Monday, January 25, 2016

Day 1 (and 2 technically)

Allison Luppe
Plymouth, UK 

Sunday was a very emotional day for me. As some people might know, this will be the first time that I have ever traveled internationally and also the first time that someone in my immediate family has traveled internationally for quite some time at least. My dad did his best to stay strong and I did my best to help the best way I could. Eventually both of us realized that neither of us had to be strong for each other and we were able to move past it at least partially.

Considering it was Sunday after a snow storm, I was expecting a lot more trouble to get through security, but it came and went within ten or fifteen minutes including the time it took me to take off and put on my rain boots. I'm going to England, it seemed like a wise idea at the time. The flight to Atlanta was quick and painless though getting through Hartsfield-Jackson was like pulling teeth. Every time I would get to one of the stops that the train would be at, it would be starting to close and I couldn't get on in time. Eventually I got to the point that I had to jump on otherwise I knew for a fact that I would probably be late for boarding. Low and behold, I got there five minutes early!

The flight to London was actually one of the more interesting things that happened for a couple of reasons. The first being that I met an eighty year old British man named John who was finishing some volunteer work in Haiti and the stories he told were fascinating for me to listen to. He showed a great deal of passion for what he talked about, especially his project which he explained he didn't want to take a lot of credit for.

But the funniest thing to me was whenever he would talk about his wife. Both of my sets of grandparents have been together for fifty years, so this wasn't a new concept for me whenever John told me that he had been married for nearly fifty years. The way he described her, with her "wicked sense of humor" and telling me that they rarely argued, showed me just how much he truly loved her and made me hope that one day I would be able to experience that kind of devotion.

Sleeping on the plane was actually easier than I imagined it would be since the flight was actually half full and I had a seat next to me that I could use as a headrest. That isn't to say that it was an entirely comfortable sleep, but I at least got a bit of it at the very least.

The bus ride to Plymouth was also uneventful since I was trying to catch my sleep and make sure that I didn't miss my stop. Afterwards was where the real fun began.

The bus station in Plymouth is fairly centrally located, so whenever I got off the bus, I made my way towards where I thought would be the best route to the Student Centre where I would get my room key. Only five minutes later did I realize that I was missing an important piece of luggage; my suitcase! Thankfully the bus hadn't taken off with it and I was able to get back on my way, but the added thirty pounds definitely did not help me at all in an unfamiliar city and country. Eventually I found my way to the Student Centre, huffing and puffing from walking around so much. But that was only the beginning.

After I got my key, I found out that I would be staying at the very top floor of the building. At the time of this posting, I am unaware of any elevator or "lift" that could take me up to my room, so up the stairs I went. Once I got everything settled in, I made my way back out in order to pick up bedding and a couple of little things that I needed. As I mentioned before, I still was not quite sure of where I was and my orientation system didn't help me that much whenever, with bags in tow, I went out the wrong exit of the shop that I had gone into. Almost a half hour later I finally found my way back to my room and was able to set everything up the way that I wanted as you can see here:

Once that was done, I got to spend some time talking to one of my friends and relaxing a little before I headed out for what I am hoping will be the last time of the day to get dinner. I decided that for now I would only go to places that I knew for sure in relation to my hall and that led me to The Roundabout, a pub not far from where my hall was. The food was fairly good and I enjoyed the energy of it, even if I didn't understand why the bacon tasted so sweet or the coleslaw tasted like it had been drenched in vinegar. But those are minor things in the grand scheme of things. 

Once I got back to my room, I decided that I wanted to take some pictures of the view that I had outside. Unfortunately, since it was already dark you can't get the full scope of it, but this is a picture that I thought worked for the time being. I am hoping that I will be able to take a better picture in the morning with better lighting and hopefully with my better camera. 

Those are my adventures of the day (days).