I can’t believe it’s only been a week. I feel like this is the first day I’ve actually sat down and rested….actually, it IS the first day that I’ve done that. Whether it’s running errands or going excursions, we’ve hit the ground running since we landed last Thursday so it feels nice to sit in bed in my PJs all day. However, we have had to face the reality of returning back to class for the semester.
I’m honestly convinced that we’re not even in school technically. Having four three-hour classes that only occur once a week and being done on Wednesday? Yes, please. I don’t doubt that eventually we will feel the weight of assignments and essays right around the corner. Still, it feels so odd to be able to leave class and explore the city like I have no commitments in the world. I feel like I’m already becoming a pro at using The Tube, at least for places in the general area of our school and where we live. On top of personal adventures, we have all these excursions and trips planned throughout the semester. This past week, we visited Hampton Court Palace and the Houses of Parliament. For those who may not be familiar, as I was not, Hampton Court Palace is the palace most famously known for housing King Henry VIII (yeah, the guy who had six wives). It was so surreal to walk around and imagine that people actually lived and ruled here. Not to mention, most of it was still original architecture. Unreal. Personally, I enjoyed the gardens more than the inside. They were so grand and picturesque-definitely fit for a king and queen.
The next morning we visited the Houses of Parliament where you can imagine what happens there. This place initially didn’t sound so interesting and at first it’s hard to imagine what what would hold our attention, but it was so beautiful inside. The artwork of images of war and portraits of each king and queen that graced the halls of the Houses were mindblowing. There were also insane amounts of gold decorating just about every room with sculptures of pioneers like Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill. There was so much detail, it’s such a shame we weren’t able to take pictures.
I think what I’ve enjoyed most about our excursions is that despite them not being mandatory, the majority of the members of the program still attend and it makes me happy to share these moments with them as we’re finally settling in with one another. It gives me this warm feeling to know that all of these pictures and videos we compile at the end of the semester will be special and specific memories that we can all reminisce about for the rest of our lives. People who hardly crossed paths before last Thursday are growing together everyday and it’s honestly the most innocent and beautiful part of this whole experience. It’s only been a week and I’m already sad thinking about leaving. Until next time…<3
Hampton Court Palace

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