Monday, March 31, 2014

The Study Abroad Curse: London Edition

My entire childhood and teens years were spent obsessing over England. When something went wrong I just told myself I was in the wrong England everything was perfect for me. I would fit in and everyone would get me instantly.

So I am guessing most of you can already see the problem I was faced with when I finally came to live in London.

Nothing was perfect...big surprise, right? It was busy, harsh, cold, and I felt like something was terribly wrong. This wasn't the London of my dreams, not the London from my books, movies, and television shows. It was a place that people walked fast, didn't have time to talk to you...they didn't even have time to smile.

And all I could think about was the fact that I had four months here by myself...without my family, without my friends from home, without my friends from Rome. I was completely alone and had no where that I felt comfortable and relaxed. I just rushed in and out of tubes all day. I ate as I walked, I walked faster, I smiled less, and felt horrible every night before I went to sleep. I felt like I was missing something...why did I have this great image of London in my head? I couldn't have made it all up! I had been here for a week in High School with my sister and I liked that London. Where had it all gone? Why did the books and movies and tv shows lie? It couldn't just be fiction...

So, everyday I looked and looked. I knew I could let my sadness bring me down and deter me from exploring but I was too stubborn to accept that, I was too stubborn to accept this city that people called London. Even so, I would come back every night feeling unfulfilled. Don't get me wrong, I had moments throughout the day when I felt good. I began to have little moments that I loved London, but I didn't have anyone to share them with. I felt more alone than I ever.

Then, things started happening. Ever so gradually I found the spots where I fit. I found the London I had been searching for. Not only that but I realized I had been living with my best friend since I got here. My roommate Tiffany and I started to book and plan things to do and it all fell into place.

Before I knew it London was the most amazing city I had ever been in. It had surpassed all of my expectations and everyday I do something more spectacular than the day before.

And that is how I fell hopelessly and magnificently in love with London. 

Outfit of the day: Sophia!

What's your favourite part of this outfit? The boots? The scarf? Let me know in the comments below! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

You're a wizard, Harry.

I have been looking forward to visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour since before I left for London and after 2.5 months of being here I finally did it! 

You may know, I have been obsessed with the Harry Potters series since I was in Middle School. It was one of the first things that got me interested in England, and I am so glad it did or else I probably wouldn't be here. 

And so, I was crazily excited to go on the studio tour! I was surrounded by great friends, in a fabulous city, on a beautiful late afternoon. 

The first stop on the tour is the Great Hall! It is absolutely magnificent and the guide introduced us to the set beautifully. 

After the Great Hall we were let loose in a large room with most of the key set pieces inside, including The Burrow, Gryffindor Common Room, Boys' Dormitory, and Ministry of Magic. 

In the middle of the tour we actually got to go outside to see the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, and more! Not only that but you can buy an rich, creamy glass of Butterbeer (which was much better than the Butterbeer at the Universal Park). 

The second half focuses more on the art direction and makeup elements of the films. I got to see Dobby, Buckbeak, thestrals, and more! 

The final stop before the shop (that is extremely over priced) is a small, full version of Hogwarts Castle! 

Overall, I had a great day! Unfortunately, for some reason I left feeling a bit unfulfilled. After some thought and talking to one of my friends, I think I felt this way because I am more a fan of the books rather than the movies. I love, love, love the movies but in my mind I have my own version of Harry, Ron, Hermione, etc. I am less interested in where Daniel Radcliffe filmed a scene, even though I love him, than I am with having my own experience in the 'wizarding world'. 

 I think this may be a result of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park...there I actually got to walk inside Hogwarts, got to eat dinner in The Three Broomsticks, and more! While throughout this tour it is mostly just pushing through people to get a photo in front of something and then walking away. 

I would still love to do it again because I may have been too overwhelmed to appreciate all of the items in such a short amount of time (2.5 hours). Also, I am definitely glad I did it and would recommend it to any Harry Potter fan coming to London. I would just remind them that it is more of a museum of the Harry Potter Movies (I know this seems obvious but for some reason I wasn't thinking of it in that way). 

