You’re probably reading this because you have been thinking about traveling abroad, well let me just tell you, you should go ahead and do it. I was always the kind of girl who was afraid to leave the town I lived in, and never imagined myself traveling all alone, one because I never thought I would come across this amazing opportunity, and two because I had never traveled anywhere by myself, or ever thought I would have the courage to go international. So why IBS? Well because they had flexible trips, and I wouldn’t have to leave for a full semester, so I packed my bags, and was headed to London.
I don’t think it hit me that I was going to Europe until I boarded the plane. I was not nervous at all especially since Dr. Witman (a professor at my school) had prepped myself and other students before leaving so I was confident before leaving. On the way to the airport, I called my credit card companies and bank to notify them that I was going international to prevent my cards from being frozen. I also added an international phone plan so that I could call back home (after coming back, I realized that the phone plan is not required). My family dropped me off, and I waited 2 hours until it was time to board.
The plane ride wasn’t too bad, I tried to sleep as much as I could. I kept on looking at the map to see how much more time we had until we would arrive. After endless movies, and naps, and listening to music, the flight attendant told us to fasten our seat belts because we had arrived. After getting my bags, I had to wait through a long line, and go through the border, they asked me a couple questions, such as why I traveled to Europe and how long my stay was. Once I got my passport stamped, there was IBS with a pink sign waiting for us. There were about 10 other students there. Once we all got there we got onto the bus and drove to the hotel. The drive to the hotel was about an hour, the scenery was beautiful and the houses and building were beautifully designed. I noticed how green everything was (I guess being from California and our drought it has been a while since I’d seen green everywhere).
We arrived at our hotel, and our rooms were not ready so we decide to walk around London. Crossing the streets was fun, I guess that’s how the locals knew we were definitely not from London, and I’m sure they got a good laugh. As I walked down the street it finally hit me that I was no longer in California, not only because it was freezing and not my usual seventy- five degrees, but because of all the telephone boxes everywhere.
So here I was, the girl who thought she would never travel anywhere, walking the streets of London, walking with a group of “strangers” laughing. Talking about how we were going to be spending the next 12 days with each other. If you’re still second-guessing going, let me just tell you, take this risk, you won’t regret it. Step out of your comfort zone, do something you thought you never would. This has been one of the most amazing opportunities, and a trip that I will remember forever.