Last Wednesday, my friends on the program and I decided that there were many tourist locations that we needed to go see. So naturally, we decided to try and do them all in one day. Abbey Road, Wembley Stadium, and Baker street were our targets. Thus, after class we set out on the tube to go on an adventure in London.
We had a bigger group than normal this day because during lunch people on the program wanted to tag along once they found out what we planned on doing. So after lunch a large group of Americans invaded the tube and made our way to Abbey Road. We caused even more of a commotion while at Abbey Road. One would think that the very famous road where the Beatles took that iconic photo would be blocked off from traffic; that is not the case. We had to run through traffic, frantically trying to take a picture while not being hit by a car in order to photograph the landmark.
Naturally, the English drivers were not pleased by our tourist antics. We spent over an hour dodging in and out of speeding cars tying to recreate the famous picture. We failed spectacularly. But, the effort was valiant and the memories are priceless. After Abbey Road, we headed over to Wembley Stadium to see the famed home of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Here we encountered another pitfall, by the time we arrived they were no longer offering tours of the stadium. Undeterred, we walked around the stadium by ourselves and shopped in the gift shop.
With our hopes and spirits still high, we next voyaged to Baker Street. Here we ate the best Belgian Waffles I have ever had, and then shopped in the Sherlock Holmes Store. Baker Street is the home to the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes. You can watch the BBC series called Sherlock for a modern interpretation of the classic tales, or, you could read the original novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We all bought adorable souvenirs for ourselves and family back home in the gift shop attached to the museum. Unfortunately we arrived too late to go to the museum.
All in all, I hope you learn that you can fail spectacularly as a tourist and still have a great time in a foreign country. We weren’t able to get the perfect photo, missed the tour, and missed the open hours of the museum and still had a great time. Being in London and having these experiences with such incredible people more than makes up for any bumps one may encounter along the way. When you travel, I hope you remember to always look on the bright side. Life is about the journey and not the destination. And that is what makes study abroad such a fun and rewarding experience! In fact, I can’t wait for our next failed tourist adventure; it makes for a better story anyways.