Wilson: Becoming a native

Wilson reflects on her experiences abroad after a full month in London, where she now feels a sense of belonging.

Christasia Wilson

Christasia WilsonIt is official – I am British.

My travel writing professor said that after a month, you can call yourself a native. Even after being here for that month, London never ceases to amaze me. Every day I learn something new, whether it is a quicker way to get to my internship or mastering the art of jaywalking.

I started interning for an online travel company called Isango. As grateful as I am for the internship, I found myself in a rut my second week. During previous internships I’ve done just about everything, from running to Starbucks to managing social media. After my first week I questioned how I got placed at an online travel company.

It didn’t seem like it had anything to do with my major or even close to what I want to do in the future. I had to make a decision to either be miserable for the next 13 weeks at my internship or make it benefit in my favor. Fittingly, once I decided to stay positive, my supervisor asked me to write for the companies travel blog.

Thanks to a professor who took us on the trip, I was able to visit to Bath and Stonehenge. I came to the conclusion that going to Stonehenge is one of those places to visit one time and one time only. Not that I didn’t enjoy my time there – the mystery behind it all does amaze me and it’s satisfying that I can say that I’ve seen one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. But I just have 6 left from that list. After all of those, there’s always the Modern World, Medieval World, Natural World and Man-Made. I could be traveling forever.

Next was a trip to the Roman Bath. The city itself was something out of an ancient black and white movie. It makes you want to relive the Roman Ages, aside from the fall of their Empire. From the cobblestone streets to the ancient buildings, Bath is by far one of my favorite cities in England. The guides at the Roman Bath advise visitors not to touch the water, which is incredibly filthy.

Unfortunately, I took that as a challenge and ended up touching the water. So far I have no regrets and hopefully a week from now I can say the same. The treated water in Bath, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It leaves a strong taste of metal, which made me distrustful of the water in general.

Things are becoming hectic since school is starting to pick up. This means tests, papers, papers and more papers. Once all that passes I’ll be off to mainland Europe for fall break for food and some sightseeing.

Even with new experiences there are some things that I miss about the United States, namely reliable Wi-Fi. I never fully appreciated Wi-Fi until I didn’t have it 24/7.  Remembering the Chinese food stores on every corner in Philadelphia makes me a bit homesick, too – only slightly more than the thought of my friends and family.

Christasia Wilson can be reached at christasia.wilson@temple.edu

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