Up Up & Away
Today is the day I’ve been waiting for since middle school, the first time I ever travelled outside of the U.S. After hours and hours of packing, and unpacking, and repacking, and weighing, and unpacking, and strategically stuffing items from my checked bags into my carry on bags, the time has finally come to say my goodbyes and head to the airport. I’ll be studying abroad in London for the next FIVE months!
I am incredibly excited to experience the British culture and to travel to as many other countries as I can while I am away. My class schedule worked out great and I only have class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday! This leaves so much room for exploring and travelling, both of which I am super excited about. I’ll be taking classes at two universities in London, and some are a little bit out of my comfort zone, but isn’t that what studying abroad is all about?
I can’t wait to start my London Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism classes (as well as to see the Victoria and Albert Museum and visit some awesome designer headquarters!) and I’m interested to see what I’ll learn from my Philosophy and Theatre classes… the latter is certainly a different choice for me (the last time I acted was probably when I was 7 and played Glinda in an adorable production of the Wizard of Oz) but I guess, when in London…
Now on a more serious note, I do realize how blessed and fortunate I am to be able to go out and have an experience such as this. I am so grateful to my parents for giving me this opportunity and I am certain that I will take full advantage of it. I realize that not everyone is able to travel like this and I truly do realize how lucky I am.
Whenever I travel, especially abroad, I have a flashback to my trip to Ecuador a few years back. It was an amazing trip and Ecuador is a beautiful, scenic and very natural country with amazing food and culture, yet most of its inhabitants suffer from severe poverty. I wanted to share this story with you from this trip because it really put things into perspective for me and reminds me to thank God everyday for the amazing life that I have.
I will never forget my trip to one of the main food markets, where I made eye contact with a girl around the same age as me, which at the time was sixteen. She was sitting on the dirt ground among a pile of leeks and celery and looked up at me, her eyes speaking a perspective that will be forever engrained in my memory.
It was clear that this girl had not been granted an education. She had not experienced the joys of a good book, the luxury of travelling to a new place or the freedom to make choices that would affect her future. For one instant I saw myself through her eyes; a girl about the same age, blonde hair, light skin, store bought clothes, peeking into her life for a week and then going back to the privileged U.S. I was immediately embarrassed at how fortunate I was, at the future I looked forward to, at the fact that I had the luxury of going on a vacation, of getting an education, when all she would know was her life at home and at the market. How was this fair?
I held her gaze for another moment, until two toddlers appeared from behind her and she put them on her lap. With tears in my eyes I turned away, realizing how truly lucky I was to have the life I did, and how different the lives of teenage girls around the world could be.
I know that I have an incredible few months ahead of me and I am so ecstatic to get started. Get ready for a blog revamp because CCG is off to LONDON!
I’m totally up for suggestions on where to visit (either in the U.K. or anywhere in Europe), where to eat, sights to see, etc. Just leave a comment below or you can send me an e-mail!
This is going to be a great year guys!
Cheers! Stay Classy xx