Treasures in your own backyard
While abroad, the concept of travel may be the first thing that is scheduled on your to-do list. You want to see the world while you are still young and willing to risk it all, even if it means risking your entire bank account. But take a moment to appreciate all that your host country has to offer right in its own backyard! There really is a multitude of day trips, excursions and adventures that truly are comparable to that three day weekend to the south of france (and probably half the price!) I was lucky to be given an opportunity to spend the day in Stonehenge and the city of Bath for FREE — yes, students say it with me now…F.R.E.E. — and it was totally worth the price of admission, and more! But there are plenty of other day trips within the area of London and around England that are virtually free, with the help of my school and a little research, the price of the trips are cut in half! I have already scheduled boat trips to Greenwich, a great Beatles walking tour for only 5 GBP, and so much more around the area! My feeling is, sure it’s fun and exoctic to say you went all over the world while abroad. But to truly appreciate the country you came to study in, and become a global citizen within your host city is more rewarding than backpacking in a crummy hostel and having pack pain and empty wallets to prove it!
Try talking to your host school like I did, they are always willing to offer you better deals than just googling student deals for day trips (and they usually know the better areas to go to). Always pick up pamphlets and try buffing up on some guide books, the more reading material the better.
But to give a little description on my day trip, Stonehenge was really just a magical place, its so hard to believe that it just sort of arrived here one day. Lots of theories still surround this mystical place (I liked the one our tour guide said about it being a calender, since we really could see it happening.) We arrived when it was a little crummy, but as the sun was about to rise, it started to peek through two rocks then slowly go around the circle, a little like a sun dial. It’s always funny to see something so hyped up but it was nice to realize that something so important to a global society was right in our own area! The English countryside was a beautiful setting with sheep and pigs was a wonderful break from everyday London life.
Bath was even more interesting, the city is home to the Roman Baths, these amazing hot rock springs that romans used to eradicate their abrasions and any lesions they had. Lined with lead, it wasn’t terribly safe to take a dip into but they offered some water samples at the end. Like Stonehenge, it really is amazing to see these cities so beautifully preserve their treasures so perfectly and appreciate the history of their founding. The city was a great escape from London city life and very much felt like were far from England.
I highly suggest my abroad counterparts take flight in a little departure from being so eager to run away from their home-stay! Appreciate the beauty and history of your home program and learn to become a local. There is far to much dig up in your own backyard.
Posted in Take Flight