Hello again! Week three in London has certainly been an eventful one. From fall break planning to my first hostel experience in Scotland, there hasn’t been a dull moment. I’m excited to catch you up! Additionally, look forward to some thoughts on weekend travels.
Fall break plans are finally in the works and the lineup includes Barcelona and Athens! Life is so good, right? This weekend, I traveled with a group of friends to Edinburgh. We departed London at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, traveled through the night and arrived in Scotland at 6:30 a.m. Running on insufficient amounts of rest, we ventured up and down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The architecture and altitude left me feeling trapped in a medieval world of castles and knights in shining armor. It was breathtaking. Thanks to my travel-savvy friend, Evelyn who studied in Scotland over the summer in a creative writing program, we had a full list of sights to see and places to visit. Her advice was incredibly helpful, and it was so strange to think of how a close friend from home and I had walked the same places in a foreign country. Thanks Avo!
A hostel is defined as an establishment that provides cheap food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers or travelers. Thanks to careful planning and research by Jordan, my first of many hostel experiences was very positive. Because our group was rather large, we had the luxury of having our own room. Aside from a blow-dryer malfunction (first-world problems), the room was clean, the breakfast was great and the staff was friendly. Other tenants at our hostel included Grecians, Australians, and Italians. The bartender, a 20-something from Australia who moved to Edinburgh not long ago, commented, “my flat (apartment) here is older than my home country.” – interesting juxtaposition, I must say.
This weekend in Scotland marked a milestone in my London adventures, as it was the first trip I went on that was not provided and guided by Richmond University. Therefore, careful planning and time management had to be employed by all members of the group to make for a successful travel experience. I am so happy that I had to opportunity to see Scotland and enjoyed my time immensely. On the same token however, the trip made me realize what I was missing out on in London. As talk for weekend travels and adventures to Wales, Ireland, Paris, Barcelona, Greece, etc., etc., sweeps over the Richmond student body, it is so easy to get caught up in wanting to see it all, and to forget where I am. I chose to study in London because I want to absorb the rich culture and get to know this fabulous city as much as possible over a four-month period. While I am excited that I have the opportunity to venture to other nearby destinations, I know that to truly find the abroad experience I am looking for, I need to spend my time in London – taking in the city and all its magnificence, rather than spending my time planning ways to escape. I am so looking forward to my plans for fall break in Barcelona and Athens, a weekend in Wales and a weekend in Paris, but for now, I am ready to settle in to my London life and take a break from travel plans.