Thanksgiving break

It was the perfect time for a week long break (9 days of you include the weekends either side of the University week!)

The first 5 days of my break was spent with a friend, riding our bikes south 160 miles from a town called Garberville to a city north of San Francisco called Santa Rosa.  We could not have asked for better weather, especially considering the time of year!  We had perfect blue sky and sunny days, and although the nights were sometimes below freezing we had warm beds to sleep in every night.

The section of road began in the Redwood forest, winding round and up and down; once out of the hills and away from the majestic towering trees we moved into beautiful wine country with vibrant colors extending as far as the eye could see.  It was magical!

wine country California

wine country California

Wine country California

Wine country California

IMG_1862 IMG_1863 IMG_1864 IMG_1913 IMG_1914 IMG_1915 IMG_1920

Fruit picking became a daily activity, especially the further south we rode.  We found Persimmons, berries, oranges, grapefruit and walnuts in our travels, this made for great healthy eating along the way!

The bike trip flew by and soon Mari and I found ourselves saying goodbye and departing for our separate Thanksgiving locations.

Bike friendly public transport made my trip to Chico easy, and after two short layovers, I was in the colorful and vibrant city of Chico, where I met up with another friend to experience the very American tradition that is Thanksgiving.

I was very privileged to be part of such a magnificent feast, and although I am a vegetarian and missed out on the turkey, I still felt the need to un-button my pants at the conclusion of the feast.

Chico is a busy University town, but with most of the other students gone for the break meant the town was quiet and peaceful for the next few days.  I spent time riding around exploring the beautiful Bidwell Park, lazing in the sun and relaxing.

A great break before the Fall semester winds up over the next three weeks.

Settled in & studying…

image image image image image imageI have experienced O Week, and 2 weeks worth of classes, I cannot believe how fast the time is flying!

The campus here at HSU is huge, and even in my 3 weeks of exploring, there is still so much more to discover, both on and off campus.

these past 3 weeks have been pretty jam packed, I am making the most of being a full time, on campus student; and what University experience would be complete without joining a sports team?? None!
So myself and a few of the other exchange students, along with some American transfer students decided to join the Ultimate Frizbee teams here at HSU (men’s and woman’s). The weekly commitment is around 7 hours of training a week, plus tournament time when they start, but both the men’s and woman’s teams know how to have a good time when the training is finished. It’s been a great way to meet some great people and have a whole heap of fun, both on and off the field!
Already the woman’s team (the Hags) have planned a camping trip away to get to know each other and have some fun, this includes coming up with nick names for all the new players.

Classes here at HSU have been great so far, class sizes are small, which means I’ll get to know the teachers; and already I have been assigned some group work tasks, which means I’ll have the opportunity to get to know my class mates a bit better too.
I am really enjoying my busy schedule; balancing academics, with ultimate training, plus making the most of my weekends socialising and site seeing.

One thing that has made life a little easier, and has saved me a bit of time, has been my meal plan. There are a range of different places to eat food at around the campus, which means variety and convenience! One of the cheapest places to eat is ‘The J’, it is the furthest place from where I am living, but worth the continuous stair and hill climbing to get a good feed. My favourite part about it is the salad bar, there are so many options, I love it! Another great place to eat at is ‘The Depot’, it’s more like a food court, but at 3-6 Monday to Friday the bar opens and students (who are over 21) can enjoy a beer and a game of pool after a full day of studying.

I am loving getting around campus on foot, and by bike, but as weekends are short and fly by so fast, it’s nice meeting people who own cars.
This past weekend a group of us went to one of the beautiful beaches north of Arcata in a town called Trinidad. College Cove was a great day to spend a hot summers day. The water was freezing, but it’s not a real beach trip unless you get your whole body wet!

Last night was the first HSU Lumberjacks football game for the season. This was a completely new experience for me, as American football is very different to AFL back home. It was fun getting painted and getting into the celebrations in the crowd. The atmosphere was more exciting than the game, I found it hard to stay focused on, as there is more standing around then actual play time. But all the same, it was a great experience to be a part of.

It has been 3 amazing weeks here at HSU, I am so excited for the next three months, and what they have in store for me.

And so here I am…

It’s been a long time coming, but I have finally arrived at Humboldt State University in Arcata (northern) California.

it’s almost serial being here and seeing the size of this campus. I have been studying by correspondence for the past 18 months while living and working on campus at an outdoor educational focused boarding campus for year 9 girls. In many ways the campuses are similar; both focused on sustainability, both surrounded by state parks and the natural environment, and both beautiful in their own right. But Humboldt State University has over 7000 students, as apposed to the 80-100 students at Howqua.

It’s beautiful, the campus, the grounds, and the surrounding Redwood Community Forrest. I spent almost 2hours just walking around the campus trying to take everything in. It’s one thing to see the campus almost empty and have the freedom to walk leisurely through the grounds, but I’m sure it’s going to be another story when tomorrow comes and people start flooding the grounds; I can’t wait!

This is a deffinate change in living and lifestyle compared to how I have spent my past month since resigning from my job and jet setting over here.

I chose to get to HSU by bike. I began my ride in Vancouver BC, and travelled over 1300km to get here, with a few stops along the way. These included a few days to prepare in Vancouver; 2 days to look around Victoria; a week volunteering at a music festival outside Portland and looking around the city; and now a few days in Arcata before the next chapter begins… Uni life.

Riding the Pacific Coast

Riding the Pacific Coast

If you are interested in reading a little about my bike adventures this is the link :