Spring Break

Spring Break was the most magical and much needed two weeks of my life. It started off with a trip by myself to a beautiful place called Scarborough, on the northern coast of England. I took the 3 hour train ride and stayed in an Airbnb by myself, which was a lot scarier than I thought it would be. A lot of the time I was on the train was spent worrying and wishing I could jump off and run home to my bed. But travelling alone was something I knew I needed to do for myself, since I tend to be anxious when I’m by myself. I threw myself into this experience and I was determined to make the most of it. After a refreshing night of sleep, I set off to the beautiful Scarborough Castle, the beach, and Peasholm Park, with lots of food stops at cafes along the way. The best thing about traveling by myself was that I was on my own schedule and I could do and eat whatever (and whenever) I wanted. This freedom led to me crawling into secret places in the castle and outside as I explored, and eating at tons of vegan cafes that were making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I went back to my Airbnb and blasted music, sang, danced, and did so much yoga. It was a very freeing experience and I laughed more than I had expected to. I learned to have fun with myself and not be scared to explore a place I had never been to. I needed this trip, and I have felt like a different person ever since.

A few days later, my wonderful mother, her fiance, and his daughter came to visit. We stayed in London for a few nights and it was surreal to have them in the place I’ve been living for the past 3 months. I showed them around where I live, led them through the London Underground, and we ate lots of great food. We went on to Scotland for the weekend, starting out in Edinburgh. We explored the Highlands as well. I didn’t think I would enjoy the 5 hour train ride as much as I did, or the 5 hour train ride back to London after they left, but those were some of my favorite hours of my experience here. Having my mom here was amazing, especially since I hadn’t seen her in 3 months–this is the longest we’ve ever gone without seeing each other. Staying in two fancy hotels, being able to take a bath, and having all of my fancy meals paid for was like a dream, and I really missed everything immediately when they all left. I didn’t have much time to think about it though, I went to sleep and got ready to take on Iceland the next day.

Getting to Iceland was more difficult than I expected, but worth every second of traveling. I honestly can’t find the words to explain how beautiful the country is, so I’ll just post some pictures at the end. I had been here two years ago with my mom and one of my brothers, so I got some weird nostalgic feelings walking past everything we had done together, but being in the country by myself was something I’ll never forget. I felt so accomplished that I had done everything I set out to do by the time I got home, and got some more much needed rest.

Spring break seemed like it went on forever, but I cannot believe it’s over, and I only have 2 and a half more weeks in England. I’m off to Paris to enjoy the last week abroad with my mom, and then back to New York…I’ve already started packing and it all just seems like a strange dream. I’m excited for the last few weeks, and eager to go home to my family and friends, and my giant bed. 🙂

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Leaving for England

My last two weeks in New York before leaving for my new home in England were strange. I had just left SUNY New Paltz for the last time, since this semester is my last before I graduate. I was sad for reasons I couldn’t explain, happy to be home, and extremely anxious about starting life in a new place all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. I visited everyone I could–my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends I knew I would miss. I spent more time with my mom than usual because this is by far the longest period of time I have spent away from her.

My last night at home, I had a party with my stepbrother and our friends. I stayed up until 7am with a friend, laughing, drawing on each other, watching stupid YouTube videos, and just enjoying what little time I had left in my beloved basement in New York. I spent the whole day before I left with my friend after we got a few hours of sleep. Driving him home was surreal-he asked me when I was leaving for England, and I replied: “4 hours.” It didn’t feel real. I went home to finish packing and called all of my relatives in case I wouldn’t be able to for a while. My mom made dinner and I couldn’t eat–I felt like if I even talked I would cry! Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond happy to be leaving for England, but I felt so emotional and sad that I wanted to crawl into bed and not ever leave. I barely slept so my plane trip went by in a heartbeat, but when I got to England I was so tired I didn’t think I could make it through customs.


My friend and I split a cab since the lodgings we’d be living in were around the block from each other. When I walked up to the door of my new home, there was a beautiful butterfly resting on the door handle. I’ll never forget that. I knocked and it flew away, and my wonderful landlady, Frances, opened the door and greeted me enthusiastically. I at once felt safe and comfortable in her presence, but I could barely speak and immediately fell asleep for many hours in my bed. The next few days were a struggle, the jet lag made me emotional in the midst of my excitement of being in England.

Being Back in the US

It was definitely a fun trip and I really miss it! I wish I could go back I have been having dreams about it. I will never forget my experience. Unfortunately, this is my last trip for studying abroad. The good thing is I will be traveling to Israel for vacation with my boyfriend over the summer. This trip has inspired me to travel more and see the world. It is not worth it to be scared of flying, you need to fly to get places you want to be. I have seen many wonderful things in london!

Also, it is hard adjusting back to being here, I had really bad jet lag. I have also been eating at strange times of the day. I have basically finished everything I have to do for my class in order to get credit. I really enjoyed my time and will never forget my experience. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested!

My Favorite Place I Visited in London

When in London, I highly reccomend going to The Barbican Centre. It is an amazing place for various reasons. The Barbican Centre is basically a megastructure. It is basically something out of a dystopian future. It reminded me of the megastructure in the movie Dredd, except much nicer obviously. There are towers of subsidized housing on top and places to eat, a school, theaters and entertainment in the morning. The architecture is amazing. You could walk out in the center of the megastructure and see these wonderful fountains and towers above.

We went to my favourite museum I have seen during my trip. The World of Charles and Ray Eames is an amazing exhibit. It has artworks of Charles and Ray Eames which are the most popular designers in history. They created many popular models of furniture.

