Bulletin boards covered with study abroad fliers have inspired wanderlust throughout my college years. Recent international travel experience has further encouraged me to feel more positive that I could make it happen. So whenever I see another flier detailing an academic trip to another country, it grabs my attention. I imagine myself in that setting someday.
That’s how I felt when I spotted a flier advertising a summer opportunity of creative writing at one of England’s historic universities. I let my mind wander to a scene in which I’m surrounded by old architecture of Cambridge and drawing inspiration to write. The flier featured an image of an impressive structure with an arched breezeway. A shield or crest decorated the wall space above it, centered between two narrow, arching windows.
Of course, I thought, “I’m in!” Seeing the flier reminded me of when I first found out about the opportunity to go to Ireland last year. A staff member sent out the info via email during late March and my eyes lit up. Slowly, but surely, traveling to Dublin became a reality. Although I’m only in the stages of looking into this creative writing program in Cambridge, one thing’s for sure. My experience of going to Ireland gives me more confidence to take on another trip abroad.
I would also be much more prepared with extra camera batteries with me, as well as a portable charger. After all, there are a number of places I’d love to see and take photos of in England’s cities and countryside. If I were to study there someday, the sites I’d visit on free time range from historical and natural to film and music-related locations.
A tour of the Tower of London is a must for me as a history buff. It’ll also make a great starting point for exploring many other medieval castles once I’ve explored the city and am ready to venture further out.
However, I wouldn’t want to leave the urban scenery behind without taking in the views from the London Eye. I would especially love to do so at night, not only for the lit-up cityscape, but also because of how spectacular the giant wheel looks against the evening sky in photos I’ve seen.
Stonehenge, with its mystery and lore, is one of many ancient sites I’ve been wanting to see for as long as I can remember. The famous stone circle is one of many curious places around the globe on my must-see list. I know that if I get the chance to stop there, I’ll be joining a large number of other tourists. However, I hope that I’ll be able to see Stonehenge during less crowded moments and really get a sense of the enigmatic site.
Some of England’s sites of natural beauty that I’d love to visit include the Lake District and the dramatic White Cliffs of Dover. There is also a scene from British band Tears for Fears’ video, “Shout,” featuring a guitar solo at a stunning coastal location. It was one of my favorite parts of that video and I always hoped to visit wherever the filming of it took place. While on the subject of music, I can’t miss Beatles-related sites and others marking classic rock history out of the UK.
Last but not least, there are the numerous literary sites on my England must-see list. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the bard’s home, any locations connected to Jane Austen’s life and novels, to name a few. Such bookish excursions would also include stops at places used in film adaptations of works by classic British authors. Those films always have the most impressive estates and surrounding land.
With so many places to see in England, it’ll definitely be a well-rounded adventure to inspire further writing.
If you’ve been to England, what are some of your favorite sites? If you haven’t traveled there, what points of interest are on your checklist?