A Thousand Photos

Hello Dear Readers!

Before I get deep into my Vietnam posts, I wanted to show you guys all these extra photos that I have. They span from the month or so after Cairo and before Hong Kong, during which I spent two weeks in Edinburgh and two weeks in California visiting family.


When I got back to Edinburgh I tried to do all the things I hadn’t yet done.
These are from my visit to the cat cafe.
Edinburgh Botanic Gardens
Celebrating post-exams at the Dome (and Eleana’s birthday!)


Shahnaz’s birthday at the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival
Took the first train out of Waverly Station. Ended up at Sir Walter Scott’s house in Tweedbank
Business class back home to California, for which I squatted overnight in an airport like a hobo.
The Hotel Del Coronado!



My little sister, Jill, whose baby Charlie is almost due!
One of my best friends, Monica, came to visit. I will literally never live this karate photo down.


-Carissa “Help Me I Have a Travel Addiction” Rawson

The Scotland Diaries: Part 2

Hello Dear Readers!

Joni and I squeezed a ton of activities into her visit. My last post focused on Edinburgh and the things we did while there (we did approximately all the things). However, we also spent two days on a tour of the Highlands, which are absolutely stunning, and an entire day on an Outlander tour.

Now, I think it’s difficult to overstate how much we love Outlander.

We love it this much

It’s a lot.


Our guide took us to a bunch of random, gorgeous places. She was so cool all I want is to be her friend.


At the Three Sisters in Glencoe

Standing stones! (No, she wasn’t sucked in)



The Scotland Diaries: Part 1

Hello Dear Readers!

To say I’ve been overwhelmed here in Cairo is…an understatement. The amount of coursework we’re doing is *intensive*, to put it lightly. So I haven’t had much time to write.

But! I do have tons of photos from Joni’s (of Italy fame) visit to Scotland in the beginning of March. (I know, I’m way behind the times). I hope you guys enjoy!


Joni tried (and liked!) haggis


We visited Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill, and my school

 We did it up proper with a whisky tasting

I even took her to poutine, which as a Canadian should be her favorite dish. (If my sources are correct)


Last but not least, we enjoyed a very fancy afternoon tea at the Dome, which was exactly as posh as it sounds.

Tomorrow, more photos!



Scotland: Friends Friends Friends

Hello Dear Readers!

Now, it may come as a surprise to you all (and most definitely to me), but I’ve actually managed to acquire quite a few friends, despite the fact that I’m bouncing all over. It must be all my witty charm. Or my lounge access. (I’m looking at you, Shuaib). In either case, I spend a lot of time being social and hanging out with some really great people.

“Great people”

As I mentioned before, my friend Katie came all the way up from Brighton in late to November to visit for the weekend. We had an excellent time, and you all will be pleased to know that I’ve acquired a membership the the Historic Scottish Monument society, simply because I’ve visited the castle approximately 1,000 times since arriving.

I feel like this is an accurate representation of our friendship: Shuaib front and center, and the rest of us squeezing in where possible.

We also spent a ton of time at Camera Obscura, taking a boatload of photos and being silly.


And obviously, we went to the Christmas markets, because duh it’s Edinburgh, they’re great!

– Carissa “No But How Many Photos of Myself Can I Fit In Here?” Rawson

Edinburgh- Dinner at the Dome

Hello Dear Readers!

I truly thought that when I moved to Scotland I’d settle down. Y’know, sit a bit, rest on my laurels, establish a home and a space. And while I have got a flat (and Nala!), I’ve found that far from sitting around, Edinburgh has actually made an excellent base from which to travel.

Of course, it helps that I’ve had quite a few visitors. In fact, just last week, PJ (my older brother, of Dubai fame), came to visit. He was around for about ten days, and while I wasn’t able to skip class to hang out with him, (you know, all 10 hours a week), I did manage to show him a few cool things while he was here.

And then, y’know, we went to Sweden.

What?! It was like $50 to fly there. Obviously I was going to do it. We spent some really cool days in Stockholm, where, as you’d likely expect, it was approximately -1000 degrees.

But before that we had this awesome dinner at a place in Edinburgh called the Dome.

It’s absolutely  gorgeous inside

Tip of the hat to Shuaib here, who took his cousin and whose photos were so enviable I went the next day.

Shamelessly stolen without Shuaib’s consent

PJ and I now both have a new favorite drink: the French Martini, which tastes like joy and deliciousness and is deceptively dangerous.


We experienced quite a few of these at our fancy-ass dinner, which was the best I’ve had since moving to this city.


Go there!



-Carissa “ohmygoditsnearlychristmas” Rawson

My New Life- Stories From Home

Hello Dear Readers!

As you all know by now, I’ve spent the last few months assuming my new life as a full-time student of Arabic at the University of Edinburgh. If you missed that post– congrats! You’re now in the loop.

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped traveling though. Aside from making my way all around Scotland and England, I’ve also hit up a few different (mystery!) countries, which I’ll talk about in my upcoming posts. Until then, enjoy these photos from Scotland, my most favorite place in the world:

My grandparents came to visit mere days after I moved in. We had a blast being tourists together!
My apartment as seen from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle. Yes, I am that close. 


Me, immediately after arriving and realizing I’m wholly unsuited for Scotland’s weather. Where’s the sun?
Photos from my weekend at Dalhousie Castle, where I drank copious amounts of champagne and practiced falconry. 
I journeyed to the highlands to feed a “hairy coo” and even found Nessie!
Reunited and it feels so good! 

– Carissa “Can I Live Here Forever?” Rawson


I’m Scottish Now, Y’ken?

Hello Dear Readers!

Just a short post today assuring you all that I haven’t, in fact, died. I’ve just been busy moving internationally and attempting to figure out how to live (not travel) in a different country.

That that end, look how cool Edinburgh is!

Ok, I’m saving all the rest of my photos for future Edinburgh posts. Stay tuned!


-Carissa “Y’ken” Rawson


Hello Dear Readers!

Missed me? I’ve been gone for a few weeks now- and I promise I have good reasons why. First, I just spent three weeks in Australia, where my internet access consisted of…well, almost nothing basically. I might as well have fed my phone to a kangaroo for all the good it was worth.

But I’ve been back for a few weeks now, and I’ve been struggling to make one of the most difficult choices in my life.

You guys may have remembered that I said I was attending the University of Edinburgh in the fall. Such was the plan for most of this year, as I made my way around the world, hopping from place to place and having the time of my life.

However, a few months ago I was offered my dream job. My dream job.

And I took it. I made plans to move my life (and dogs) across the country and settle down for what I hoped was a good long time.

But there was always something in the back of my mind. Something wondering…a niggling little thought.

What if I went to Edinburgh? What if?


So I was stuck with a problem. Dream school or dream job? You guys will recognize this as a gold-plated problem. But a problem it was indeed. Because, you see, these choices were 180 degrees different, and choosing one essentially meant I lost the other. For good.

Like I said, I chose my dream job.

But then the what ifs got me.

And I realized that while my dream job was the dream for the person I was- the girl who lived to work and, essentially, just wanted to be a badass- my dream school is the dream for the person who I want to be.

And so, for the first time in my life, I am choosing the risky road. I am choosing happiness. I am choosing me.

I’ll see you all in Scotland.