Adventure Time: Exploring Castles and Dodging Daleks

I’ve been in Cardiff for almost a month. Everything is still new and exciting, but at the same time, I feel comfortable. I even have a regular coffee shop now.

After a terribly long and tedious process, I was finally able to register in my classes (or modules, as they call them here). This term, I am taking two modules in archaeological conservation.What exactly is that? Well, to the best of my knowledge, I will be learning how to care for and repair historical artifacts, as well as document them. There is even talk of using a laser! Pew pew! I am also in a module on museum management- so far we have had interesting discussions on the role of museums and learned about the many ways to rid them of pests.

The Conservation Lab

My classes are all tiny. I spend most of my time with 15 first-year Masters students, 1 Undergrad student, and 2 other study-abroaders. We are an eclectic mix, led by wonderfully weird and fabulous instructors, and I am so far enjoying myself very much. We even went out to a pub! ~ Drinking~ with professors! What is this!? Wales, that’s what. And yes, you did count that right. I am only in three classes this term but they count as a full course load- 15 UBC credits.

The Americans

It may bite me in the arse later, but for now, I have a lot of free time. I met some Americans who are also here on an exchange, and although it is a bit weird to befriend mostly Americans when studying abroad in Wales, it also makes sense. We are all going through the same transition, we all want to experience as much as we can, and we all speak with a thick North American accent. As for experiences, they somehow convinced me to go paintballing with them- you know how Americans love their guns. It hurt like hell, but I’m glad I did it. Note to self: wear gum boots and padding if you ever do that again.



DJ Hodor

I was also convinced to go clubbing. If you’re reading this, you   know I’m not a clubbing person, but I had to. I had to because Kristian Nairn, better known as Hodor from Game of Thrones, was DJing. We all screamed: “Hold the Door!” and danced and danced and danced. It was fantastic.


This past weekend I spent in London. We were only there for one night, but boy did we do a lot! We saw Book of Mormon, wich was absolutely just as amazing as I remembered it! Sacrilicious! And spent all of Saturday wandering around the city. We started in East London, and made our way to the Science Museum and V&A. We also managed to fit Carnaby Street and South Bank in there. I had my first-ever hostel experience, and I have to say it was surprisingly not a hole. Unfortunately one of my travel companions did not have ID and we were almost rejected, but after batting our eyelashes furiously, they let us in.

In the upcoming weeks, I’m spending a lot of time on planes. I’ve got trips planned for Londontown, Edinburgh, Berlin,Amsterdam, and Geneva. This is a very exciting time for me, and I don’t write this down to brag. I know I’m spending money, but I know I will be more thankful that I did these trips in the future when I’m so arthritic that I can’t move, or at least my great-great-grandkids will be thankful I did these trips because my Alzheimered brain won’t allow me to go to the bathroom by myself, but at least they know that I travelled the world. They will know I had the time of my life, 150 years ago.






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  1. So bloody exciting and thrilling to hear Sophie. Batting eyelashes can go a long way in this world but make sure to keep eyes wide open. And such small classes, so much learning and such interesting material. I agree that you should make the most of all the opportunities. Your not yet Alzheimered nana. xoxo


  2. Yay fun times abroad! Please give us a detailed blog about getting sick in a country that has no Tylenol PM. Perhaps it is a more advanced technology in Cardiff, where the Doctor is in. Pew Pew!


  3. Oh Sophie, so wonderful that you’re out there doing it all. Those up coming trips sound like more fun, yet more interesting places to be. So glad things have worked out so well and that you’ve grabbed it “by the tail”. Do it for all of us soon to be nutters.



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