Went back to Canterbury this week to officially move out. Re-experiencing Kent with my family was the best send-off imaginable. Finally went to Whitstable, a lovely little coastal town to the north from Canterbury, but otherwise stayed in the cathedral city. We did so much there in just a few days. Went to evensong at the cathedral with the boys' choir (I'm not one bit religious but it was amazing!), ate pub lunches, tried Japanese curry (which was delicious, by the way), visited the Roman museum and saw actual Roman marble floors that were discovered by the bombings during the war and which the museum was built upon (SO COOL), ate at the best Italian restaurant Pinocchio's (this was my fourth time there...), and of course shopped a lot. Primark will be missed. And on top of this we cleaned out my room and packed all my stuff and ofc stopped at a billion pubs while taking walks through town.

I still have two assessments left to do so school isn't over, but I have now truly moved back to Sweden. It's weird but still feels good. I love Canterbury and I am so happy I got to know the city which now feels like my home, but I also had a hard time there. So it's nice being home with family, but it's also sad not seeing the cathedral towers every day or walking the high street on the way to the Pound Store or checking what's new at Primark. Or just going to the bus station to go on a Kentish adventure. But never mind. I'll be back. My family already has Canterbury plans for the summer and the winter. So I won't be missing it for too long.

See you soon, Cbury.

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Kind of forgot to update here. So, yeah, I went home. I wish I could handle two months alone in Canterbury but I couldn't. Been home for about 10 days already and it's been so good for my soul. I miss experiencing Kent but the rest of it was too exhausting. At least at home I know I will always have people who care for me and I don't have to struggle everyday to get to know people. The first month in Canterbury was fantastic with trips to London, Paris, Dover, Margate, and obviously a lot of walks in Cbury itself, but the rest was just exhausting because of a lot of factors. So, yes, going home was so right even though I miss Canterbury. I've been welcomed back with lots of food and a game night with family and friends and a Sunday dinner just yesterday. My favourite thing was when I came back and my brother asked his girlfriend what she got from Canterbury (because I gave mum a necklace) and she said "I got Jessica". Best answer. (Also she goes home to Thailand in just a ccouple of days and I'm so happy I got to annoy her a bit before she leaves because it'll be months until next time.)

Anyway, that's it. I'll be back in Kent for a week or so in March but after that I've finished my exchange for real. I guess tomebody's gotta be the failure too. But whatever, Canterbury is still my home and I have a lot of happy memories. I just don't think I'm cut out for doing stuff on my own. Good thing I'm going with family the next time.

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​Gent, Gent, Gent... the view from the Belfort and the Belfort itself from below, more Gent and the city museum and some street art (7/2)

I haven't really had time to sit down and write about this before so this is a few days late. But, on Saturday I took a spontaneous trip to Belgium. Except for the return journey this trip was nice as heck. Belgium is always a lovely place to visit and Gent was not an exception, especially not when you get to meet your friends! We went up the Belfort and visited the city museum, and of course wandered the paved streets and just hung out. I don't think I've ever done anything as spontaneous as that. I barely go to other cities on my own, let alone other countries, and never without any real planning. But I think doing it was really great for me right now.

Homesickness is really kicking in now, one month in. I realise how much I'm missing at home and I want to be there with family. (It especially hurts missing my Thai bestie Tiny Tan in Sweden, because who knows when she might be back... and everybody else too, can't wait until March when I go back and see you all!) At the same time of course I wanna be here, experiencing amazing things most all the time. But it's weird being so secluded and not being able to just hang with family or friends. It takes a toll being in a new place, trying to find how you fit in. It's weird not being able to just get home in an hour or know that if you need them family and friends can come to you. It was lovely meeting some wellknown faces in Belgium though, just relaxing and having fun. I really needed that day or two to breathe. So thank you for having me and showing me around!

About the trip back to Canterbury... the bus left at 11 in the evening and arrived in Dover at 5 in the morning (with the 1 hour time difference that makes it 7 hours on a bus). Between that we got caught in a storm at Calais and had to wait for the ferry for about two hours. Delightful. When I finally got back I found a taxi outside of the ferry terminal and tried to convey to the driver that I needed to get to Canterbury, while not having slept for ages and being really confused and my throat messing up and basically not being able to talk... he probably thought I was really weird. But I finally did get home and he was nice. Apparently he's going to Sweden for holiday in a week. Take me with you, taxi driver. Please.

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Musée du Louvre (31/1)

Notre-Dame de Paris (31/1)

La Tour Eiffel and Paris from the top (31/1)

​The last day in Paris. What a beautiful city. This day was all about the tourist life and seeing the major tourist spots. Ended the trip with going all the way to the top in the Eiffel tower. The last time I was there I only went to the second level but this time we actually went all the way, which was terrifying but amazing. The whole thing shook in the wind and so did my legs from the height but it was so worth it.

Until next time, Paris.

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The Arc de Triomphe, buildings at Avenue des Champs-Élysées, backstreets of Paris, Seine, and the Eiffel tower (30/1)

The shopping was scarce and the weather was bleak but the city was as lovely as ever. Metro travels all over town, vigourous Primark searches and constant rain could explain this day. But, Paris in the rain is still Paris. And eating pizza at Champs-Élysées is pretty neat.

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I'm the worst at updating. In my defence this week has been pretty uneventful, with focus on finishing the first assessment and being a good student. The weather's been awful too, with constant rain and almost storm like winds, so it's not like we want to explore anything. The only fun stuff happening has been 1) shopping and 2) getting a tattoo. Tomorrow will be the start of a new adventure though, because we're going to Paris. We're going Friday to Sunday so we got two full days in the city to soak it all in. Time to get ready and brush off my tourist French.

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