Halloween in Greenville, NC

Is like something you have never experienced before. Over-exaggerated teen American movies can’t even do it justice, this town has a reputation that spans up and down the East Coast for being the college town to be at on October 31st.

I went to purchase a pumpkin yesterday (October 28th), to be told that I was a bit late on the whole pumpkin carving thing and that they had already taken down the pumpkin display .. 3 days before Halloween. I got most of my decorations at 25% off and had to literally search stores to find one with pumpkins to buy. It reminds me of Christmas in the UK, how it seems to sometimes be over before it’s even started.

It was a pretty quiet weekend by most accounts for ECU, but still fun! This Wednesday is set to be one of the craziest nights ever. I hope to survive!! Look out for Thursday’s blog for pictures & recounts of this mad house. Until then!  …. x

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Back again!

So, I’ve returned! I relocated (permanently?) to the USA August 22nd 2012. I’m back in Greenville, North Carolina (temporary), and pretty much settled into ‘normal’ life overseas. I have a job at the Daily Reflector in Advertising, and I am Guest Service Associate at a restaurant called ‘Bonefish Grill’ which is opening up this Monday in Greenville. Both have huge potential to develop into more serious career options, but as we all know, I’m not one to settle in a single place for long. I love North Carolina, and to be back with my friends, ECU and the Pirate Nation is amazing! It won’t be long before I need to move on to somewhere busier with more prospects. New York? LA? Miami? It feels scary, exciting and crazy that once I have done about a year here I have the world at my fingertips. I can move wherever I choose and for whatever reason. I wonder where I will end up!

My travels will be starting up once again, so I’ll be blogging as regularly as I can. Top 5 on my list for this year:

Savannah, Georgia

Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

New York, NY (again!!)

Outer Banks & Biltmore, NC

Miami, FL (again!!)

I have a huge list of more Western states and cities to see, but I want to fulfill my travels in the East Coast first.

If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, please let me know! I can be reached at abianneoliver@hotmail.co.uk

Until next time ….

Happy travels 🙂 xo

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List five things you love about your culture.

Cool post prompt. I actually can’t name five things I like about our English culture, but I will try my best …

1. Festivals. You cannot beat a good UK festival. People overseas just aren’t crazy/stupid enough to put up with the ridiculous English weather for 5 days and STILL have an awesome time.

2. The hip hop culture. It might not be comparable to LA or NY, but it’s pretty damn good, and I can only see improvement on the horizon. It’s encouraging to see how the more commercial dance groups and reality shows have encouraged younger kids to get involved. Maybe it will prevent some of them from following the same path as everyone else.

3. The fashion. Anyone who has been to the South of the East Coast of America will understand.

4. London. Our capital city is an incredible part of our culture. The diversity, the sheer volume of cool things to do/see/eat/experience. And the Olympic games will hopefully create an even better city.

5. Sarcasm & The Inbetweeners. Enough said.

Sooo, five things about American culture? (I could probably times this list by ten!!)

1. Support. You could have the WORST idea in the world, and guaranteed everyone around you will tell you it’s the best thing ever. It’s crazy how positive they are about the tiniest things, I absolutely admire it.

2. The food. It’s a way of life over there! I’m sure I ate my way through some tough days. With Cook Out & Cracker Barrel – there’s always a guaranteed cheer up in the form of traditional Southern Cooking.

3. Welcoming and acceptance. I will never, ever forget the welcoming I received when I moved to ECU. It gave me so much faith in the human race, and made a potentially scary, nerveracking experience feel like the easiest thing I have ever done. It is a country who accepts you for who you are – something I think England could seriously benefit from.

4. Studious. 4am and coming home drunk off penny liquor? Hey … got a test at 8am so let’s study. Nothing stops them going to class.

5. The weather. No need to explain. 90 degrees and sunbathing in February? No complaints from me!

x

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What a day …

So productive!

