The GoGlobal Blog

Author: Maya Hedstrom

Hey! My mane is Maya Hedstrom. I am a junior from Saint Paul Minnesota. I am currently studying accounting in London. Here I hope to share memorable experiences from my time abroad. I am excited to wander a new city while learning about myself and my career path.
Mr. President….again

Mr. President….again

Trump won last night. I am angry. I am sad. I truly did not believe he would win. I woke up to the news I feared and never thought would happen. Trump has done little except incite violence and foster hate towards so many groups of people.

I was looking forward to helping vote our first women president into office. I was looking forward to progress. Clinton was experienced, she has seen what the job of president entails, I think Trump will be in for a great shock when he realizes the hard work the president must do.

I understand that Trump won. I recognize that I am a white female and Trump’s presidency will likely not change my life that much.  However, he has continually put down others, fear monger and spread hate.  He will negatively affect so many lives and I am sad for our country today.  All I hope is that he will not follow through on everything he has said throughout his campaign. Lets hope that Trump can become a composed and level-headed leader. BUT one reality is that now many bigot and ignorant people feel empowered to spread their hate. We do need to unite as one people, I hope Trump can be the man do that but I am not convinced. Even his acceptance speech was rambling and I thought not well done at all.  As a leader of a country the least you could do is talk to your people with poise.

For now, I need time to be angry.  Soon, I will have to return home and face the reality of him becoming president.  But for now I reserve the right to be angry and confused. Patriotism is stupid. It is. Americans need to stop believing they are the best because of where they come from. We are all people living in the same world and trying to get along. Why are you “better” than anyone else? America needs a reality check and this might be it…

I hope as the younger generation we have realized the importance of politics in our lives. We all need to actively participate for democracy to work.

For now, anger and sadness.

The European mindset

The European mindset

During my recent mid-semester break from school I did a lot of traveling. I started traveling to a few cities in England with my friend Heather. My favorite place was Bath. It was exactly what you think of when you think English countryside. Also that night I ate one of the best dinners of my life. Next it was off to Italy by myself. I spent 3 days in Cinque Terre alone. I did enjoy traveling alone when I didn’t have to wait for anyone to get ready in the morning, but I found eating in restaurants rather sad.

I spent the last half relaxing at a family members home in Tuscany. During these days I really started noticing the different in American and European lifestyles. I think Italians have it right; they eat good food, spend a lot of time with family and generally it is a slower pace of life. They slow down to smell the roses. Being a student, always having what’s coming up on my mind, I really enjoyed having this time to think about what lifestyle I want when I get out of school. I liked in Italy that meals were long. You are supposed to enjoy the food and the company. There are many courses, but they are small and in between you have conversation. It’s hard to picture my future after school because it is so up in the air right now. Being abroad has really challenged my thinking about growing up. It is nice to take a step back and have time to myself to reflect upon these things. When traveling it’s fun to try to get to know a place and ask yourself if you could live there.

Whatever ends up in my future, I hope I enjoy it as much as I am enjoying being abroad. However, this morning I started to miss home more than I have since I’ve been here. Living far away permanently would be hard, but it may be the adventure of a lifetime…the search continues.

There’s no place like home

There’s no place like home

Growing up I watched Dorothy navigate through Oz, making friends and enemies along the way.  Dorothy eventually realized she was the only one who could find way home and she had it in herself all along.

One of the hardest parts I have found of being abroad is not knowing anyone.  My roommates and everyone I have met have been very friendly.  Even though I have all these connections here, there is not really anyone who knows me well. I think this has made me more aware of how I come across to other people.  It can be hard not having anyone to vent to about my frustrations and I certainly do not want to be constantly complaining to my new friends.  Nobody wants to be around negative people.  I sometimes have to stop myself from only talking about my frustrations.

Last week I discovered Regents Park.  On my morning jog I discovered I live very close.  It is such a beautiful place and a great stress reliever.  Each time I’ve run since I’ve gone to that park.  If I spend a little time alone exercising or relaxing I think I become less negative.  I enjoy having that time to myself.

Unlike Dorothy, I’m not homesick yet.  I’m still enjoying my time here and not missing too much at home.  Hopefully I make a few good friends during my time here, just like Dorothy did in Oz.

Mind the gap

Mind the gap

I figured out how to use the tube. I figured out how to do laundry. I can’t seem to figure out how to cross the street. After being here for two weeks I almost get hit every day.  Cars do not yield to pedestrians and they drive on the left side on the street which is the biggest change. They even write on the pavement which ways the cars are coming from (picture).


They have ads in the tube reminding people to slow down.  The picture shows a woman lying face down on pavement with the caption “she saw her bus, she didn’t see the car”.  Maybe I need to adopt the English way of thinking and just slow down. Life moves slower here.  People value taking time off, relaxing and enjoying life outside of work.  It will take time to get used to that, but I think it’s a valuable lesson.


This weekend I am going on my first trip outside of London. In celebration of my big 21st birthday (unfortunately, not a big deal overseas) I am traveling to Edinburgh with my roomates.  Like the English would do, we are starting off the trip slow, with a 10 hour bus ride…Wish us luck!





Am I doing this right?

Am I doing this right?

Am I prepared? Have I done enough research on local culture? Am I bringing the right shoes? Should I have used a different bank?

With only one week left until I leave for four months in London I’m wondering if I prepared correctly. With so many thoughts swirling my head it’s hard to focus on actually getting anything ready.  I’ve drafted my next Target run list three times already. But don’t I need an extra travel size deodorant? No.

I continually need to remind myself to pack light. Only bring what is necessary and will be used often; clothes that can be worn with many outfits, shoes that are comfortable, only toiletries I use on a regular basis. With only one checked bag, I know I don’t have space for everything I WANT to bring but I haven’t been able to bring myself to start making the tough decisions about which things need to stay home.  And to think that two years ago I thought I wouldn’t be able to fit everything into one car!


Besides just stuff I am bringing, there is way more to prepare. Do I have all the correct credit/debit cards? How do I get an absentee ballot for the election? How can I handle all that and moving across the country?  Luckily for me I am headed to a big city, which is sort of in my comfort zone after living in Minneapolis and Chicago. I have experience with navigating public transportation, interacting with different types of people and the fast pace which will help me adjust to London.  Of course, I have never moved across the ocean without knowing anyone before. But I got this, right?

Either way I’m heading off soon. I am hoping writing about my experiences abroad will give me a chance to reflect on what I want to take away from my semester.  I just hope I am doing this right.