Sunday, 3 July 2016

Back In England

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I’m writing this post while cruising at 30,000ft up on my (very delayed) flight back to London, which signifies the end of my year abroad. I feel like 'time has absolutely flown' has been my catchphrase the last few months but seriously, time, will you slow down a little bit? Thx.

10.5 months ago, I was sitting on a plane feeling a little bit sick with excitement and nerves, and now I’m feeling a little bit deflated. I’ve missed England and I’ve missed my family, but I also know I’m going to miss this country that I’ve grown to love.

I’ve blogged a lot about my time in Germany and I wanted to do a final update of my last bit of time I’ve spent here. It’s been super busy. I’m so exhausted and I can’t wait for a lay in tomorrow morning. And some English food. I’ve missed English food a lot.

My last update post was 2 months ago, though I’ve been doing a few weekly update posts, I’ll fill you in from there!



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Freiburg


One of my favourite things about the year abroad is the opportunity to travel. I knew I wanted to see as much as Germany as possible during my time here and I’ve ticked most of the places I had on my list off as well as visiting some lesser known but still beautiful places.

When our friends Rob and Naomi suggested visiting Freiburg for a weekend, we instantly agreed. Although we had actually visited Freiburg for a day in November during a trip in the Black Forest, it was pouring with rain the whole day and hence we didn’t see too much before jumping back in the car to head back to our lodge in the snowy mountains.

We had more luck with the weather this time and such a great time. I’m so glad we decided to go back! You can read more about our trip and see some more photos here.

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Visitors


My parents and Tom's parents came out to visit us for a weekend in May and June respectively and it was really nice to show them our lives in the city. We also had friends visit and it's always fun to see Frankfurt from a tourist perspective and do the things that we just never get round to doing when it's just us. It's so nice having visitors from home to bring us chocolate fingers and orange squash as well as to keep homesickness at bay.

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Europa Park

On #Brexit day I found myself at Europa Park for a work trip. Each summer the company gives everyone a day off and a contribution of money to spend a day doing something fun, which is such a nice idea and gesture. I signed up for the group heading to a theme park because rollercoasters are 100% my idea of fun.

However, because of the anxiety over the results of the referendum, I got roughly 30 minutes sleep the night before. I’m not going to delve into my feelings on that topic here as I’ve already posted about it.

But here’s some life advice for you, if you’ve had a super long day at work and a leaving party afterwards, and you’re going to a theme park the next day which involves a very early start, GET SOME SLEEP. Seriously, by the time I got back to our flat at 10pm, I was getting heart palpitations from my complete exhaustion. The only thing keeping me going through the day was the adrenaline from rides.

Despite my inability to look after my body, I had such a good day. It was nice to get to know my colleagues in a setting outside of work and the theme park itself was a lot of fun. Each section of the park is themed by countries in Europe (the irony of this coinciding with Brexit day was strong) and there were some really good rides. One that stood out to me was a rollercoaster that measures your pulse during the ride. My pulse was actually quite low, not sure if this was due to my state of tiredness or the fact that rollercoasters don’t make me too nervous!

Europa Park is the biggest theme park in Europe. If you love water rides such as log flumes, this is your place. It was upwards of 30 degrees on our day there, so I was pretty pleased to be soaked through, multiple times. If you ever find yourself in the area, it's definitely worth a visit!

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Finishing my internship


May and June at my internship went incredibly quick. In Germany, there are quite a few public holidays in May and then I had 6 days of holiday left to use in June so I had days off all over the place. I took my last 2 days off as I needed to pack and clean the flat and meet the estate agents on the same day as my last contracted day so the time was super useful.

The last month was a little difficult due to being ill, homesick, train disruptions leading to a super long commute every day and Tom not working but by the time it actually came to leaving, I was definitely sad to go. I've learned so much and met some really lovely people, I'm so grateful I had the chance to work there!

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Coldplay


I got my hands on some Coldplay tickets months ago, despite the ticket website trying to tell me it was sold out before they even went on sale and then them getting lost in the post. We decided to see them in Hamburg on the 1st July, as my last contracted day was 30th June and Hamburg was one of the aforementioned cities on my list of places I wanted to see, plus it would be a great way to celebrate the end of our year abroads! That it was.

Coldplay put on an amazing show, playing both their new and old songs. If you have me on Snapchat (username is hannahemilylane) then you'll have seen my super long story. Coldplay has been a band on my concert bucket list for so long, and it was just as incredible as I imagined.


I had such an amazing last few weeks and year overall and I can't quite believe it's all over. I will post again about my post year abroad feelings in a few weeks when I've had time to let my emotions straighten out and I'm settled back in.

Thank you Germany, thank you to everyone I've met who's made my time there incredible, thank you to Tom for the continuous support, encouragement and partner on my travels, thank you to everyone at my internship, thank you Mannheim University. It's been a blast.


Hannah Lane

Related posts:

40 Thoughts Everyone Has Before Their Year AbroadHow To Find Accommodation In GermanyFeeling Homesick

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