Be You. Share. And Say “Nyet!” (J. Burns 2019 Euro-Reflection)

On June 14, 2019, I was given the opportunity to go to Scotland, London, and Paris. During this trip I got to meet many interesting people and explore many cultures that I’d always dreamed of getting the chance to see. Some interesting things included street performers on every street or the fact that there is no such thing as jaywalking overseas. I’m very glad I was able to share this experience with the people around me and grow as a person. I learned that it was ok to be yourself on this trip because in Scotland, all you see is people being themselves and it’s truly beautiful. In London, I learned that people earn money not for their own selves but to get a piano for a specific street to share the joy of music anyone may have. I learned in Paris if anyone ever comes up to you and asks, “You speak English?” the answer is “nyet,” which is “no” in Russian. Overall, I learned about amazing new cultures and how great it is to travel.

We arrived in Scotland at the airport in Edinburgh and immediately started our journey. We later got to walk and see the Royal Mile, which is just full of culture, such as Scots wearing kilts, people playing bagpipes, and street performers catching people’s attention everywhere. We left eventually and as tired as we were, we went to dinner first. It was turkey and ham and bread pudding. The food was kind of dry, but the pudding was delicious. Because I was exhausted, I passed out when I finished eating and regretfully didn’t get to eat the ice cream dessert. Later, when we got to the hotel, we got our room assignments and the rundown for the next day. I didn’t care much for either. The sleep space was alright and the bathroom was nice overall; it wasn’t bad. The differences between both sides of the world are interesting to learn about.

The next day had an interesting start because breakfast wasn’t exactly like you would expect. The pancakes and toast had a toaster to heat them up but sometimes, more than not, it would eat it for you instead. There were cereal and muffins, eggs, croissants, and black pudding, which is a type of “meat,” but in actuality it’s a blood patty. Some like it but others, not so much. There were also beans on toast, which not only we find odd but apparently so do the locals. We went to the castle and explored a bit and then we all went on a hike up to King Arthur’s seat. The journey was terrible, but the view was very rewarding. At the top I was talking with Emily and was like “Well, I’ve had my leg workout this week.” As a Scottish woman walked by and went “oh, no, you have to do this everyday.” That’s an eye opener. I felt so lazy after hearing that.

After we left Scotland, we traveled and saw Shakespeare’s birthplace. I explored the shops around the street, and it started to rain. I got my dog a tartan collar with a leash and saw Anne Hathaway’s childhood home. We also went to Warwick Castle. I got a wooden dagger, which we call excalibur. Then, we continued on our way to London, stopping at Oxford along the way. I walked the halls Daniel Radcliff did and stood under the same tree. His best movies will forever be Harry Potter. Finally, we continued on our way and got to London. Our rooms weren’t available yet, so we had to store our bags behind the counter in a storage room. Then, we went to soho via the tube. It was so nerve racking. When we arrived at the hotel that night, we got our rooms and went to bed. In the morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and traveled on a guided bus tour. We saw the guard change at Buckingham Palace down the street. Then, we walked around London and took the tube to get to dinner on time. We also went into a store called Primark, which is a giant store full of clothes and shoes, etc., but had to leave because we didn’t have enough time. Dinner was a chinese stir-fry of a sort. After dinner, it was time for the theater. We saw a comedy about a bank robbery, and it was hilarious. The following day was our free day. All I did was shop, go back to the hotel, relax, and get dinner. Next door was a store that sold American beverage and snacks. My joy was over the roof when I saw it. The funny thing is overseas what we consider food is called American food over there just like we do with Chinese.
We left on our way to Paris, and I am sad to say that I was the one who overslept, but I did make it on time because I was already ready from the night before. We traveled on a train called the Eurostar and got some sleep on there. Arriving in Paris was exciting; however, vending machines became my new best friends because they don’t speak french. We left the airport for a tour bus and stopped at the Eiffel Tower to take pictures. Macaroons became a test subject for me on who made the best and I am proud to say I found the best the next day when we went to the Louvre. I ate pizza for lunch and had my favorite meal in the whole trip. Later, we went on the night excursion. It was very fun. When we were done, it was back to the hotel to pack and get rest. We got to see dancers on the excursion that had me dreaming of dancers dancing the tango all night.
The last morning in Paris turned into the last day because our flight was canceled. We had to go to the airport for them to give us a hotel for the night and our new flight tickets. We eventually made it home after flight cancelations and delayed flights home.

Now after I’ve finally made it home, I’m reflecting and taking experiences and life lessons I’ve learned and adding them to my life. I’ve learned that we have it better than a lot of places including overseas where you have to pay to use the restroom in public places. I learned you have to be prepared for anything to happen. Lots of people were losing stuff on the trip with tube tickets, passports, etc., which is why it’s important to keep everything in one spot and constantly check that you have it. I enjoyed this trip immensely and would definitely do it again. I would highly recommend it to anyone I know as well because it is a different place, with new things, new cultures, and is a great place to start exploring.

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