united kingdom.

i’m nervous. in three days i leave on a bus and then plane to fly to the united kingdom. my friend sean and i are arriving first in london on thursday night, staying there all day friday and then on saturday, mid-afternoon, we take another plane to dublin and stay there until early monday morning.

i’m more excited about this trip than i think i have been about any trip i’ve taken yet this semester. so why am i nervous? i’m not sure. maybe because i have a strong feeling i’m going to arrive in london, spend a day falling in love with the city, and then have to leave. i’ve never been obsessed with english culture, but england, and especially london, has such a special history in terms of society and culture, music, films, books, religion, etc. it’s an extremely important place in our world and i’m way excited to see it. but in a day and a half? i don’t think so. i’m gonna see about 1% of what i want to see and then i’m gonna have to go. bum deal. but it’ll be great. we’re meeting two good girl friends of sean’s from uni who are studying at the university of hull for the semester and hang out with them for our time in london. it’s cool too, the girls have been to london a few times so they have a feel for the city and know their way around better than we do, obviously. we don’t really know yet what we’re gonna do, but one thing for sure we have planned, a musical. YES. when i searched online what musicals were playing, a long list of the greatest musicals ever came up. phantom of the opera. wizard of oz. les mis. wicked. grease. hairspray. the lion king. loads more. immediately the first one that grabbed my attention was les mis, but the girls have already seen it so we’re gonna see wicked instead. wicked in london. so awesome.

other london things i want to see. maybe the royal palace? not a huge deal to me, if we make it there that’d be cool, but i’m not dying to see it. i would really like to see the actual london, more than just the tourist trap. i’m gonna try to have us stay away from places like picadilly circus if we can. i’ve read it’s clogged with nothing but tourists and the like, which does not sound good. i’d love to go find an area like camden market and go shopping in some authentic london stores, clothes, records, whatever. also, although i’m not a huge beatles fan, just for the history and sake of it, i’d love to see abbey road and the music studios right there. we’ll see what the girls and sean are up for. but i’m way excited.

saturday afternoon sean and i take a plane to dublin. i’m not as excited for this as london, but this is still gonna be incredible. i think because i’m not 100% irish, i don’t have a serious jones to visit it. it seems to me like almost more than any other ancestry or heritage, irish people always want to go see their motherland. maybe not but that’s just what i’ve noticed. so sean is extremely psyched about this and i’m about 75% as excited as he is. i am glad we’re agreed on what we want to do while we’re there. neither of us know much about dublin, so we are gonna have a guiness at the world famous guiness storehouse, maybe visit Christchurch cathedral, and then after that, we both just want to hit the countryside. we want to see the green that ireland is famous for. so for one day we’re gonna get out of the city and see as much of the country as we can. it’s ambitious but i’m really excited about it. and we only have a hostel there for one night, saturday night, so early sunday morning we can check out of the hostel, head to the guiness storehouse, have our beer, then head off to the countryside with our backpacks and explore as much as we possibly can. how exciting. it will be awesome. and then early monday morning we catch a plane back to spain just in time to miss almost all our classes. awesome.

like most of the trips i’ve taken here, i think it’ll be just long enough to whet my appetite and make me want to come back one day. oh well. it’ll be fun though, a long weekend with american friends in an english speaking country. sort of like a reinitiation into english speaking culture before i actually arrive back in the states. fish and chips, here i come.

-jon

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