June 2016: What Went Down?

Summer has truly begun! I can’t quite believe how quickly the last couple of months have gone by and how much has happened, particularly just in June. I’m in something of a state of limbo, living with my parents in Somerset during the university holidays at the moment, but as you’ll find out, hopefully not for long! No offence intended, of course, to my parents who are being fairly saintly in putting up with me. Here are some of the most significant things which have been happening in my life this month!

  • Summer balls

Exams are over, and that means two to three weeks of nothing but summer parties, barbecues at the beach, festivals and summer balls! This year, I attended three official summer balls at Exeter University – the Theology End of Year Ball for my subject area, the XMedia Awards as part of the Exeposé Committee 2016/17, and the Enchanted Garden Ball, an event hosted externally by the Enchanted Group just outside of Exeter.

The Theology ball, more of a dinner, was held at a lovely tapas restaurant in the centre of Exeter – the new social secretaries of the committee did an amazing job of organising, and it was a great night all around! I would definitely recommend Forn as a venue for any event. I attended with one of my closest friends (an interloper from Politics, Philosophy and Economics), and everyone had an amazing time!

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Theology Girls at the Ball Photo: Anna Greenwood

The XMedia Awards was, in my opinion, the best summer ball that I attended. The event felt very university-focused, being held at the on-campus hotel and conference centre, Reed Hall. The building is lovely and in the middle of some beautiful gardens. We’re lucky to have such an aesthetically pleasing and green campus! The night kicked off with a champagne reception followed by a three-course meal, award presentations for the student newspaper (for which I am a Print Comment Editor) and the radio and student television stations. And then, of course, some crazy dancing!

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Exeposé Print Committee 2016/17

These events all took place in the space of a week, around other parties and socials. So I was pretty knackered by the time the Enchanted Garden Ball rolled around! To be perfectly honest, although I did enjoy the event, it was so hyped up beforehand that I would have been very surprised if it lived up to it, and I probably won’t be repeating the experience. Oh well, I’ll give everything a go. Shobrooke Park, the venue, is a nice area and the setup was pretty cool, with several dance areas, fairground rides and a “secret garden” karaoke area. The bar and food stalls were VERY steeply priced and I’m not quite sure what the £36 ticket fee was paying for…

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Candids with a friend at EGB
  • No longer a teenager! *gulp*

The third of June was my 20th birthday! I didn’t really do much at the time because of all the other stuff going on, though I held a joint party with a friend at the end of May. A classic student night out. We won’t go into that one!

Instead of doing anything particularly special for my birthday, I went to see “Me Before You” by myself – I feel I haven’t been making enough time for myself and seeing as I’m all about solo travel, see no issue with doing things like this alone. The film is based on one of my favourite books by Jojo Moyes who is a brilliant writer – I won’t spoil any details for anyone but I will say a couple of things! The film is about a wealthy young man who has recently become a quadriplegic as a result of a motorcycle accident (Sam Claflin), who falls in love with his new carer, a happy-go-lucky small town girl with her head somewhat in the clouds (Emilia Clarke).

 

Naturally, it wasn’t as good as the book. I felt a lot of important things were left out. In terms of production, it isn’t anything special. It is pretty much a feel-good romance despite having some sad parts. Lastly, since seeing the film and hearing about some of the reactions to it from the disabled community, I’ve realised that there are a lot of problems within it, and the ableist narrative it presents can be seen as quite destructive. I did enjoy the film but would caution those intending to see it or read the book, that these issues are more important than you might realise at first.

I’m waffling. So, I’m finally leaving my teenage years… It feels pretty strange, to be honest. Like I should start being a proper adult or something. Ew. Going to be putting THAT off for as long as possible! Am I ready to be an adult? This picture suggests not…

Going to be putting off my responsibiltiies in favour of partying for a while yet
Going to be putting off my responsibiltiies in favour of partying for a while yet
  • Poltimore Festival

Whilst I didn’t attend HIJACKED or the Radio One Big Weekend, I am so happy that I took the day after EGB (with only three hours of sleep under my belt for the night) to attend an alternative music and arts festival, formerly known as Arts on the Move, held at Poltimore House, a former stately home, private girls’ school, and hospital, now in a state of disrepair. Quite a few friends from Exeposé were involved with the organisation and it was a brilliantly organised event – and tickets were only £8! A far better event than EGB, in my opinion.

I saw some great artists perform, such as Daisy Vaughan who you can check out in the Poltimore Sessions recording from XTV, here! I’m really loving her music! I also loved seeing friends from the Exeter Revue (stand-up society) and the Dead Poets Society perform at the festival!

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The back of Poltimore House
Daisy Vaughan performs in the Poltimore House covered courtyard
Daisy Vaughan performs in the Poltimore House covered courtyard
  • Moving out of uni and first year results

I’ve finally finished a year of university! So pleased to have completed my first year of my Theology and Religion BA, only 1.12% off a First! A high 2.1 isn’t anything to sniff at, I suppose. And I have a whole two years, as well as a Year Abroad in Germany, to make up that pesky 1%. I just have to want it enough!

Can't finish the year without a picture on the Exeter rock!
Can’t finish the year without a picture on the Exeter rock!

It was really strange packing up my university life into boxes, ready to put back into storage at home, and leaving my first privately rented student house for the last time. I’ve had some great memories there, and it was pretty sad putting the keys on the desk and shutting the front door! But onwards and upwards! I’m looking forward to coming back in September to a new house and a new year of surprises!

  • Back to my favourite aerial workouts!

