With finals creeping up on me, I’m feeling slightly braindead and not too motivated to be my usual witty self this week.
Something I do when I’m feeling this way is go back and read old papers I’ve written for school, and I came across the essay I wrote when I was applying to study in London. As I am getting ready to go back to Philly in about two weeks, I thought I could do a little throwback (#ManyMoonsAgoMonday?) and share it with you. Maybe next week I’ll give you guys a conclusive update, to reflect on my time here and see if I really did what I came here to do. Enjoy!
As a child, I was very fortunate to have many opportunities to travel. Thanks to my perpetually adventurous parents, I have been lucky enough to see twelve countries in the twenty years I have been on this planet. From getting to travel to Moscow and Kiev at twelve years old to see where my parents grew up, to knowing Paris like the back of a good friend’s hand, I think I can safely say that I am more comfortable on an airplane than most.
When I was thirteen, I went on a two-week expedition across parts of Western Europe with the student ambassador program People to People. Spending two days at a time in each city, we toured France and Italy, and spent our last 48 hours in London. While those 48 hours are the only hours I have ever spent there, London became one of my favorite cities in a matter of minutes. A self-professed anglophile, I am practically jumping out of my skin to further indulge in British culture.
Being able to travel so much as a kid helped shape me into the person I am today. Getting to see how people live in places other than where I live has expanded my view of the world and diversified my way of thinking. I gained valuable knowledge through those experiences, and I believe that that has benefited my academic writing. I chose to study journalism because writing is a true passion of mine, and I know that if I did not have a more culturally diverse outlook on things, it might not be. I am hoping that this opportunity to study while suffusing myself into another culture will strengthen that even further, and allow me to analyze the world from a new perspective.
Going to study in London at this point in my life is crucial to me. I’ve looked forward to this experience for as long as I can remember. This trip is a huge step in my academic career and I know that it could make or break my future as a journalist.
I am not entirely sure where this saying originated, but it is something I am determined to follow while in London: “be a traveler, not a tourist.” Tourism only pokes at the surface of travel. You can see Big Ben, eat fish and chips, and take a “selfie” in front of Buckingham Palace. Genuine travel, on the other hand, goes past all of that. You can get lost in the London Underground, eat your weight in Indian food, and take a “selfie” with some nice strangers in a pub. When I go to London, I do not want to treat it like a vacation. I want to treat London like I just moved there for a new job and I have to figure out the city on my own before I start work on Monday.