A hate to LOVE relationship

I had traveled quite often a kid, but never really thought about traveling to other countries. It wasn’t until I was a senior in college that an opportunity arose where I could visit another country and earn some college credit, that I thought seriously about it. My family was all about it. They thought it was a marvelous idea. I was still uncertain. On this particular adventure, I was on my own without my family. I did, however, have my roommate. She had agreed to go with me. I’m not going to go into the details of the planning involved, other than to say there was a lot of it! What I do want to tell was my reaction and initial experience of “jolly ol’ England.” I hated it. Isn’t that terrible to say? I really hated it, though. I have to give some background, because there were reasons! (Well, reasons for an immature 23-year-old) We landed at an airport outside of London that we were told was so much better than the closer one. We therefore had to drag our jet-lagged bodies to baggage claim and then hoist our suitcases into a large charter bus. Ugh. It was a miserable, tiring ride there. Did I mention I suffer from motion sickness? That, combined with no real food for 24 hours, and the lack of sleep, made it absolutely horrible. We finally arrived to our destination in London, Regent’s College, where we would spend the next seven weeks. In all my preparations and planning, I evidently never checked the weather. I packed for summer in the southwestern United States, not the United Kingdom. I packed shorts…I know, I know. I did have a cardigan and a sweatshirt, and one pair of jeans. It was cold that day, in addition to the motion sickness and jet lag. So, England and I were not getting off on the right foot. We got settled, and then it was time for our first meal. Now, as part of our study abroad experience, we had purchased a meal plan through the college. The only money we brought was for spending money…no food. More background information…Europe and the UK had recently had a Mad Cow disease, and Hoof and Mouth disease scare. What does that mean? I wasn’t going to be eating any meat. That severely limited our meal choices. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t much of anything other than bagels. I got a bagel and cream cheese, but my silly 23-year-old self didn’t like the taste of the cream cheese. It wasn’t salty enough. So, I sprinkled capers on top of it. It was disgusting. So, I was hungry, I was cold, I was tired, and I wasn’t impressed. What was wrong with me? I was supposed to run through the streets of London in trendy clothes taking black and white pictures of myself. Instead, I had frizzy hair from the rain, and was…homesick. I’d never been homesick before. It was a new feeling for me. After two weeks of my studies, my roommate and I met up with another girl in our group from Singapore. After hearing of our hatred of London, she resolved to change all that. She took us all over, and showed us an insider’s view of the city. She also took us to the tourist-y spots as well. She took us to Portobello Market, where we bought fresh fruit. She took us to the British museum, where we saw pieces from the Parthenon. She also asked us if we had been to Harrod’s. When we answered yes, in an annoyed voice, and muttered that it was too expensive, she said, “then we need to go back.” We did, and she took us to the food halls, where we ate the most delicious chocolate. She also took us to the large souvenir room, where you can buy anything with Harrod’s plastered on it. To make a long story short, we slowly fell in love with London. Were we ready to come home after seven weeks? Yes. Was it because we hated it? No, not at all. It was mostly because we were hungry. Lesson to be learned? Strive to seek new places from an insider’s perspective. Get to know it from the inside out, and be open-minded about everything. Never leave a place without finding at least one thing you love about it. You never know how much it will mean to you later on. I know because that city means the world to me now. I took my late honeymoon there, and my mother and I had one last hurrah there before I got married. It has inspired me to be better in so many ways, with its beauty and history. I credit London for my wanderlust for the world. Believe me, I’m enamored by London now. I absolutely adore it. (I’ve now been there seven times, and I just can’t get enough of it.)



  1. Soo Ping Ng-Bronson · July 10, 2013

    I LOVE that trip and still thinks about you and Debra a lot. I remembered you guys talking about missing ranch dressing. Still brings a smile to my face whenever I think of that trip to jolly old London. 🙂

    • jordana12 · July 10, 2013

      Me too 😊 You were amazing 😍!!! You also created a Marks and Spencer monster, lol

      • Soo Ping Ng-Bronson · July 10, 2013

        I absolutely LOVE Marks and Spencer…. Also, I can’t believe you remember all that in such details. Do you remember the bag pipers in the food halls at Harrods?

      • jordana12 · July 10, 2013

        So much happened, but those three things I remembered most. Yes, the bagpipers were awesome!! The fruit at the market is what I remember the most. I tasted my first lychee there 🙂

  2. Soo Ping Ng-Bronson · July 10, 2013

    Yeah I remembered that. I also remembered us trying to keep Ned awake by shopping as well. It was really a fun trip with you two. I think I asked you this before but are you in contact with Debra at all? I miss that girl as well.

    • jordana12 · July 10, 2013

      Haha!!! I do remember him being so tired!!! I am in facebook contact with Deb. Sadly, that is all. She came to my surprise 30th birthday party a few years ago, and that’s the last time I’ve seen her in person. 😦 Got too busy for a while to keep in touch. I’m trying to change that!!

      • Soo Ping Ng-Bronson · July 11, 2013

        Ok, I am going to peruse your friends list and find her. Well, I see that you are in Enid. Perhaps the next time I am back in Stilly, we can catch up or if you are in the Seattle area, let me know and we can get together for sure. 🙂

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