This is the first in my series of photos of the day on the MapWanderer blog. I'll try to post as much as I can, but we'll see how that goes!

I fell in love with Brighton. Living in this eclectic British seaside town was an adventure in itself. I had the privilege of living in Brighton for a year to get my Master's degree at the University of Sussex, and luckily, chose to live in off campus university accommodation right in the centre of town. Sure, it was noisy at night with all the party-goers, but I can't deny that I was often part of them. I mean, when else will I get to wake up every morning to the view of the beach and waves crashing onto the rocks (not sand)? Yes, it's England and yes, there is rain and wind and not the perfect weather, but that makes you love the sunny days so much more!

One day, my friend and I took a walk on the beach and towards the pier and I captured this photo as darkness was descending upon us. The rides on the Brighton Pier are surprisingly very fun!

Back in October, I ended my year+ in Europe with a visit from the family in September, a brief return to Brighton, and a relaxing time in Switzerland. It was a perfect conclusion to the year, and reminds me why I love Europe so much! This past time was my 4th time in Europe since my first study abroad experience back in 2005 and it has been the place I've traveled to most. By far, this past year was the best experience I've had there! It helps that I lived there and really got to experience being a "semi-local" in Brighton.

I made so many new lifelong friends from around the world and my love of travel makes me hope that I can visit my friends in their home countries (and vice versa). So, friends, get ready for my visit sometime soon I hope and of course, you're always welcome to California!

When my family came, this was our itinerary:
  1. Brighton, UK
  2. London, UK
  3. The Cotswolds (with Stratford-upon-Avon), UK
  4. Paris, France
  5. Tours & the Loire Valley Region, France
  6. Nice, France
  7. Monaco
  8. Cannes, France
  9. Rome, Italy
  10. Vatican City
  11. Venice, Italy

I have been to most of these places already, but since it was my family's first time in Europe, I was happy to show them a bit of what I love most about Europe. It was a beautiful adventure!