Monday, 30 June 2014

Review - The Ice Creamery

Hey guys! I spent this weekend in Aldeburgh, and I thought I'd share the cutest ice cream shop I've ever been too. It's called The Ice Creamery and has recently opened on the Street in Aldeburgh town centre. 
Year Abroad student blog

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

No longer a fresher...

First year of uni is pretty much over. Officially the last day of term is Friday but as I'm back at home now and results day is today (impatiently checking my emails of course), it's over for me! And I feel like today is a good time to reflect on how first year went. *Warning: quite a picture heavy post!*

Hannah Lane Student Blog

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Holidaying - The Algarve, Portugal

Last week I was in Praia Da Luz in Portugal with 3 girls from my flat as a post-exam break. We booked with Thomas Cook, stayed in the Ocean Club Apartments and went self catered. We had a brilliant time and I want to share some pics and recommendations with you all!

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog

There were 3 pools we could use, one being an adult only pool. They were all really nice! The beach was also great, but we preferred spending time by the pool as none of us really liked being sandy. There were waterspouts available on the beach, such as canoes, speedboats, windsurfing, catamarans, and those inflatable donut things that are pulled by a speedboat! The only thing is the sea isn't that warm as its the Atlantic and not the Mediterranean! 

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog

Praia Da Luz has been in the media quite a bit the last few weeks as police have been there searching for Madeleine McCann, however we were quite likely as they stopped the search the day before we arrived. There was no police in sight, however the resort is pretty large so it wouldn't have been difficult to avoid them had they been there. It was really quiet while we were there, and I'm not sure if this was due to it not being the height of the season or people avoiding the resort. We all felt safe there and I'm glad we chose this place!

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog

One day we went to 'Slide n splash' water park which was really good fun! It was a bit of a cloudy day and so it wasn't very warm when we first got there, and I think we spent most of the morning in the hot tub, but it warmed up in the afternoon. Going on a cloudy day was probably a good idea though as it means we didn't get horrendously burnt and it wasn't very busy so we didn't have to queue long if at all for the rides!

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad BlogHannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Overall it was a really lovely week and a brilliant end to first year of uni! I would really recommend Praia da Luz, even with families. There are some lovely restaurants, our favourites were Chicca's (highly highly recommend this place - amazing food and atmosphere and not expensive) and Cafe Fabrica. Luz is a great place and one I would definitely go back to!

Hannah Lane
Have you ever been to the Algarve? Did you like it?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

the wanderlust tag

Hey guys! The lovely Amy from The Sparkle Pages nominated me for the Wanderlust Tag and what a better day to write it than the day I jet off to Portugal for a post-exam break! Here's her take on the tag :)

year abroad blog

1. Your most treasured passport stamp? 
Well the most treasured physical stamp in my passport is the little mickey mouse that the border people stamped in when I went to Florida, but if we got stamps in our passport travelling inside Europe, it would probably be Germany. I love the country and I cannot wait to spend my year abroad there! I worked in a shop whilst I was in Koblenz and it was a fantastic experience. I also met some great people. 

year abroad blog

2. Can you recite your passport # from memory if asked?
Nope haha. I think it begins with a 1. (Okay, I just checked and it begins with a 5, oops. Must have been thinking of my student I.D!)

3. Preferred method of travel: Planes/Trains/Automobiles?
Hmm. I think planes probably, but just because usually that means I'm going somewhere exciting! However I always experience a lot of pain (and when I say a lot- I mean I feel like my head will implode) when we start descending and I always dread this part of the flight. I find trains really chilled and I do enjoy long train journeys too! I'm not keen on car journeys because I can't read or look at screens as I feel sick so I get bored! 

year abroad blog

4. Top three travel items
Well a camera is an absolute essential! A good book is also a must. And some plasters, because I seem to be more accident prone abroad.

5. Hostel or hotel?
I'm not completely adverse to staying in a hostel, but I definitely prefer my own space and bathroom that a hotel room offers! 

6. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
I've never stayed in the same hotel or even resort twice (well I can't remember having done so..) so I guess I'm an explorer of new places! I do like getting out and seeing new countries or cities, I feel like there's so much to see! But I would be equally happy going back to somewhere I've loved!

year abroad blog

7. Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or do you wing it? 
Well usually I'd read up on a destination before booking a trip as I love experiencing some culture and want to know what the place has to offer. I don't wing it though I'd love to be a bit more spontaneous and do this, and have a bit of a surprise when you reach the place! I'm not brave enough though, and planning a few things before you go helps you get the most out of your trip! 

