As we explored the lives of these authors through immersion, it gave me insight into the references to England and Oxford in these stories and I had the opportunity to read some of my favorite books enhanced by experiences. Two of my traveling companions and I were able to go to London twice, once on our own for a weekend getaway, which was a fantastic adventure. We had the opportunity to do everything from seeing Buckingham Palace, to swinging on a giant swing made for three.
During my time abroad, I had the opportunity to consider the importance of place, particularly what we consider “home,” how that is created in the environments we reside in, and what it feels like to assimilate independently into another culture, without the buffer of parents to help. We had to relearn methods of expressing ideas, like asking for chips instead of fries and Walker’s instead of potato chips! It was easy to get lost in translation, though the language was the same, and directionally lost, though we found our way back!
My time in England taught me mindfulness, of time, within my surroundings, and within my experiences, so that I could relish my experiences rather than analyzing them. It is easy to fall into a pattern of living life on autopilot, but studying abroad will awaken you. Are you ready?