August has been a month of exploration, Mediterranean sunshine and turning another year older. It’s now been five months since I moved to Glasgow and damn, how the time has flown (how is it September already?!).
It’s taken me five months, but I’m finally starting to feel like I’ve built a life over here. I’ve moved into a new flat, one I can hopefully make more of a home, I’ve landed a job for when I get back from my travels later this month, and I’m doing what I set out to do; seeing as much of Europe as I can.
WHERE I WENT
Summer in Glasgow isn’t shaping up to much, so this month I’ve had to escape Scotland to find some sunshine somewhere else. Luckily, the Mediterranean has more than delivered. This month I went to;
- Barcelona and Girona for my 25th birthday. While I loved exploring Barcelona (possibly the coolest city in Spain), it was Girona that stole my heart. I loved wandering the pretty streets, eating tapas and drinking sangria outside in the warm sun, and taking in the ancient ruins and beautiful architecture. Happy birthday to me!
- As I post this I’m currently in Manarola, Cinque Terre, kicking off the start of my 4-week adventure around Italy, Amsterdam and Paris. Bring on the pizza, pasta and gelato!
- Spain delivered on the memorable meals this month! In Girona one of my favourite meals was sitting outside in the square at Tony’s. Here I enjoyed patatas bravas (I never get sick of fried potatoes) and a beautiful salad with apple and goats’ cheese alongside a glass of wine. Plus, the waiter was cute.
- The sweet tooth in me loved tasting as much Spanish ice cream and pastries as I could. In Barcelona I loved the Italian wild berry and lemon sorbet at Swiit Ice Cream. In Girona the famous Rocambolesc served up delicious ice cream, though I think I preferred their panets (ice cream served in a toasted brioche bun – delish!).
- Vegan’s and vegetarian’s in Glasgow should make sure to head to The Hug and Pint, a music venue and bar with a fully-vegan, Asian-inspired menu. I don’t think our table said a word as we chowed down on some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had.
August has, on the whole, been a fantastic month for me. Exploring Barcelona and Girona for my birthday was undoubtedly a massive highlight. Visiting Spain ten years after my first visit felt weirdly cathartic, and reinforced for me that I can travel solo, and more importantly, travel solo and enjoy it. For the first time since I’ve started travelling solo I felt completely comfortable being alone. I could sit outside for dinner reading my kindle and feel at ease, and that’s something in particular that I’ve struggled with adventuring on my own.
It actually kind of surprised me how much I enjoyed exploring by myself. I could go to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and spend hours perusing the paintings, or spend a couple of hours just sitting in the park reading if I felt like it. And my friend, I guess that’s the magic of solo travel. Here’s to many more solo adventures!
Another August highlight has been starting to feel like my life here in Glasgow is coming together. This month I moved into a new flat with a girl I met through work, and that felt like a necessary positive change. My first flat in Glasgow was ok, but never really felt like home. I also landed a job at Firecracker, an indie television production company in Glasgow. I start work the day after I get back from Paris (after my flight gets in at midnight, help), and it’s definitely a huge weight off my shoulders to know I have a job to come back to.
A lowlight for me this month has been the weather. Sure, I’ve been away for some of the month but when I’ve been in Glasgow, honestly, the weather has been getting me down. I keep waiting for summer to finally arrive but now it’s September I think I have to accept that the 3 days where the weather was above 20°C was ‘summer’. I mean, hey, I’m in Scotland; the weather is supposed to be shite, right? But for a kiwi gal who classifies summer as beach swims every day and copious amounts of sunshine, Scotland’s summer just isn’t cutting it. Bring on 4pm sunsets and the misery of winter!
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEPTEMBER
Ooh friend, September is going to be a good month! At the end of August I kicked off my 3-week trip around Italy, starting in Venice and working my way down to Rome. I’ll be exploring Venice, Verona, Varenna, Bologna, Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome, and I am so excited! Italy has been one of those fairytale dream destinations for me for such a long time and getting to explore this beautiful country is definitely a bucket list moment. Get ready for lots of Italy content coming to the blog soon!
After Italy I’ll be heading to Amsterdam for a few days of canals and stroopwafels, before heading to Paris to meet up with a friend from New Zealand. I didn’t exactly love Paris on my first visit, but I’m eager to head back and see if Paris can change my mind (hopefully travelling with a friend will scare off the creepy, massage-offering Frenchmen).
After that, who knows? I’ll be back in Glasgow and starting a new job (I’ll need it after Italy) and no doubt will start dreaming of new destinations and my next escape. Germany and Austria for Christmas, maybe? Until next time, thanks for following my awkward adventures, friend.