British Parliament
British Parliament

After almost a month in Alabama and Florida with my family, I’ve been back in Ohio this week to unpack and repack for my next adventure. Here are a few details about my first trip back to Europe since getting home from England last May.

Next month, it will have been a year since I got back to the US from my year in England. (I wrote about my year’s highlights here and here.) I’ve missed it so much from the moment that I left, and more than anything, I miss the friends that I left behind.

Since I started my job back in August, I’ve had a separate bank account where I’ve been saving up for a trip back to England. I finally have enough saved for a visit over there, and I’ll be boarding my plane later tonight!

I’m not expecting to do a lot of touristy things while I’m there, not because I wouldn’t love to tour Westminster Abbey or go to Stonehenge or experience the Roman architecture of Bath, but because it’s going to be a very low-budget trip. And you know what? I’m completely okay with that.

Houses on Portobello Road, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, and more colorful houses near Camden Market
Houses on Portobello Road, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, and more colorful houses near Camden Market

I’ll be spending my three weeks over there with my friends in Birmingham. It will be exam term for them, so I’m not expecting an action-packed time; if anything, it will be very relaxed, with morning and evening walks along the canal with my friends, afternoon tea in their kitchens while they take a break from studying, and some cheap weekend adventures–picnics, hikes, free museums in the area, and that sort of thing.

There is so much more that I want to do in England, but now is not the time for that. This is definitely not my last trip to England, and Stonehenge, Bath, and Big Ben can wait until another visit. I don’t have any specific plans during this adventure, but there are a few things that I intend to do at some point while I’m over there:

  • Drink all of their tea.
  • Walk along Birmingham’s canals.
  • Watch Doctor Who.
  • Get caught in the rain.
  • Try my hardest not to fake (or make fun of) my friends’ accents.
  • Drink more tea.
  • Wander through the city centre.
  • Go shopping at the markets.
  • Use as much British slang as my heart desires.
  • Watch a sunset.
  • Watch a sunrise.
  • Have a picnic in the countryside.
  • Go on adventures.
  • Stay up all night with my friends, just catching up on each others’ lives.
  • Smile all the time.
  • Call cookies “biscuits” and add the letter u when I spell words like favourite and colour.
  • Eat English chocoloate and millionaire shortbread and treacle tart and scones and crumpets.
  • Spend every possible moment with my friends.
  • Have a nice (vegetarian) English breakfast.
  • Savour every second, every raindrop, every sip of hot tea, and every breath of fresh English air.

Love, Elizabeth

Sights of Birmingham
Sights of Birmingham

Post-Graduation Update: I have been looking for a teaching job overseas, and I got fairly far into the application process for a teaching position in South Korea. However, I have abandoned the idea of teaching in that particular country since tensions with North Korea are especially high right now. There are still plenty of other countries that are looking for English teachers, so I certainly haven’t given up on my overseas job search. I’m currently talking to a recruiter for schools in China, so I’ll be exploring that possibility over the next few weeks.