Being home without the stress of exams, and not much to do, has meant that I’ve returned in force to pole and aerial hoop! I haven’t been for a while due to the nearest hoop studio being half an hour away by train in Exmouth, from my home in Exeter, and I’d been slacking off pole for the last couple of months for no good reason.

Now I’m back, I’ve been going to a few classes each week and I’m aching! It’s definitely worth it though and I’m so glad to be back after a break! I go to the gym a lot at university but I didn’t see the point in signing up at home just for a tiny bit of the holiday. I have to get in as many classes as I can before I leave again!

  • Sorting out my Indian study placement!

Now for one of my most exciting pieces of news! I’ve been selected to be one of 400 students heading to India this summer through the Generation UK-India programme, run by the British Council, to study at an Indian university for a couple of weeks.

I’ll be going to Christ University, Bangalore, to study “Women in India: Changes and Perspectives”! I’m super excited – I knew I wanted to return to India, but had no idea it would be within the year! I applied for the programme on a whim and didn’t think much of my chances of being selected, but after being on the waiting list for a couple of weeks, I was given the chance to take part!

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve sorted my visa at the consular office in Bristol, and taken an arduous Megabus journey up to Manchester and back for a pre-departure briefing on keeping safe in India and making the most of our visit! There wasn’t an enormous amount in the briefing which I hadn’t worked out from my own travels in India last year, but it was great to meet some of the people on my course and the other courses around India too!

I enjoyed wandering around Bristol (which is fairly near to my hometown but which I don’t visit nearly enough) and Manchester (rarely do I venture so far north!) and particularly wish I’d had more time in the latter! I haven’t really seen enough of England…

The Mancunian way 🐾🚌⛪️⬆️ #travel #architecture #Manchester #exploring #England

A post shared by Bea ☀️1001 Somewheres (@bea_thechange) on

  • One Thousand And One Somewheres is now self-hosted!

And my other big piece of news! After a whole lot of procrastination, I’ve finally moved across to a self-hosted platform! I’m using Bluehost to host this website now, and can’t tell you how pleased I am to finally have gotten off my butt and done it!

I’ve also rebranded somewhat, but the current design of the blog is in no way set in stone, so a lot more could be changing over the next few weeks. But… seeing as I’m setting off again soon, aesthetic changes will probably be placed on the back burner.

In the meantime, keep track of me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates!

  • Planning my travels around the subcontinent!

As a result of my returning to India, and having already sorted my visa reasonably quickly, I’ve booked a flight out as soon as I could get it – in under two weeks’ time, to visit my hosts from last year in Dehradun and then explore a bit more of India before the course in Bangalore starts. I’ll then be roaming around the south of the country a little, hopefully including Hampi, Goa and Kerala, before moving on to Sri Lanka before I return home in time for the next academic year!

Kerala scenery Photo: Wikipedia
Kerala scenery
Photo: Wikipedia
Sri Lankan Elephants Photo: Wikipedia
Sri Lankan Elephants
Photo: Wikipedia

Naturally, there’s been a lot of guidebook-perusing, reading of blogs, and googling to prepare myself for this next exciting journey, and all I have to do now is buy my travel insurance and go!

  • Britain votes to leave the European Union

Now for a more sober topic. Yesterday, on the 23rd of June 2016, the British public voted by just shy of 52%, of a 72% turnout, to LEAVE the European Union. The majority of young people under the age of 30 voted to REMAIN in the EU, with the elder generation swinging the vote for “Brexit”. The effect on the economy has already been marked – the British Pound is at its lowest point since 1985. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly to REMAIN in the EU, as well as London, whilst England and Wales favoured LEAVE. This division may well trigger referenda within the United Kingdom itself within the next few years.

The UK has been part of the EU for my entire life, and so many of my family and friends count being European as a crucial part of their identity. I am very upset about the decision – my mother is Czech, and the majority of my family live in the Czech Republic. The anti-immigrant feeling in Britain is growing stronger and stronger, and I cannot adequately express my anger that a close majority of Brits would rather place their trust in the likes of Nigel Farage of UKIP, and Michael Gove and Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party, than the word of financial experts, academics and world leaders.

Supporting REMAIN before Referendum Day with my mum
Supporting REMAIN before Referendum Day with my mum

I’m sure that at some point, I will do a more in-depth post about this, but to be truthful I think that I, like many others of my generation in Britain, are finding this to be a shocking disappointment, and extremely difficult to process. So for the moment, I can only hope that the country will find some semblance of stability within the chaos which this decision has prompted, and that the forecast for the future will not be quite as dire as it seems now.

To conclude!

Best Bits: Finding out that I’ll be returning to India, completely my first year of Theology, and spending time at home with family and friends

 

Down-time in the garden with my grandmother, visiting from the Czech Republic
Down-time in the garden with my grandmother, visiting from the Czech Republic
Taking a stroll down to the harbour in my little seaside hometown
Taking a stroll down to the harbour in my little seaside hometown

Worst Bits: Leaving people I’ve become close to at university for three months. And this whole EU disaster has not exactly filled me with joy.

Most Popular Instagram Post: This throwback picture from my trek across America two years ago was really popular this month! Remembering sleeping under the stars in Monument Valley and watching the sun rise over these beautiful landforms makes me so keen to see things like this again! The colours are just amazing and I can’t begin to describe this sense of peace…

Coming Up: I’ll be visiting India and Sri Lanka over the next couple of months so expect a lot of activity then! I’ll also be publishing more posts about my time in Thailand and Cambodia, as well as some of my local trips around Devon, England last term!

Thanks for reading, folks! What are your summer travel plans? Have you been to any events or festivals? Leave me a comment below!

x Bea

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