I can tell that I have officially adjusted to life in England at this point because everything now feels like normal life, and I can’t come up with new exciting things to write about each week. During the week I wake up, put on slippers, walk to the kitchenette, flip the kettle on, and make instant coffee. I put on different shoes, walk down to the bathroom, and take a shower (with my shoes still on because nine of us share said shower). I get ready, go to lecture, do some reading or writing for class, see my mates, eat some ‘food’ from the Hub (the cafeteria on campus), and usually end my day with either planning a trip, calling home, watching a film on Netflix, or something else very normal.
Now that I’ve completely adjusted to life in England and feel like a resident instead of a tourist, it’s all about to change again.
Tomorrow, my mates and I leave for a 24-day expedition across Europe. A trip like this is possible because “Easter Break” (the equivalent to Spring Break at home) is three weeks long!! For a little over three weeks, we will be traveling from Dublin to Paris to Barcelona to Milan to Verona to Venice to Rome to Athens to Santorini to Warsaw to Brussels back to Manchester. That totals seven different countries in three weeks! I. AM. SO. GEEKED.
This trip of ours has been a long time coming. We started planning it sometime around Day 1, because we knew prices would be cheaper the farther out we booked. We made a list of places that we wanted to go, and chose the order based on the prices and availability of flights, trains, and busses. We booked our travels and went on to book our hostels. We had to choose whether we wanted to be close to our port or close to the activities we were planning on doing in each town. We also had to choose and book some of the activities.
It might sound simple, but it was exhausting! Prices change daily and everyone paid for different things and then we all owed each other money and generally had to convert it from one currency to another (and the exchange rate changes daily as well). We had to organize our endless emails, forward them to everyone, check into our flights, and print our confirmations and boarding passes. Then we had to re-do a couple of train tickets because we booked the wrong date (TWICE) when we were either too excited or trying to work too fast.
Now that the day (month) I’ve been waiting for has practically arrived, I spent a large chunk of time today packing 24 days worth of necessities into one normal sized backpack. We decided to bring backpacks because there are a few instances where we will have to check out of our hostel or hotel long before leaving our destination, so our bags will be traveling the world with us. Another reason for bringing a backpack is because cabin space is the opportunity cost for dirt-cheap airlines. Some of our flights don’t allow anything more than a backpack, and some don’t let you check a bag even if you’re willing to pay an extra fee. I sacrificed a lot of sweaters and pants and shoes and toiletries, but I am actually kinda looking forward to living like the minimalist that I most definitely am not.
I’ll be leaving for Dublin tomorrow (I get to spend St. Patrick’s Day 2016 in IRELAND!), heading straight to Paris from there, making about 10 more incredible stops, and returning to Edge Hill on the 9th of April. Until then, I will probably be unable to post new blog entries… but fear not, followers (okay, Mom, Dad, and Sis) because I will definitely make up for it upon my return!
In between finishing up my final papers and planning for heading back to reality and weeping about how there could possibly only be four weeks left of Study Abroad, I will be sure to post plenty of entries and photos about all of my experiences from Easter Break! I’ll be back before we know it… and probably long before I’m ready.