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My favourite piece of furniture I saw in the museum was the RAR Eames Rocking Chair. It was surreal seeing it here since my boyfriends family has this chair from the original release of them in 1952.

Arriving at New Paltz


Our trip ended. Japanese kids are taught that “a picnic does not end until you go home.” Our trip is not a picnic, but this phrase apply to ours too. I am very glad that all of us could have a safety trip. Our flights were run as scheduled, and we didn’t have any serious trouble during the trip.

On the first flight from New York to London, I was filled with expectation, excitement and a little bit of worry because it was my first time to enter Europe and experience a new culture other than Japanese and American ones. On the second flight from London to New York, I had a mixed feeling because I wanted to stay in London more, but on the other hand, I wanted to go back to my room in New Paltz immediately. (To be honest, I wanted to go back to Japan to meet my family, but I know it is not possible until this summer.)

I arrived at JFK airport around 6pm and Manhattan around 8pm. I got off a train at the Bryant Park. There were still a lot of people and stores were open. The atmosphere of NY made me feel relieved. I was surprised because it was snowing outside. We didn’t see snow in London even though it was quite cold.


I took a bus from NYC to New Paltz, and I arrived home around 11pm. My room is like a shelter and always makes me feel relief. While I unpacked my suitcase, I remembered days in London. Two weeks have passed too quickly when I looked back. Everything I saw, heard, touch, smelled, ate, and felt there became my precious experience. My spring semester was just started, and also I still have some assignments for this winter class till this March. The London art seminar doesn’t finish yet. I got some great inspirations from my experience in London, so I will use it to pursue my art goal. My goal is to be a good graphic designer who creates designs which move people’s minds. To achieve it, I want to do my best now.


A week has passed since I came back to New Paltz. I hanged Mucha’s calender, which I bought at the Courtauld Gallery in London, on my room’s wall. (My wall is filled with Mucha’s works which I love.) I always remember London’s days when I see this wall. Over all, it was a great experience. I’d like to recommend London to my friends because it is one of the most wonderful places to visit. I want to visit there again in the future if I have time and money.

Thany you for reading. Hope you all have a great semester!

See you


Leeds Castle

Hi everyone!

Originally I planned to put my Leeds Castle trip and my London tour into one blog. However as I was writing this blog, I realized that with all the pictures I included, it would be better to separate them into two blogs.

All of these trips have been booked through the school. Leeds Castle was free and London cost 8£. 8£ is actually very reasonable considering all of the things the tours included.

Leeds Castle. January 9th

It was an overcast and chilly day when I set out to the college. We were given a free “traditional English breakfast” in the school’s canteen. It was actually really quite tasty. I was finally able to enjoy a cup of coffee. I cannot even begin to explain how amazing coffee can taste after days of not having any. I was able to sit with some of my new friends and eat breakfast. They had toast, eggs, ham, and for some reason beans. We were later told that beans are considered a part of traditional breakfast here! It was fascinating! After an hour we all pilled onto two big coach buses, one was even a double decker! During the hour or so drive to the castle I was able to meet some other international students, from other countries. Two students were from France and another from Australia. Our conversations made the trip go by in no time. When we finally arrived at Leeds Castle the sky was still threatening us with rain but it promised to hold off for a little while longer.  We were greeted by a colorful peacock by the gate, we hoped it would a good sign that the rain would stay away! We began our journey up to the castle, we walked along a path that snaked around rivers and ponds. It was really quite beautiful.

 We then headed into the castle. It was absolutely gorgeous! There were so many different styles in the rooms. It was amazing to see so much history contained within those walls.

My favorite room was the library. I am a huge book-worm; happy to spend my days curled up in a corner with a good book. That room was incredible with floor to  book shelves, filled to capacity. Honestly, it was a book-lovers dream!


 After the castle, a group of us traveled across the grounds to see the Bird’s of Prey show. Back home I work in wildlife rehabilitation, and I mostly deal with birds. It was comforting to see birds like the ones I left at home. The rain had started pouring down at that point but we were prepared and stayed relatively dry under our umbrellas.

The next thing we did, is that we went to a maze. A simple maze we thought, so easy a child could do it, we would be in and out within 5 minutes. We were so wrong, so very very wrong. That maze was so much more complicated than we had thought. We would have wondered around in there for hours if it wasn’t for the guide in the center.

We also decided to go into the maze about a half hour before we were due to leave. In other words, we were obviously not thinking clearly. Thankfully there was a guide in the center of the maze who helped us get out in record time. I recorded the guided portion of our journey and sped it up. It makes for an amusing video! After we had conquered the maze and the grotto beneath it, we were able to start rushing back to the buses. Thankfully we ran into the school officials who had accompanied us on this trip. It was a relief to know that the buses wouldn’t leave without us!

IMG_5168Another peacock came by and bid us farewell.

All in all, it was an amazing trip, full of history, fun and convoluted mazes!

Classes for London Art Seminar

For our intersession time, our classes were very different in many ways. Our itinerary focused on mostly going to museums, parks and tours exploring various art styles. We would also have to meet at the professors flat for class times to as we did for our presentations. The museums we went to were wonderful.

We went to museums such as Tate Modern, Tate Britain, The british Museum, the Vitra and Ray Eames museum in the barbican. Most of which were my favourite. i loved the sculptures and exhibits at tate modern.


To point out, we have to write blog posts about the museums and things that we learned at the museums and about particular exhibits.

Also it is amazing that we got to see various parts of london. At the beginning of the seminar we had to buy an oyster card which is the equivalent to a metrocard for the underground. The underground is a great way of transportation and easier to use than the new York city subway system!