What a girl wants

In true Amanda Bynes style, I was off to the land of Harry Potter, Jane Austen, the Beatles, Shakespeare, James Bond, red telephone booths and funny accents….

Yes I was like a giddy schoolgirl as my Communications class headed off to London for the week. With my obsession with castles and royalty….I soon felt at home and was prepared to stalk William, Kate, and the rest of the royal family. Maybe more specifically Henry…in hopes to finally receive my official invite to join the Cambridge clan.

Our class started off with some bonding over a biking tour of the city. You can’t imagine how “excited” I was (refer back to Biking in Bornholm post…or any other entry explaining my love hate relationship with bicycles). However luckily London was FLAT, and the biking tour turned out to be quite enjoyable! It was actually one of my favorite parts of the trip. We roamed through where all of the Queens and Kings of the past and present have lived, taking the same trails as Queen Elizabeth and King Henry. We saw Buckingham and Kensington palace galore. Although in true style of my luck with bike rides, it began to rain towards the end of the tour. Either way we all still had a great time.

The next day we visited the well renowned Saatchi Gallery, which aims to provide publicity and space for contemporary unknown young artist to present their work. Afterwards we stuffed our faces at Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant, a famous British chef featured on food network. I probably gain about 10 pounds each time I travel with DIS thanks to them spoiling us with food. Not complaining though.

On our way to our tour at BBC, I was lucky enough to be interviewed with some of my classmates about our first kisses for a BBC podcast. The star treatment continued as we were soon given an exclusive look into the BBC newsroom, famous studios, and celebrity dressing rooms. One of my favorite things about the tour was finding out how diva like some stars can be. For instance, Mariah Carey requested puppies to play with before her interview and Jennifer Lopez refused to sit on anything that wasn’t white. Guess she’s not Jenny from the block anymore? We ended the entertaining tour with a friendly game of trivia amongst our class. After a close tie with Amelia, I was crowned the winner. As a prize I won an antique and very valuable BBC pen.

Later that night my friend Kate took us to an adorable London residential area where she grew up. She also brought us to this great family Italian restaurant, which use to be one of Princess Diana’s favorites! While in London I got to see my friends Zacc and Emma, which was awesome! Emma took me out to this exclusive club, and to our luck the recent Olympic crew gold medalist team joined us. They had just come from a party hosted by the Queen, so they were decked out in their Olympic gear. I finally got my chance to wear the Olympic gold!

I loved visiting 3 Fish in a tree while in London, which is a small yet very successful communication and creativity, design, and branding company. I enjoyed the family feel of the company, and they produced some amazing simple yet powerful designs for clients around the London area. They work great as a team, and everyone is expected to voice their opinion on every project. One thing that really stuck with me was when I asked about what they look for in an applicant. They emphasized that although your resume really matters, your personality might sometimes be the thing to get you the job.

One day our class took a day trip to Stonehenge and the Roman Baths. Both were  interesting and beautiful sites to see. It’s still a mystery why the stones stand in Stonehenge today. Some in our class would say aliens perhaps? I was particularly amazed by the well-reserved Roman Baths, which date back to the 19th century. Its naturally heated water makes it one of the seven natural wonders to see in the world.  Afterwards we had some time to explore the town of Bath, which was an absolutely beautiful small and quaint English city.

Visiting the Lords Cricket Ground later in the week gave me a glimpse back to my time spent studying abroad in Barbados. In both places cricket is extremely popular, however the cricket lifestyle in England is completely different. It’s an all day high-class event that can last up to 5 days. During the day people only take breaks for breakfast, tea, lunch, and even dinner.

Amongst studying the European trends in communications through business visits and class lectures, we were given the chance to also be a true tourist. Some of my favorites included Saint Paul’s church, where Princess Diana was married, as well as Shakespeare’s round opera house and Big Ben.

Abbey Road definitely wins for best touristy picture. Let me tell you a little about Abbey Road. It’s an actual road. So while tourist line up to get their perfect picture, there is ongoing traffic. You can imagine the chaos. I bet everyone in that neighborhood hates obnoxious Facebook picture alcoholics like us.

Favorite nighttime activity: seeing Mamma Mia on London Broadway! We treated ourselves to some show tickets. It was totally worth it!

Favorite meal: Chipotle. Finally got my Mexican fix. We traveled all over to London to find it, and no I’m not ashamed.

Between group tea dates, a London eye ride, and other shenanigans, our communications class really became a big family. DIS did a great job providing opportunities to see aspects of the London communication field that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Along with that, we had some great opportunities to site see, eat food we can’t afford, and get to know each other better. Towards the end of the trip we were totally delusional from exhaustion, which made for an entertaining last day in the big city.

Similar to the rest of my travels, even though I love them all it just reminds me of how much I REALLY love Copenhagen. London was so big and exciting, but a little overwhelming at times. I missed Copenhagen’s more livable small city feel. I also missed seeing the sun (the weather while in London was a tad rubbish), and I felt like I spent all my time on the tube. In London it’s ALL about the tube. Those Britts just have to keep calm and carry on…but I’ll stay in Copenhagen please!


Study Abroad Inspiring Quote

Found a really great quote while reading “The Happiness Project” the other day. It really connected and eased a lot of my anxiousness towards spending a whole semester on the other side of the world. And hey, what better way to start off a travel blog than with some inspiration?

“We seek to control our lives, but the unfamiliar and unexpected are important sources of happiness.”  

Can’t wait to discover what unexpected adventurous Denmark has in store for me in exactly three weeks. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. But I bought some snow boots today…so this southern girl is getting prepared!