Author Archives: alexishouse

Adventure Has Been An Understatement

 

People may have already written about how the train which we were riding in got stuck in The Chunnel for what seemed like forever. There was no seeing out of the windows. I almost wished they would have thought to install windows when they built that underground bridge. Even though that may have freaked me out a little it would have given me something to look at. But probably not since it was pith black out. Needless to say there was no way to get through the situation other than to get out of that darn tunnel.

After that I was completely exhausted and on top of it I was getting sick. But I am grateful that it was the end of the trip which this cold/flu/whatever illness struck. I may not have felt great today but I still made it out and about to St. Paul’s Cathedral(gorgeous) and to the London Eye (stunning). On our trip around the London Eye I noticed that London is just like Columbus, the new building, construction, and rebuilding are everywhere. The cranes, of which there were too many to count, were everywhere. Needless to say, I may not be complaining about our construction anymore which is mild in comparison.

Tomorrow I travel home and I am very excited to see my family and friends and tell them the stories of this adventure. I am ready to breathe in fresh country air again and not be cramped right next to people everywhere I go. England has been great to me but its time for me to leave.

P.S.- Even though many people may have come over to London and Paris I am proud to say that I have officially seen both cities with snow (which is rare). It was even more crazy since the Eiffel Tower was closed due to snow, nonetheless beautiful.

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From Stratford Upon Avon to London has been quite the transition. Small town to gigantic/enormous city. I went from green pastures to a concrete jungle. There are so many things that I am learning from this trip.

I am proud to say that I am able to figure out the tube system and get myself around. It is such a fast paced world and I feel completely out-of-place. It is virtually impossible to not seem like a tourist. There is one fear I have about the tube system as well as any subway system which is the fear if being pushed into the trains path. But have no fear, I do believe I
will be able to lie flat in the middle and potentially become the next 15 minute sensation. This is not my goal on the trip.

This is a great country though I am ready to go back home. I am learning to appreciate the small things in life such as having a refrigerator in my hotel room. I will appreciate being able to mix the temperature of my water to a single faucet. In my hotel room there is a faucet for extremely hot and another for ridiculously cold. I will love being able to ask for water at a restaurant and not have to specify whether I want still, sparkling(both of which cost at least£2,) or just plain tap. There are so many more which I can add to this list but I will not bore you any.longer. I am learning more than just the old buildings and cathedrals(which are absolutely amazing). I am truly learning about myself.

The Death of Twitter

There have been many differences that I have been noticing during my trip so far. We have stayed in the lovely town of Stratford Upon Avon, which is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Even though I am not one of the biggest fans of Shakespeare I do think that he was very lucky to grow up in such a great place.  The people are friendly and kind to tourists, who I am currently, and I am very thankful for that.

During the first night in the hotel I had my first bad experience with one of these major differences, the power outlets and my voltage converter. Sadly enough it was my favorite hair straightener which blew a fuse (if that’s even possible), and created a nasty electrical smoke smell with a sound that was not good. At this point I was very concerned for how the rest of the trip was going to go. My idea of a souvenir was not buying a hair appliance that I will not even be able to use back at home. I am now straightening my hair with a mini (and when I say mini, I mean like the size of a large pen) hair straighter that barely heats up to anything, but surprisingly enough it started getting extremely better.

One of the events that made this trip better was getting to know everybody. It’s interesting being in a place which hardly any person can text, snap chat, Facebook, or Twitter himself or herself to death. The people I am traveling with are unable to escape direct face-to-face conversation with one another because it’s honestly the only way that we can communicate with each other. I love this a whole lot. I also notice that not many locals text constantly while at the table with one another. They seem to take their time and enjoy the others company. It will almost be a culture shock going back to my home and being bombarded by all my technology. I have liked the death of Twitter and Facebook so far and wish it could stay with me back to the United States.

 

On a quick side note, buggy thefts, which we call baby strollers, are on the rise. This is most likely due to the increasing costs of buggys which are costing up to 467pounds.

Talking Face to Face

“You will be fine”, “There is nothing to worry about”, and “Everything is going to be ok” are just a few of the phrases I have heard when telling others that this will be my first time going to England. These are helpful phrases though I believe them to be slightly false reassurance. They don’t know my life. Even though these false reassurance statements can be slightly helpful the tone in their voice changes when I inform them that this is my first trip ever on an airplane. It goes from a nice reassurance to a decently surprised sound with some words such as “Wow”, which is not as reassuring for some reason.

There are many things that I am expecting out of this trip though there is a lot that is based off of movies and television shows. Because of this I am not sure I should completely pay attention to them. My goal is to strike up conversations with people who live in England and possibly interview them for my project in any way that I can. I have done the research and read quite a bit regarding the Rolling Stones but I want to know what the people actually think. Books and articles can only give me so much depth to the subject; I want more than just words on a page.

I don’t want to just focus on the big items and tourists attractions; I want to notice the smaller things as well. Taking in every aspect is about the only way I can live through this trip as it might be my only one to this country. It will definitely be interesting being disconnected from social media and texting. I will not only be talking to the people in the country but anybody sitting next to me really. It will almost be like going back to the 90’s. I hope to gain as much cultural knowledge as possible and come back from the trip a better person.