesty the day of the move was one of the scariest thing I have done but in the end it was probably the best thing I have decided to do. I was extremely homesick at first and my dad being the worrier he is got my mum to come out and help me settle in which made me even more homesick when she had to go home again however having them both there to help me settle in made it a lot less easier. I learnt a lot about myself in the 4 years, met the most amazing people and gained the best memories any person would be lucky to have.

If you are reading this and contemplating on doing a year abroad/living abroad or just wanting to go abroad for a long time then I one hundred percent say go for it however saying goodbye is the biggest reality check and you do panic. I would suggest to talk to people about this decision as you can’t make it on your own but in the end you should really go for it and experience the world.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