2015 Summer Lauren Tedrow Temple Summer United Kingdom

Big Ben Beckons: Preparing to Travel to London

And so it begins—airfare, luggage and passports, oh my. Preparing to study abroad doesn’t even seem real. I’ve only ever traveled a few times in my life, but never for this long, and while I am beyond excited, I am also incredibly nervous. I mean, I believe I can fly [I believe I can touch the sky], but boarding an airplane completely on my own? I never thought the day would come. Little ol’ me—5′ 2″ and barely 100 lbs—carrying a suitcase half my weight and then some. It won’t be easy, but it will be an adventure.

Already I have learned that, even another English-speaking country can be worlds away culturally, linguistically, and socially. I have heard that escalator etiquette is extremely vital, lemonade is actually Sprite, and that I shouldn’t try black pudding because “It’s not chocolate! It’s made with blood!” Thank you Aunt Miriam.

Honestly though, I am so passionate and excited about this trip. I am eager to try new things and to experience a new culture and landscape. From what I have seen—whether it be through Instagram or Google images, London is an incredible city. It is a destination with iconic landmarks and secret getaways. Where people thrive and make memories, and where so much history has taken place.

I cannot wait to absorb that history—to find hidden wonders and to make that beautiful city mine. I cannot wait to explore an entirely new environment and to become a part of it. I mean, how many people get to say that they lived in a different country. I know it is only for a short period of time, but it is still so real and new and exciting. Plus, where better to study British Literature than at its source?

As Advertising is one of my majors, I am also eager to observe British media first hand rather than through the internet and textbooks. In my personal opinion, the United Kingdom has come up with some of the most inspiring and unfiltered existing concepts and campaigns. There is just something so raw about Europe. Perhaps it is because it is an older and wiser region, or perhaps it is due to its unique political system. Either way, it has the power to inspire.

I expect nothing less than to be inspired. I expect to feel differently about certain cultures and to change my opinion about specific politics. I expect to learn a world of history about a country that shaped the entire world. I am still in shock that I have been provided the chance to feel any of this—to plan any of this. I am so blessed and I only hope to share this incredible opportunity with the rest of the world.

Let me share this with you.

This suitcase is nearly half my weight.
Just a few of the many things I need to get started on my journey.

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