Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Travelin' with Pals

At home, it’s easy to fall into cliques with comfortable group of friends, but studying and travelling abroad is different. At the prime age of 20, we are challenged to live outside of our comfort zone for four months. While this experience can be horrifying and intimidating, it can also be the best opportunity in the world to discover who we are and with whom we can be ourselves

We can all easily identify our best friend, significant other, or partner-in-crime, but rarely do we acknowledge how very important they are. They are worth more than just a good laugh or a road trip, they are a safety net as well.  Extensive travel is foreign (pun intended) to many students on their first study abroad experiences, so the presence of a good friend makes it more comfortable, and easier to travel

I recently travelled to Nottingham with two new friends, Alex and Emily.  I felt like we should’ve been the stars of a teeny bopper movie about gallivanting through Europe to spend a day touring and shopping.  I am not the most keen on operating a train system, so having those two to help me was wonderful and necessary. We spent the day touring, enjoying good food, and trying to keep each other from spending too much money at the many shops we visited.

I feel like this day was a perfect indicator of good travel, friendship, and the Harlaxton experience that three people from Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee can venture into the world together, and enjoy each other’s company while watching out for one another. Two people that I easily called strangers a month prior were now two good friends that I will always share this experience with. 

This experience, as well as my ventures through Ireland and France, has shown me that travelling with a group makes foreign territory far less intimidating and can really bring people together. Sleeping in airports, missing trains, and pinching pennies for lunch at the end of a trip are certainly bonding moments. Those moments have been my favorite Harlaxton times thus far...the ones that create a sense of comradery.
- Olivia Sharp

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