8. Favourite trip website?
Definitely TripAdvisor. So many reviews on pretty much everywhere on there and is really useful on deciding whether to book something. Many reviewers also leave a few tips on the place so can be useful! 

year abroad blog
9. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name a city and why?
Well this depends on the friend a little bit. But I think generally I'd recommend Sorrento, Italy. I went on a school trip here and it was amazing. It has something for everyone - there's history at Pompeii and Herculaneum, culture in the lovely Italian restaurants, stunning views along the Almalfi coast, sunshine, shops, and for the more adventurous people, climbing Mt. Vesuvius! 

10. You're leaving tomorrow, money is no option. Where would you go?
Either Thailand or South Africa. These are two places at the top of my 'Places I Must Go' list. I think both of them are very different but offer so much, and it would be an amazing experience. 
I nominate any of my lovely readers who hasn't taken part yet, and also Alex from Chloe from Emily from and Chloe from :)
Hannah Lane

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Student life: 10 productive ways you can spend your summer!

10 productive ways you can spend your summer

So for most students now (me included!) summer is hereeee!! Exams are over and school/uni work can be put aside for a few months and we can chill out and catch up on all that TV and friends you've neglected during revision season. However, rather than binging on netflix and sleeping in all day, just because you can, I have for you a few other, more productive ways you could spend your summer!

Get some experience

...whether that be in the form of work experience, a work placement or internship. Get out there and do something you think you might be interested in as a career. Most deadlines for the summer internship schemes with BIG companies will have passed, but there are definitely still internships and work experience opportunites out there! I only just just confirmed my placement a few weeks ago. Email around - it can't do any harm. Even if you just shadow someone for a few days - it's better than doing nothing, and you gain valuable insight of the ins and outs of a job too.

 Go Travelling

While we're students with the whole summer off, why not make the most of not working full time by getting out and seeing the world for a month or maybe 3. This may not be for everyone, but why not book an interrailing ticket (which I think is about £300 for a month) and go backpacking across Europe. You'll gain a lot of life experience, have an amazing time, and give you some awesome stories to tell.


Volunteering with a charity you support is sure to impress future employers as well as making a difference to the community you live in. You'll gain lots of new skills, meet new people and you'll feel awesome knowing you're helping out a good cause (while also boosting that CV)! If you want to volunteer at a music festival, you can read my experience of that here.

Earn some cash

You may be able to pick up a part time job where you live, or some temporary, seasonal or casual work. Check out job websites and apply to lots. My part time job last year regularly offered me plenty of overtime and I ended up working 40+ hours a week, so don't be afraid to take something just because you're not contracted as many hours as you want (though do be careful of zero hour contracts - they may not work in your favour). This is also something which can enhance your CV and shows you're not afraid of some hard work!

Raise money

You can utilise your spare time by doing a sponsored event! After my GCSE's I did a parachute jump and raised over £300 for Help for Heroes and it was a great experience. You could also do a race such as Race for Life or a half marathon or a sponsored bike ride. There are so many things you can do to make a difference to a charity, as well as it being a personal achievement and something you can include on the CV.

Summer camps

I know a couple of people going to work abroad for the summer in places such as Camp America, and they are so excited. I looked into this and it looked like a really fantastic idea - you get paid and have the chance to travel round America after the camp with all your new friends! You will also gain a whole load of new skills. There's also Camp Europe for something a bit closer to home and summer camps in the UK.

Learn something new

With all your time and freedom over summer, its the perfect time to pick up a new skill. This could be a new language (Duolingo is such a useful app for this) or something such as basic coding, certain skills are highly regarded by employers and having these under your belt will really help you stand out from the crowd!

Read ahead

Maybe not the most enjoyable way to spend your summer days but it will certainly benefit next semester! You'll find you have more time to get more involved in societies and clubs and it'll reduce some of the stresses as you'll have already done some of the work.

Get organised

With all that free time, now you can sort your life out. Okay, I didn't mean it like that ;). But tidy your room, donate/sell old or unwanted clothes, update your CV, do all those little tasks you've been needing to do for ages and never got round to it. Now's the time to get more organised!

Have fun

It's important that you also spend time with friends and family and de-stress from all the hard work particularly of exam season. Unwind and chill out, and of course, enjoy your summer whatever you do!

What are your summer plans? 
Hannah Lane

Monday, 2 June 2014

My Birmingham Shopping Trip Haul!

On Saturday I went shopping in Birmingham as a revision break, I absolutely needed to get away from textbooks and power points for a while and a bit of retail therapy was perfect. I definitely feel much better for a break and I bought some lovely new things!