Great Britain Exploring (Second Term)

A piece of advice that really resonated with me before I left was “explore a lot of your home country.” With that in mind, I made time to do so. Last term, I took time to explore Southampton, Bath, Eastbourne, Kingston, Lewes, Lancaster, Manchester, Glasgow and, of course, London. This term, I got to see Birmingham, Bristol, Newquay and Edinburgh and visit London and Southampton again.

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Great Britain Exploring (First Term)

A piece of advice that really resonated with me before I left was “explore a lot of your home country.” With that in mind, I made time to do so. I took time to explore Southampton, Bath, Eastbourne, Kingston, Lewes, Lancaster, Manchester, Glasgow and, of course, London.

Wednesday, 15 October: I went to Southampton for a Senses Fail show. I arrived at Southampton Central and walked through town (including a quick pop into a Lord of the Rings themed pub, The Hobbit) to meet up with my long-time friend, Alex. We are both huge Senses Fail fans and it was surreal to see them together after years of half-joking, half-fantasizing about it for so long. The show itself wasn’t the best; they were an opening band so the crowd was really low energy, but they sounded great and I got a drumstick! I wasn’t overwhelmed with Southampton, but it was nice to spend time with Alex.

Saturday, 17 October: My friend, Chris, goes to university in Bath and was always on about how beautiful it is. When I made my way up there, he showed me around the city. The architecture was really unique and the rolling hills and the fall foliage were beautiful. After that, we hung out with his roommates by playing board games, watching movies and taking random online quizzes. It’s awesome having friends all around England, it makes the experience much more personal when they know all the worthwhile places to see and you can retire to a comforting place rather than a noisy hostel.

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Dublin, Ireland

When I first thought of studying abroad, I asked my England-based friends if they would like to travel with me. Joe was the first to take me up on the offer, so I prioritized a trip with him likewise.

Thursday, 3 September: I took a train from where I was staying the last couple of days (outside of Worthing) and met up with Joe at Gatwick Airport and all our travels went smoothly. My Dublin-based friend, Rachel, was kind enough to pick us up from the airport and take us to our hostel in central Dublin. We briefly exploring the city before getting a drink and turning it in early.

Friday, 4 September: We had an early morning for our day trip to the northern coast. Our first stop was the Carrick-A-Rede rope bride: a simple suspension bridge with stunning views of the Irish coast and Scotland. After a quick lunch, we made our way to the highlight of the trip: Giant’s Causeway, a natural phenomenon of interlocking hexagonal rock formations emerging from the coast. I’ve wanted to go there for a while now and it was everything I expected and more (bar the rain and cold weather). Our final stop on the trip was an hour in Belfast. Although it was interesting, I like Dublin a lot more.

Saturday, 5 September: We participated in a free walking tour provided by our hostel (as well as several others). Highlights of the tour included Trinity College, Temple Bar (nightlife area, although it’s often confused with an actual bar in the area called Temple Bar), Christ Church and Dublin Castle. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny. From the tour, we went to the Guinness Storehouse, where learned about the process of making Ireland’s best-known beer and got a free pint ourselves. Later that night, we met up with Rachel and her boyfriend, Craig, who took us to several bars in Temple Bar. The town was especially buzzing as there was a Gaelic football game on a few hours before.

Sunday, 6 September: We walked around town some more on our way to the National Museum of Ireland. It was a little dry, especially since we learned a lot of Irish history on our walking tour, but at least it was free. Needless to say, we were both pretty tired from the week and decided to take it easy before having one more night out before returning home the following morning.

According to Joe, Ireland is a lot like England, but that didn’t stop us both from having a great time.

If you would like to see pictures of my journey, check out my album on Facebook here.

My next adventure: Copenhagen, Denmark!