Hello, Friends and Family!
I cannot believe the time has come for me to embark upon this journey! As many of you know, I will be spending five weeks in Grantham, England, studying at Harlaxton College. While there, I will be taking a theatre course, where I will travel throughout the United Kingdom, viewing various theatrical productions. Though one purpose of this blog is to keep you informed of what I will be doing over the next several weeks, it also fulfills the requirement for one of my honors experiences for Bethany’s Honor’s Program. I promise to keep my writing interesting and reflective although I may occasionally go off on a tangent and share some “intriguing” historical facts that I pick up along the way.
Life leading up to this trip has been a whirlwind. Not only did I have some demanding classes this last semester, but I worked three different jobs in order to cover all the expenses for this excursion. I still am not sure how I survived, but somehow I managed. With only a few days before I leave, I have mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension. I am definitely thrilled to see places I have dreamt of, but I am also anxious about flights, managing money, and being in a strange country, living with people I have never met before! However, this uncertainty also makes this journey very thrilling. I have no set expectations, which will make the trip that much more exciting.
While I am not typically viewed as the adventuresome type, I have had numerous opportunities to travel, which I am extremely grateful for. I know many have not been as fortunate as I have in terms of travel experiences. I have taken the subway from the Bronx to Manhattan at midnight, swam in the Baltic Sea, ridden a streetcar through Chinatown in San Francisco, and sprinted down Pennsylvania Avenue in the pouring rain (which is a long story). Though it seems as if I am an “accomplished traveler,” the fact is many of these adventures were taken with my closest friends and family, and I merely followed others like a lost sheep. Days were planned out from sunrise to sunset, and I simply followed the established itinerary.
In taking this journey, I have more control over what I see and do. This freedom is not only frightening, but very exhilarating at the same time! As my friend Kara told me a few weeks ago, “You never really grow until you’re forced out of your comfort zone.” This statement is very true. In addition to gaining academic knowledge, I hope to gain a new sense of confidence.
The next time I post I will be in a historic manor in the English countryside. Stay tuned for more updates!
P.S.-Below are a couple of pictures from past trips.
Old Town, Stockholm, June 2008
Lincoln Memorial, June 2009
My brother and I in San Francisco in July 2010.