Vienna, Bratislava, Budweis—Oh, My! | How I Traveled to the Wrong Country and Lost My Phone

TIA HERE with the longest title I think I've ever had for a blog post. To see the cities and get the deets, watch the video above! Below is the breakdown of what it covers.

First of all, let's lay down the basics: My housemate Alanna and I went to Vienna, Austria, for four days. In that time, we visited Bratislava, Slovakia, on the first day and Budweis, Czech Republic, on the second day, while remaining in Vienna for the third and final day. On the last day we left pretty early, so there's nothing much to report from then.

Review | What "Mockingjay - Part 1" Got Right

TIA HERE with lots to say on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which came out today (Wednesday the 19th) in Europe. (To all you Americans: enjoy it on Friday, suckas!) Because I'm sure there are already countless reviews out on the web by people hired to watch movies early and write about them, I'm going to take a bit of a different approach. I'll be attempting to avoid movie spoilers, but not book spoilers, so if you're looking for basic fact appreciation without going into too much detail—I'm your girl. For all those who read the books (hopefully I remember them as well as I think I do), here's the breakdown of some of my favorite moments that they got right, or just used in fantastic ways.

No Phone, No Hope | The Inconveniences of Losing a Phone While Abroad

TIA HERE with the grandest and most tragic of first world problems—the lost (or should I say stolen) phone. When it comes to smartphones, losing a cell means losing an alarm clock, all your music, games to pass the time, and a camera, in addition to losing the ability to contact people through Facebook, texting, calling, tweeting, tumbling, and whatever else you use. If you have an iPhone like I did (my dad's, as we traded phones before I left for Denmark), you can still count on backups or iCloud to save the majority of your stuff, but having no hardware to carry all of these tools that you don't realize you use a thousand times a day feels a lot like missing a third arm (one you didn't even know you had). Here is the layout of my immediate, phone-less breakdown, as one of those people who is constantly on their phone:

How to Listen to Taylor Swift's "1989" Album

TIA HERE and this time it's not something abroad-related. Like so many (young) (Western) (female) people, I am obsessed with Taylor Swift's new album. After listening to it nonstop for many a day, I think it's finally time for me to lay down my track-by-track notes for how each song hits me—and could hit you—in the best way possible. It's all about context (yours, not Taylor's), which affects how you enjoy each song. Here's what I came up with on which situations best suit each track:

Optional Study Tour | Culinary France

TIA HERE with a long video in which I attempted to include all of the pictures I took in the area known as Southern France (Nice, Fayence, Cannes, Monaco). It may not be the most professional video on the planet, but I thought it would be more important to showcase all of the photos, since below I'll only be including a few from the trip! For those potential DIS students looking at optional study tours for their many travel breaks, I highly recommend "Culinary Southern France." Not only were the people who led the group fantastic, but the experience was amazing and has completely altered my opinion of wine (from meh to YES). You spend the five days eating amazing food, wine tasting, olive oil tasting, exploring markets, and traveling freely. It's both a structured and casual program, with plenty of free time in addition to really neat activities (and meals). I'll try to break down the trip with some pictures!