Counting down the days to finish my job. On the other hand, today I applied to dance in the opening ceremony for the Olympics. Can’t even imagine the feeling …. that is one of the most watched spots on TV in the world. I need to kill that audition!

I’m even thinking about treating myself to a little trip to Berlin in a couple of weeks! Got my travelling head back on.

Much love x

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Life back in the UK

Thought I would get back into blogging, definitely not as eventful over here compared to the East Coast but my life is never boring, and I want to share and remember the experiences I have from day to day. It was a bad month when I arrived back, I was so disillusioned and upset that everything seemed clouded by the fact that I had just left the best thing that had ever happened to me – ECU. Wow, what a world away that seems now.

It took many nights of serious talks, Skype conversations and hating life until I realised that life is what you make of it – it’s not the ideal city or country, but that had never stopped me before. After all, this is temporary.

I’ve been working at Co-op bank, and it’s been pretty cool! I’ve met some awesome people, it’s relaxed, and it’s all going in my USA savings. Keeping busy is the best over summer even though it’s not the most rewarding job in the world.

About 3 weeks after I got home, inspired by the jazz training I had in North Carolina, I decided to try an int/adv class at Studio 25 .. little did I know that this would be the start of something so amazing. I spend all my free time training there, I have met so many amazing people and it has given me such a focus. It’s even become such a big part of my life that I’m doubtful if I’ll be moving back to America when I planned. Things seem to happen for a reason, so I’m not making any firm plans for now, and I will see how things turn out! I’m training hard, loving life, and making the best of every opportunity that comes my way.

I feel like I have changed as a person more than I ever have before in the last 2 months. I have cut drink out of my life, I feel healthier and happy to be using my time towards a positive focus. I feel like for the first time in my life I’m ready for whatever is thrown my way.

I have been working with a company called Artifex Collective, run by an incredible guy who has been one of the main inspirations in my life this summer. We want to make a change in the dance industry, and it will be long and hard, but I’m sure we can make a difference.

I’m thankful for everyone who has supported me over the last couple of months, they know exactly who they are. Especially the lovely people at Studio 25 who I can honestly say have helped me find my passion for dance and save me from depression this summer!!!!

Much love,

Abi x

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Back to reality, if you can call ECU reality …

http://urbanpartylife.com/3-7-2011-bed-nightclub/3-7-2011-bed-nightclub42/

We just found this from our trip! BED nightclub (Jersey Shore), 4 am and no clue what was going on, I love me & Manpreets South Beach adventures!

This week I volunteered at Give To The Troops for the first time, it was so touching & eye opening. They go without the day to day basics we take for granted and life in unimaginable conditions. It’s definitely a charity I want to keep working with and I encourage everyone else to also.

When I said reality, ECU is so not reality. Monday night, been back like 2 days from Miami, decided to do my paper but take tequila & lemon shots and play rockband at the same time. Unproductive but so much fun!! We were all so drunk by the end of it & my body had had enough the next day, detox (ish) time! True pirate style 😉 A day in bed with Friends and only drinking diet coke was my cure.

Recently I’ve had a lot of people commenting on how ‘lucky’ I am to be living this life, and then I always have to remind them – I am not lucky. I saved saved saved, worked ridiculously long hours with no breaks or days off, hounded the international office until they let me apply a day late and fully organised the whole trip (with a little help from my parents). I deserve every second !!

We had ‘Smores Wars’ with my sorority sisters as a bonding activity – with the materials of chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers, a lighter and straws we had to create something awesome. We built a pirate ship, it was so awesome!!

Amazingly enough, they actually seem to celebrate St Patricks day as much, if not more than we do in England. Just a huge excuse to get wasteddd! We went to Rehab free liquor, it was soo squished and packed but so much fun. I got pepper sprayed for the first time in my life, when a fight broke out outside with a guido and the bouncers. Everyone chanting PAULY D was pretty comical. Then to see a whole street of people start sneezing was hilarious. When a photographer casually walking by said, ‘Thankyou, ECU’, he was totally right. It just doesn’t happen anywhere else!

