During college I did a bit of traveling. I went to England and did a study abroad 4-week course about Public History. After that was finished, I traveled with two other girls to six other countries. It was some of the best times of my life. I loved seeing new things, being to new places, and constantly exploring. I also went on an immersion trip which included traveling to Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. I did get a lot out of this trip, it was very educational (and I’m a nerd so I ate that up) but it also taught me more about racial issues in our society.
When looking back at these adventures there are a few things that really stand out. What’s interesting about it is that it’s not the huge parts; like I visited castles, palaces, Abbey Road, Brandenburg Gate, the Eiffel Tower, rode a boat in the canals in Amsterdam and a million other things. Those memories are obviously something I will never forget and I understand how lucky I am to experience it. But it’s honestly the small moments that have left me nostalgic.
I went to London a week early with another girl in my class and we did a bit of exploring on our own. We happened to be in a room with two other girls from Canada and we initially all bonded over Degrassi, because you know, Canada. We went to the bar in the basement of the hostel and all took turns doing mass swipes on Tinder, which was hilarious.
We later went exploring in the area surrounding our hostel. We happened to find ONE pub, when we were told there were many, but being dumb tourists we had no idea where we were going.
We hung out for a little bit but then decided the night was a bust and made our way back to our hostel. But while we were walking back we all ended up singing Wonderwall by Oasis on the top of our lungs running throughout the streets. It was so innocent and fun. I managed to record a minute of this, and every time I watch it I laugh so hard. It is one of the memories I really hold dear from Europe, but don’t really know why. There was nothing significant to this story. We literally were just walking back screaming on the top of our lungs. It may have been the adrenaline kicking in from traveling, or that we were actually in London, or it could’ve been the booze. But either way, nothing spectacular had to happen to make this one of the most memorable things.
We became friends on Facebook with these girls, but separated for our travels. We still liked everything each other shared even though we never talked again. A year later I found out through Facebook one of the girls passed away in her sleep. Even though I barely knew her, and only had a night together where we acted like idiots, I grieved for her.
I think the reason this memory sticks out to me so much is that it was one of those times I felt complete and utter happiness. It was blissful. Those are the travel memories I want more of. One’s that are unplanned and completely spontaneous but make an impact.
I would never change any of my experiences abroad, but I wish I could experience this night again. I would do it the exact same way.