A 20-Year-Old Guatemalan Woman Studies Abroad in London
What happens when you follow your dreams? While this seems like such a simple question, most individuals often seclude themselves within set boundaries, preventing their dreams from being completely fulfilled. Last summer, I was prepared to experience a sentiment previously unknown to me: the ability to be fearless. Studying abroad in London was, undeniably, one of the best choices I made during my college life.
As a twenty-year old Guatemalan raised in a conservative country, the idea of being young and inquisitive was more of an aphorism than a future reality. Wanting to no longer remain indifferent to my inner passion, I took the leap to study abroad. It was only after my arrival to the United Kingdom that I realized how diverse the city of London was. The variety of cultures gave this place a unique essence, where no immigrant felt like a foreigner, but instead felt part of this innate multiculturalism.
Suddenly, after spending my first few days in London, I felt comfortable enough to move around the city by myself and responsibly embrace my new state of independence. One afternoon, I had an epiphany while enjoying the beautiful scenery in Hyde Park. I realized that I had always been detached from the strings of restraint. However, freedom felt different in that moment. My desire to travel and visit other regions in England became irrepressible.
The variety of cultures provided this place a unique essence, where no immigrant felt like a foreigner, but instead felt part of this innate multiculturalism.
I left London the next day and took a road trip across the United Kingdom. My first stop was Bristol, located in the southwest of England. After appreciating the beauty of this port, I proceeded to take a bus from Bristol to Bath. This city is definitely one of my favorite small towns in England. It is unique by all standards, especially with its rich art culture, which attracts young, aspiring artists who expose their work along the narrowed streets. I visited the Roman Baths where the small boutique museum resembled the peculiarity of the Roman Empire.
My next stop was Salisbury, a cute small town close to the remarkable Stonehenge monument. I spent half my day in Salisbury and then I headed to Stonehenge. One of my unplanned stops was a visit to Scotland. Many people who I met during my travels recommended it. I am glad I listened to their advice as Edinburgh was awe-inspiring. The combination of Gothic architecture and rich history makes this populous city unique.
Sometimes it is a matter of thinking, acting, taking a step outside of your box and embracing your freedom.
Back in London, I realized how significant this road trip was not only because of its beautiful sites but also because it made me richer, both culturally and intellectually. Sometimes it is a matter of thinking, acting, taking a step outside of your box and embracing your freedom. I learned to live in the moment, lose my insecurities, and chose to be courageous instead. In the end, it was studying abroad in London that gave me my freedom.
A 20-Year-Old Guatemalan Woman Studies Abroad in London photo credits: Isabella Rolz.