Festivities and Reflections

First things first, I truly hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas time! For me, Christmas meant, most importantly, going home and seeing all my family and friends! It was a brief whistle-stop tour for two weeks going here there and everywhere catching up with everyone and desperately trying to fit in as many roast dinners as was humanly possible.

It is completely insane that we have arrived in January 2015 already! I think that most my fellow year abroaders would agree in saying that this year is flying by! When you first arrive and whenever homesickness sets in, days do nothing but drag, yet after taking some time to settle, days, weeks, then months just seem to pass so incredibly quickly! Honestly I can’t even contemplate the fact that this month will mark being almost half way through my year abroad, and I feel like there is so much I still have left to discover!

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The festive season here in Graz was simply beautiful! Christmas time has always been a favorite for me, yet the opportunity to experience the festivities here in Austria was amazing! The markets, the lights and just the heart-warming atmosphere of the city, all got me in the spirit and also excited for it meant it was nearing the time to head home! Here are a few pictures round and about the city:

SAM_5554Christmas Markets in the Main Square

SAM_5600Markets up Schlossberg

SAM_5669Townhall Lights

SAM_5718Eiskrippe – Ice Sculpture Nativity

After an overwhelmingly emotional arrival in Manchester airport meeting my parents, my Christmas break started perfectly, with a Greggs sausage roll, a cup of tea and a bar of dairy milk chocolate. I literally devoured every last crumb. Being away for months just made me appreciate every last little thing about being home, though it was almost strange to hear so much English again. Literally people in shops would like ask me something in English and I would have to ask them to repeat themselves because I’m so tuned in to listen so intently for German, it was a brief strange time of adjustment, but I was into the swing of things again soon enough!

Whilst home I spent a lot of time catching up with family and friends, eating the best Christmas food with all the trimmings, cuddling my fluffy cat Albert, a theater trip to see Shrek the musical in Manchester, which was amazing and just generally relaxing when I had a spare moment! So all in all it was perfection!

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Anyway I returned to a snowy Graz a few days ago and after a 5am start, two planes, numerous hours of waiting and delays of such, trains and trams, I was very glad to finally arrive back at the flat. Though after a quick catch up with my flatmate, and a cup of tea, regardless of the fact that it was only 9.30pm, the only thing I needed was my bed! Leaving was emotional and just travelling in general had took it’s toll on me! Lugging almost 30kg of luggage around Graz and then up to the fourth floor was not an easy task I’m telling you!

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Christmas break was great but after having returned I am certain that I am looking forward to what the next few months have to offer! There are many more places I have yet to see and many more great times to be had! Feeling pretty determined to make the most of everything even more so now, because time is just slipping away and it won’t be long till we will all be back in Lancaster, no doubt all with post year-abroad blues!

A big ‘Happy New Year’ to all my friends and family wherever in the world you may be!

Katie 🙂


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