Countries I've Lived In - EBONI + IVORY

Countries I've Lived In

Hi Guys,


Woo, welcome to my first Travel Blog post!




So for this post, I thought I’d chat about the places I have lived. For the purpose of this post, “lived” is somewhere I have stayed for more than one week, and the reason for being in that place was not for leisure or pleasure. They are in order starting with the first up until last summer.
Let’s get started...



1.      Philadelphia- 2 years (aprox)

I was born in London, but moved to Philadelphia with my Mum when I was a couple years old. I have a lot of family spread across Philly, Florida and Jamaica, so we stayed with some of them in the east-American state. We even took a road trip to Florida at one point!
I was so young; I can’t remember much about the stay apart from what I see in pictures. I remember having a lot of cousins around my age and older, we went on trips to the Philadelphia Zoo, the Cinema and my favourite: the Please Touch Museum. It’s one of my best memories growing up. The Please Touch Museum is a museum aimed at children and you can play with pretty much everything in there! My favourite was the life size bus that you can pretend to drive. There is even a mini supermarket where you can feel like a grown-up and play at being a shopper or an assistant.
We came back to London when I was about 4 years old; ready to start school!



2.      London- 24 years

London is my home and heart! Not much to say about this place or I will be telling my life story! I love London and feel lucky to have grown up in this huge city filled with opportunity and fun.


3.      Barcelona- 3 months


In 2012, I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to study at a performing arts school in Spain. My drama school, Rose Bruford, offer its second year students the opportunity to embark on an Erasmus exchange trip to a handful of places. I chose Barcelona!
Barcelona is a beautiful place and I can’t wait to visit again. I stayed for three months in an amazing apartment, with an amazing view on both sides, via amazing balconies! Just writing this is giving me wanderlust! Don’t get me started on the food! I loved the food and culture, it was my first taste (literally) of another country since my year 6 France trip (which doesn’t count). I even learned how to prepare traditional Spanish cuisines and by the end, my landlady said I even looked more Spanish!
I saw a lot of Barcelona while I was there. From the 1992 Olympic stadium, to the beaches of local town ‘Sitges’, the shopping districts and more! I even went on hikes through the hills and mountains which was a nice way to explore.

With my friends from Uni, we experienced a fair bit of the nightlife! Razzmatazz, Europe’s biggest club, was definitely a great night, along with Catwalk club and a few local places for St Patrick’s day. We even partied all night and spent the early hours at the beach attempting to watch the sunrise!

Given that I stayed from January to March, Valentine’s day in Barcelona was inevitable! At the time, I was in a relationship, and my boyfriend came to visit me just in time to spent V day together. We headed to the cinema to watch “Django” and went for a really nice walk along a quiet beach (I’m sure we were the only ones there!) The evening was my favourite bit when we went to the top on W Hotel to enjoy cocktails and birds-eye views of the city. It was pretty romantic!

When my best friend visited me right at the end of my stay, we went to the aquarium which was really fun! I remember a conveyor belt that we had to stand on to take us along the track underneath the main tank; which was really cool! On our last day, we went up Mount Tibidabo (FRIENDS fans, did you get the reference?). Mount Tibidabo is a high mountain which overlooks the city and on top lies a historical cathedral and an amusement park!

Overall, I was lucky with the amount of time I had to explore Barcelona. It was definitely a city to explore over a long period of time. I will definitely return and reminisce over my favourite parts!






4.      Ukraine – Two Weeks

I was offered a job in Ukraine last January 2015. The job was based on a children’s winter camp in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains. I was the drama counsellor, they hired me as I am native English and it is a camp based on the idea of learning English and having fun!
I flew into Kyiv, the capital city, on my birthday (Jan 2nd). Spent most of the night in Heathrow airport, so the next thing I remember is stuffing my face with Dominoes pizza! There was one near the main station. We had to take an overnight train to our final destination, which meant sleeping on this amazing Hogwarts express- style, cabined rooms! It was such an adventure and a really funny way to spend my 23rd birthday!
When we arrived at the camp, it was like a picture perfect postcard town! COVERED in deeeeep snow and kind of in the middle of nowhere! The camp was based in a hotel which was really tall with just stairs to get up and down. (I got a lot of exercise there!)
The camp itself was an interesting experience to say the least... In the end, two weeks was enough in such an enclosed space (so much snow and ice meant barely leaving the building) with such a distant culture. There was definitely a lot of drama and craziness.

