James Kenvin checks in weekly from his study abroad semester in London; catch up with him every Wednesday on Trazee Travel.
This week, my friends and I decided to ditch the city streets and hit the beach. We got on the train and headed towards Brighton. When we arrived an hour later, we were surprised by how busy this small town by the sea really was. There were pubs, shops and restaurants everywhere.
As we walked through the rows of shops frantically doing our mental conversions from pounds to dollars, we noticed a small alley bursting with bright colors. Upon closer inspection, the entire alley was covered in murals. As we continued our impromptu tour through the town, we found even more beautiful Brighton street art in small, discrete places.
After exploring the seaside town, we decided it was time for the beach. I was looking forward to feeling the nice warm sand on my feet. The only problem — no sand. Hard, uncomfortable rocks covered the beach. I looked around for fellow confused beachgoers, outraged at the fact we were all expected to lay back and relax on a pile of rocks. However, what I found was everyone enjoying their rock beds, as if it was soft sand. I reluctantly sat down on the rough rocks, and although it was a bit uncomfortable at first, as I relaxed and watched the waves crash on the beach, I realized it wasn’t so bad.
My mind went back to what my professor told us when we first arrived. She said that just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s wrong. As I look back over my travel experiences so far, I find a multitude of things I’ve written off as weird, but they’re just a different way of doing things. Understanding this, and actually embracing these differences, is a large part of why someone studies abroad — to fully immerse oneself in a foreign place and to try to become a part of its culture.
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Study AbroadSep 24, 2014
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