Saturday, March 29, 2014


This coming school year I will be living in my first real apartment that I can decorate! I know that I won't have a lot of money to actually buy these items but I want to make it as close to this as possible! I am going to go to garage sales and flea markets and try to do some DIY projects with my sister, mom, and dad's help (hopefully haha)!
Dream bedroom.

What do you think? What's your favourite item I picked? Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Being alone.

It's a strange feeling being the only member of your family in a foreign country. Despite studying abroad last year, I've never really had to experience this.

I mean just look at my posts from last many are titled "Family" or "My Family".

Firstly because I had my cousins who lived in Rome. They were Italian and in some ways different than the Perri's I grew around but they were so much more similar to the American Perri's than you can imagine. As I walked off the plane in Rome, I wasn't alone, my cousin Tony was waiting for was waiting for me.

Second, my parents, sister and brother-in-law came to visit me about half way through as well! I got to show them the places that had become my usual spots, introduce them to the people who had become my best friends, and even got to experience new things in Italy and Rome with them. It was such a meaningful week for me. Despite any bickering or fights we had, we all stepped away from that week (and the week after with just me and my sister) with a greater understanding of each other.

My study abroad experience this year has been very different because I am essentially alone...the only Perri in London, the only Perri in the whole UK. There are good things and bad things that come from this.

It is nice to find myself with no influence of familiarity and little risk of falling into my old habits but the lack of comfort has been weird and is sometimes challenging to navigate through (a more detailed post about my initial struggle to come).

I am beyond sad when I think about leaving this city that has become the love of my life (post about how this happened coming soon!), but I think it will feel strange and amazing to be around my family again...with all of our jokes, smiles, laughs, tears (we are an emotional bunch), even our fights and bad moods.

I know that people say 'life begins at the end of your comfort zone' and I half agree with this, but I think that sometimes it is 100% okay to feel comfortable. If I was in a constant state of feeling uncomfortable then I wouldn't be one would. Life is about experiencing new things while also appreciating old things.

Flaws and all I am so extremely happy to call myself a Perri (cue teary-eyed parents).

Outfit of the day!

Dress, Shoes, Tights: Primark 
Socks and Sweater: Forever 21

What do you think of this outfit? Digging the socks and sandals? Tell me in the comments below! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Art is everywhere.

Maybe my art is documenting other people's art...taking photos of street style during fashion week, delicious pastries, street art, etc.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Things I loved about London Today:

  1. The open seat on the Piccadilly line on my way home from class
  2. The sweets I picked up from the bakery up the street to share with Tiff
  3. How the rains stopped just in time for my walk home
  4. The smile on the Tesco cashier's face when I checked out
  5. The fact that a man on the tube ran after a woman who forgot her umbrella as she got off

What's on...

If you don't already, you should follow me on Instagram (@lovelytravelss) to keep up with my day to day life exploring London! 

Outfit of the day: Sophia!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

As time changes so does my tumblr...

The past few months my tumblr has been inactive. My longest break from it since I joined two years ago.


I began thinking about why I had forgotten something that I used to enjoy so much. I realized that I have changed in ways I can't always see and don't often realize and I wanted to start a new tumblr to reflect that change.

Even though most of my readers on here aren't into tumbr, I thought it was still necessary to post because sometimes it is easier for me to express how I feel on there than it through a blog post. 

So go check it out (linked on the gray "T" button to your right) if you want to see cool pictures, have time to kill, or even want to try and understand what tumblr is all about! 

p.s. It is called "Such a doughnut" because a girl I work with always refers to herself or other people as doughnuts when they do something silly or dumb...I love it. I think it is hilarious! 

p.p.s. It was also in The TimeOut London Magazine as being one of the top 10 British slang words of the moment

Beans, beans they are good for your heart.

A full English breakfast might be the best thing...ever