‘so i was just looking through my phone as i continue to procrastinate this essay and i saw a name saved as ‘abi’s guy.’ i laughed. thought you would appreciate this information :)’ Manpreets post on my wall, approx 6days after I returned from Miami …. take me back!!

Me and Ryann went to the pool after dance class and layed out in the beautiful weather, then I went to a birthday kegger for one of the TKE guys which was fun. Cat & Andrea picked me up and we went to Cookout .. perfect end to a perfect day, yum!

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Spring Break 2011

I don’t think there is anyway to write down everything that happened, it really was one of the craziest weeks of my life. I came home with bruises, sunburn, an empty bank account, blisters and probably alcohol poisoning. And it was all so worth it …..

Day 1: 10/3/2011

Packed 6 of us in a car – always fun! Drove to Raleigh with truck drivers honking at us, windows down and Miami soundtrack blaring! We arrived at Amtrak, I felt like I was back in the 19th Century, the train stations here are nothing like home! 21hours later, no sleep & a lot of food, we arrive in Miami! My friend Jimmy came to pick me up from the station in a pimpin car, and I checked into the most awesome hostel ever – Jazz on South Beach! Settled in and went for a walk down beautiful South Beach. I forgot how incredible this place it, it’s truely a playground for the rich and famous. Even though it poured with rain the first night, I went out with some new friends I made at the hostel and went to a local club which was pretty awesome! Was dancing all night with a cute boy from who knows what country! I love this city 🙂

Day 2: 11/3/11

Beach time with some new friends! Incredible weather! Me and some of the international guys had cocktails at Clevelanders, an awesome open air sports bar on South Beach. I headed back to the hostel, and went to get Sushi at Kone with the girls. We sat outside next to the DJ, good food and good company! We picked up some liquor, and pregamed before we headed to Nikki Beach. The line was ridiculous, we were waiting for over an hour (that’s Miami for ya ;)) but it was so worth the wait! This is probably the best club in Miami, with white beds and armchairs on the sand, right in front of the ocean. You can relax outside or party inside. Amazing night!

Day 3: 12/3/11

How is it halfway through my holiday already? Time needs to slow down! I went shopping with Aurelia and some of the girls, looking at tacky Miami gifts and taking pictures. Then we headed back to the beach, with vodka and Sprite in hand, classy! It’s acceptable to drink at any time of the day in Miami, my perfect place. We grabbed lunch at this cute Italian place, had yummy Steak and fries. Then back to the beach! Had a quick game of Volleyball with some of the Hostel guys, whisky shots with Rhys, then back to the hostel. More pregaming, ended up in a white stretch limo with 4 guys from London. Small world? They had bought a Limousine and were travelling up the East Coast, living and sleeping in this limousine. Incredible. I met up with Manpreet and the ladies, and we headed to Clevelanders. On the way I got to put a Python around my neck and have some pictures which was so cool! (whilst the snake guy’s dad tried to set me up with his son – no chance, I just wanted a free picture!) ‘I had a snake between my boobs’ was definitely the quote of the night! We went to Clevelanders which was so much fun! Me & Manpreet danced on stage, and kinda had a bit of a blur after that? We ended up in BED (aka Jersey Shore club) which was pretty cool/what i remembered of it anyway. The rest of the night is pretty much a big question mark. I got on this guys moped which was awesome (about 5am at this point) and went back and drank with them. Then i met up with the porn star who I’d given my number to earlier that day (yep, this stuff is normal in Miami), and went back to North Beach. The view from the apartment across North Beach and the bridge is breathtaking, it really is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. Took a taxi back to the hostel with an awesome Jamaican taxi driver who kept going on about how he wanted to legalize weed, and the places where you can freely smoke in the city haha! What a night.

Day 4: 13/3/11

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