Best part of my trip was discovering my new favourite wine, which happens to be made in Crimea and can’t be bought anywhere else apparently! IIt is also worth noting how cheap everything is here! When converting prices, I realised how cheap things were, with a huge meal in a restaurant being the equivalent of about £1.70.... I was so shocked, but also pleasantly surprised. For the first time, I could afford to pay for the whole table’s meal, which felt nice.

Although I am not in a hurry to re visit Ukraine, the experience I had was certainly a memorable one, and one a won’t be forgeting in a hurry!





5.      Italy- 3 months

The best thing about working in Italy was that I was on tour! I visited about 10 different cities and towns while working, and stayed, mostly, with a local family.
My job was as a drama teacher working in a different school each week with up to 120 kids, doing drama activities which would finish with a final show that they presented at the end of the week. The families I stayed with belonged to one of the children I would be working with. Not only did I get to see most of Northern Italy, I also meant one of my best friends now! It was an EPIC trip!
I spent a lot of the time travelling alone. There were three of us doing the same job. We’d see each other in Modena every Saturday afternoon/evening then were sent off to our new school on the Sunday. So for a lot of my time, I would be hanging out with the family or teacher from the school or off on my own adventure. However, sometimes we were placed in the same school so we would then get to see each other more often.

Here are favourite places in Italy; I won’t describe each of them, as these pictures really do speak for themselves. I would encourage people to venture away from the typical cities and have a look as the beauty away from “Milan”, “Rome” and “Venice” etc. Of course these places are amazing, but if you are in Milan for a week, I would suggest a trip to the beautiful Lago Maggiore. Or if you are in Verona, a trip to Brescia should be on the cards!





6.      California- 3 months

I think it’s safe to say that California was perhaps my biggest challenge! I had a job on a sleep-away summer camp as a drama counsellor. The biggest challenge was being in the middle of nowhere (Glennville....?!?!) with no internet, phone signal and constantly being on duty for the kids. It was super intense and the workers/managers weren’t all the friendliest of people which was a shame. I even ended up cleaning the stage’s green room cabin within my first week and had to remove about 15 dead mice and about 30 bags of trash!!
Despite the mice and some of the staff, the tough times kind of helped me appreciate when something was really great. I managed to go on a few little adventures and saw a lot of LA and local areas. I also generally had a lot of fun with the children, creating shows. We even managed to put on the whole of Wicked the Musical (my fav) within half an hour! I was really impressed with my script editing skills!
Travel wise, I managed to stay in a fair few mansions (belonging to the staff I had days off with). In Beverly Hills, Malibu Beach, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara and LA centre. These were the days I got to have a nice shower, use wifi and rest a little.
At the end of my trip, I managed to get a hostel near the airport for a couple of nights and had a wander around Hollywood; walking the ‘Walk of Fame’. I even walked along the famous Venice Beach and ended up in the beautiful Santa Monica! I would return to America just to be on Santa Monica beach again! It is absolutely stunning!

The whole trip was one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had! I would love to return again away from the connection to the camp. Just as a tourist. I still need to see San Francisco!




7.      Where Next?

Who knows eh? I have always said that Amsterdam is a place I could live. I have been three times before and my dad was from there so I have always felt comfortable there.
I think that with a stable job and a little group of friends, I could definitely work in America. New York or LA. Maybe in Disney Land?! Haha!
Anyway... wherever I end up, if my past trips are anything to go by, it’s sure to be an adventure!



I hope you enjoyed this post guys! Tweet me if you’ve had any similar experiences or if you have a suggestion for a place to live!

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