Spring Break

Spring Break was the most magical and much needed two weeks of my life. It started off with a trip by myself to a beautiful place called Scarborough, on the northern coast of England. I took the 3 hour train ride and stayed in an Airbnb by myself, which was a lot scarier than I thought it would be. A lot of the time I was on the train was spent worrying and wishing I could jump off and run home to my bed. But travelling alone was something I knew I needed to do for myself, since I tend to be anxious when I’m by myself. I threw myself into this experience and I was determined to make the most of it. After a refreshing night of sleep, I set off to the beautiful Scarborough Castle, the beach, and Peasholm Park, with lots of food stops at cafes along the way. The best thing about traveling by myself was that I was on my own schedule and I could do and eat whatever (and whenever) I wanted. This freedom led to me crawling into secret places in the castle and outside as I explored, and eating at tons of vegan cafes that were making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I went back to my Airbnb and blasted music, sang, danced, and did so much yoga. It was a very freeing experience and I laughed more than I had expected to. I learned to have fun with myself and not be scared to explore a place I had never been to. I needed this trip, and I have felt like a different person ever since.

A few days later, my wonderful mother, her fiance, and his daughter came to visit. We stayed in London for a few nights and it was surreal to have them in the place I’ve been living for the past 3 months. I showed them around where I live, led them through the London Underground, and we ate lots of great food. We went on to Scotland for the weekend, starting out in Edinburgh. We explored the Highlands as well. I didn’t think I would enjoy the 5 hour train ride as much as I did, or the 5 hour train ride back to London after they left, but those were some of my favorite hours of my experience here. Having my mom here was amazing, especially since I hadn’t seen her in 3 months–this is the longest we’ve ever gone without seeing each other. Staying in two fancy hotels, being able to take a bath, and having all of my fancy meals paid for was like a dream, and I really missed everything immediately when they all left. I didn’t have much time to think about it though, I went to sleep and got ready to take on Iceland the next day.

Getting to Iceland was more difficult than I expected, but worth every second of traveling. I honestly can’t find the words to explain how beautiful the country is, so I’ll just post some pictures at the end. I had been here two years ago with my mom and one of my brothers, so I got some weird nostalgic feelings walking past everything we had done together, but being in the country by myself was something I’ll never forget. I felt so accomplished that I had done everything I set out to do by the time I got home, and got some more much needed rest.

Spring break seemed like it went on forever, but I cannot believe it’s over, and I only have 2 and a half more weeks in England. I’m off to Paris to enjoy the last week abroad with my mom, and then back to New York…I’ve already started packing and it all just seems like a strange dream. I’m excited for the last few weeks, and eager to go home to my family and friends, and my giant bed. 🙂

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Alyssa Schwartz, an English major and Music minor, is studying at Kingston University in England. She loves to write, and cannot wait to share her upcoming experiences!

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