We’ll start with the sappy, and move on to the satire. I’ll precedence my first piece with this:
I was unprepared.
Not in a literal sense, of course. My bags were packed with everything I needed (all six of them…..oops), itinerary set to arrange the basics once I arrived, class schedule finalized…..but the pamphlets? The pep talks? The online reviews aimed to prepare a traveler? Little did I know, these were futile in comparison to the raw experience I was about to embark on. None have proven to truly be an accurate depiction of the country I now call home.
……and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You see, there’s something enticing and captivating about arriving somewhere that defies all pre-conceived notions, forces you from your comfort zone in every meaning of the phrase, and captures your heart in a way another person simply cannot. Falling in love with a place? Until now, that was unheard of in my book. And baby, let me tell yah, this kinda love will blow your mind.
Nicolas Sparks better step up his game. A country just stole my heart.
……and that’s enough cheese for this evening. On to what you clicked here to read, yes?
10 things the Study Abroad office won’t tell you:
1) With the occasional exception of some restaurants, the English don’t generally tip. Hand the bartender a few pounds? He’ll give you an expression that will put your Miss Missouri Teen crowning to shame.
2) You can…..and will…. fail if you attempt to imitate the English accent. Try it anyways.
3) There is no greater tragedy than loosing your passport. Twice. (Don’t ask.)
4)……and nothing more uncomfortable than finding your passport, and attempting to explain to the security staff that you did not, in fact, leave them with your phone number because you were interested in going out.
5) The Brighton drag queens can out-contour the best of them. So sorry, Kim K, you’ve been outdone. These ladies are FIERCE.
6) rugby………rugby……RUGBY. Like football, but bloodier. And better.
7) Every club has a professional photographer armed and ready to capture your 3am feels. (see below)
8) Few sights rival the Brighton Pier after dark. The atmosphere is vibrant and lively, yet intimate and reflective, all at once. It’s a fantastic oxymoron.
9) Traveling is not synonymous with cultural immersion. As a student abroad, you will be faced with a choice between the two, and it will inevitably influence the direction your experience takes. Take the latter. Embrace every ounce of change with open arms and an open heart. Each day will be a lesson- stay in the center of the storm and charter the winds until you feel like a captain. I don’t know much, but of this I am certain.