Tuesday, 31 May 2016

My Remaining Visa

I haven't updated my blog in a long time, which I am not overly happy about but here are a few things I've been doing instead of blogging over the past few months;

I created a short documentary called "Window to the Sole" for one of my classes at NAU. It revolves around my friend's obsession with his shoes, and I'm relatively proud of it considering it was my first attempt at making a documentary.

The link is here: Window to the Sole

I have also started a new short series of films about studying abroad. I interviewed 18 international students at NAU just before Christmas and have edited two videos so far. More videos will follow as soon as I have time (at the moment though I am making the most of my remaining US Visa by travelling until mid-July);

Video 1: Introduction of International Students

Video 2: What was your Biggest Fear before arrival?

Unfortunately, I did all of the interviews BEFORE I took the class in documentary production (including professional interviews) and so they aren't as good a quality as they could be, now that I HAVE taken the class - oh well, they still get the point across as far as I'm concerned.

So yes, I have now officially finished at NAU and my year abroad is over. I still have about 15 days on my visa before it expires and below are my plans for what I will do with those days, plus a few more.

I am actually already in Los Angeles (we are in fact leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow) so half of this post will be reflective on what has already happened and half will be predictive of what is to come.

NAU International Graduation

I experienced my first graduation, although a pretty fake one on our account, with a mini graduation cap (thanks to Letti) and certificates for all.

We didn't stay for too long but we did get all dressed up and took a very adorable group shot:

Actually the tightest group of people I've ever belonged to.

Haley's Graduation

Luckily for me and my quest for the true-American experience, my friend Haley was graduating for real from NAU a few days after we did. Thus, I got to experience what an American graduation looks like; there was a lot of hype, some cannons of confetti string and some absolutely awesome graduation caps. I will be forever grateful to Haley for everything she has done for me in this past semester; from taking me shooting in Phoenix to letting me watch her graduate. 

Houston, Texas

My proper travels began in Houston (somewhere I have not been before unless you count a trip when I was 3 months old). I must say, I have never felt more like a Kardashian family member in my life. We were absolutely pampered by my friend Sophia's family and it was a wonderful way to recover from finals week at NAU.

As far as Houston goes, the weather was really hot but the clouds were pretty constant. It rained like absolutely crazy for one day but was gorgeous the next. It has some excellent places to go shopping and some real interesting places to eat (especially if you like steak). I unfortunately did not make it to NASA but I guess that just gives me a reason to return!

The Grove, Houston

San Diego, California

We stayed in San Diego for 4 nights in total. On the first day, we went to the most beautiful beach (Wind'n'Sea in La Jolla) and to some absolutely amazing botanical gardens (Balboa Park) which I highly recommend to anyone visiting. We also went on a hike (see below photo) and reunited with Kelly (who had gone to Denver before) and the boys (who had all been on a different road trip through California). Overall, this has been my favourite trip since the Lake Powell trip in my first semester (as far as travel and exploration is concerned anyway).

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles consisted of a long hike to the Hollywood Sign, exploring some of the alternative nightlife (Sof is under 21 until Las Vegas) and bumbling along Venice beach. It has been a very reflective trip for me as I came here when I was 19. Back then I was travelling alone and it was my last destination before returning home. It has really shown me the differences in travelling alone and as part of a group. Personally, I think one should try to experience both types of travel at least once in their life.

& what's to come

We are flying to Las Vegas tomorrow for Sophia's 21st birthday. It used to be my dream to have my 21st in Vegas and to make it as cliche as possible but I didn't quite make it, instead I will do everything I can to make Sof's the best experience ever and live my dream out like that, haha.

After that, all of our visa's expire so we are heading to Mexico for 10 days, Cancun to be specific. I actually look forward to this a lot as I said I wanted to return to Mexico after my trip in November.

We will then all be returning to the USA again on my 22nd birthday (16th June) on a tourist visa to go to EDC in Las Vegas. A huge festival that I look forward to experiencing so that I can probably write about it in one of my assignments in my final year at Chester ;) EDC 2016, Las Vegas

I then have about a week before Lauren, my friend from Chester, gets here and as of yet, I am still not 100% sure what I will do with that, or what I will do with her. All I know is that she gets here in Phoenix on the 27th June and I leave from Vegas on the 7th July.

My time as Lumberjack has passed.

That's all for now,

Lucy xxo

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