The Best Of 2016


Since David Bowie left the mortal realm, the world has become a terrible place. But despite this, I thought it was important to look back at my personal positives of 2016… no matter how sad I am that Carrie Fisher is dead. 2016 was a year of big changes for me. After months of agonising over the decision, I decided it was time to repatriate myself back into British life. I’d gotten a tad complacent with everything… so obviously my brain decided to change it all at once. 2nd times a charm, right?

So, in order, I bring you my highlights of 2016.

Visiting Florence

I’ve wanted to visit Italy for as long as I can remember – and after almost two years of living on the continent, I finally got my chance. I traveled round the country by train – and although the trip was slightly derailed by the destruction of my passport – Florence was by far my favourite desintation. I saw amazing architecture, did fantastic shopping, marvelled at incredible art… and saw creepy fetus mannequins from the 19th century. I will definitely be back.

Reading Stephen King’s It

Much like visiting Italy, I had always wanted to read It. And although it really didn’t live up to the ‘omg so scary’ reviews I’ve been hearing my entire life, it was huge. Like, physically. And I’m glad I read it. And it makes me feel less terrible about failing my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year. Seriously, it was huge!

Giving up teaching

Although I have never wanted to end up as a teacher, it somehow became my job.  Yet it was always my means of staying in Madrid and getting a pretty decent income. So I stayed. But at the same time I was interviewing for summer camp positions to keep myself fed for the 3 months of Hell I was about to experience, I took a chance and interviewed for an unpaid editorial internship. And got it. Although I then had to decide between teaching and eating and gaining experience in the field I loved and starving – I’m glad I took the risk as it proved I was capable and qualified to do what I loved and gave me the push I needed to leave the safety net of Spain. Even if I did have to eat a lot of pasta to do so.

Seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Seeing this play was a long time coming. I first bought the tickets in October 2015 and spent an agonising year waiting for my time to come. I’ve written about the show in great detail already, so I won’t dwell on it too much, but it was definitely my favourite part of the year. Not only did it fill the empty place in my soul of the waiting for a new Potter release, but my quick trip to London was the catalyst for my eventual return to the UK. Thanks, Harry.

Doing a Brexit of my own

And finally, the most important change for me in 2016, moving back to the UK. Despite being on the top of my game in the ESL world, I knew it was time to move on. So after packing my entire life into two suitcases and a cardboard box, I took the leap and moved back “home”. I write this blogpost to you from my new place in Brighton. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but I imagine it will begin with job interviews, vegan food, and maybe a new haircut.

Cheers to you, 2017.

Four Spots In Florence


It’s been a while since I was in Florence, and I’d almost given up on writing a post about it. But no matter how much time passes, I can’t get that damn city out of my head. It’s definitely one of my favourite cities in Europe and I can’t wait until I go back again. So although it’s been a while since I visited, I couldn’t let the opportunity to post a few of my favourite Florentine haunts. They’re touristy af, but whatever, finding the hidden gems is for subsequent visits.

1. Museum of Zoology


Although when people think of museums in Florence, they’re usually referring to Renaissance art, the first museum I visited was the Museum of Zoology. This place definitely isn’t what you’d expect. Full of taxidermy, wax models, and other wonderfully weird creations. The insect section was super cool… I had no idea bugs could grow that big and it makes me thankful that the cockroaches here in Spain aren’t as big as my face. The human section was pretty interesting too, mostly because it shows how little people knew about the human body only a few hundred years ago. I’ll save you the pictures I took of sliced in half boobs, even though I kinda loved it. My favourite part though, was an exhibition on rhinos and extinction, which made me cry a little bit. If you need a break from all the Reniassance art, the Museum of Zoology and it’s boob models is definitely an eye opener.

2. Giardino Boboli


Even though it was petty terrible weather, no museums were open, so I risked the rain and a took a trip to the Giardino Boboli. I’ve never really been one for royal gardens and the like, so it surprised me how much I enjoyed my visit. The views of Florence are incredible, and it’s a great way to kill a few hours because it’s so damn big! The whole thing has a very Studio Ghibli feel, it’s very whimsical and kind of eerie. But my favourite part of the trip has to be the museums included in your ticket entry price. In the costume gallery, I got to see a great exhibit of fashion through the ages, with information about the designers/owners that was super interesting to me, particularly because of the feminist twist. It wasn’t what I was expecting upon entering a garden, but I was very happy to spend my day there.

3. Galleria dell’Accademia¬†


Everyone goes to the Galleria dell’Accademia when they visit Florence, but I noticed that a lot of people take a picture with David, then leave, but there’s so much more to see! Admittedly the building was way smaller than I expected, but it does have some hidden gems. Definitely not the place for you if the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who creep you out, but if you’re a fan ofRenaissance ¬†sculptures, you’re gonna love it. Just make sure you buy tickets in advance, because otherwise you’re looking at a two hour wait in line.

4. Volume, Piazza Santo Spirito


Although I nearly picked the whole piazza for this section, really my love is all for Volume. This is the type of place we need more of in Madrid. Laid back, dingy, with amazing coffee and food. Aka everything I love in a cafe bar. I think I came here three times over my four days in the city, and it was mainly for the amazing jam croissant I had my first day. If you need a good coffee/food/book reading spot inbetween all the architecture and art, head across the bridge and relax a bit away from the crowds. Seriously though, get the jam croissant.

Forget Rome, Florence has got to be the ultimate Italian city break.