Three years ago, when I completed my study abroad program and left England, I knew I’d be back. There were too many wonderful things about the country that made me fall more in love after being there. My inner-Anglophile was enchanted and enriched by the new things I experienced in this beautiful country. In my counting down of the days left until my departure (only 8!), I can comfort my anxieties about the move with the knowledge that I will soon be reunited with these things I came to love so much.
I am obsessed with fashion and shopping, so when I arrived in England three years ago, and I discovered this gem of a store, I went crazy. I’d say the American equivalent of this store would be Forever 21, but as a curvier girl, I admire the fact that Primark and other British clothing stores cater to us bigger girls who still love being stylish. I spent too much money at this place, and both times I went back I spent even more, and I know it will be a place I frequent when I’m in London (especially since one of them is right near my campus). Europe is so ahead when it comes to fashion, and I am so excited to wear new trends and styles ahead of America.
The lack of eggnog in England was something that severely affected my holiday time (although thankfully Starbucks obliged me when I had a craving), so instead, I had to find an alternate Christmas time drink to give me comfort. I was introduced to mulled wine by and English friend, and I became obsessed. I know it’s a drink that could easily be made in America, but there’s something so English about going to a Christmas market and getting a cup of hot, mulled wine to aid your freezing body. I can imagine myself already, sipping a cup while wandering the streets of London in the winter.
We don’t have castles in America. At least not the ones England has. I’ve always been interested in archaeology and architecture, and England is so full of proof that people lived there, so many years ago. These are the structures that people thrived in and they still exist for us to see. Being a nostalgic person, I am always captivated by old things, especially old things that can be explored. The fact that I can go anywhere in the country and find a castle to walk through is really amazing and a special event to me.
If there was a good transportation system in America, I may not be so keen to leave. Getting from one side of the country to the other is expensive and hard. In England and Europe is is actually affordable and fairly quick. With the Tube in London the train and bus system, and the cheaper airlines in the rest of the country, I am very okay with never having to own a car again. I truly hate driving, and love being able to board a bus, train or plane to get to my destination, without worrying about how much it will cost, or thinking I won’t have enough time to be adventurous before returning home. I can’t wait to get my Oyster card and train passes!
Now this may be a weird one to some people, but as an introvert, I am very much a fan of how people in England tend to keep to themselves and try not to bother strangers. Not that I am unfriendly, because I can open up and be quite the talker, but for the most part, if I am out and about, I’m usually in my own world and usually abstain from talking to random people. England is really the place for me when it comes to social interaction. In America we tend to be more pushy and forward with people we don’t know. I like to take my initial meetings slow and would rather not be spoken to if I have earphones in or look like I’m engrossed in something. Like I said, I’m weird.
Who likes English weather? Me. I am one of the few, odd people who actually enjoy the overcast skies and the rainy days. I do enjoy the occasional sun, but I’m a fan of mild weather, and England makes me happy in this regard. At this point in this article, you can probably tell I really am made for England. I don’t like strangers and I don’t care about the sun. I am content with the grey horizons and constant potential for rain, and that’s okay with me. I am not one to complain that there’s been too many days in a row without a beam of sunshine.
I grew up in a place that wasn’t diverse and went to university at a place that still wasn’t very diverse, but when I was in England, all I saw was diversity of people. I like being around this. Being of mixed decent, I am diverse myself and it’s comforting being in the midst of other people like me. I love how open England is about issues pertaining to diversity, social and human rights, and I admire how the country seems to be ahead of America in a lot of it’s thoughts about people who are “different” than the norm. I am excited to be back around this style of life and embrace this openness I haven’t gotten to much of so far.