The great thing about Europe is that you can travel just a few hours away and be immersed in an entirely different culture. Last weekend 6 of my friends and I went to Wales. It was a super easy 6 hour train ride West. When we got off of the train someone from the program picked us up and drove us to the resort.
Upon arrival we unpacked and got some dinner and drinks then walked to the beach. The sunset over the Atlantic ocean happens around 10pm in Wales this time of year so we had plenty of time to relax.
Day 2 was a bit more strenuous. We started the day off with breakfast and then got fitted for our wetsuits. Once we were suited up, we got in a van and drove to Abermawr beach where we went Coasteering, basically rock climbing and cliff diving combined. We ended up jumping off of a five-foot cliff, a fifteen-foot cliff, and a twenty-foot cliff.
After Coasteering, we had a 20 minute lunch break and then went back to Abermawr beach to begin a 3.5 mile hike. During our hike we accidentally passed the exit point and hiked for another 3 miles before we got cell phone service and realized our mistake. We immediately made a U-turn and went speed-hiking back to the exit point so we could make it back to the lodge in time for dinner. Our 3.5 mile hike turned into an almost 10 mile adventure, but I have no regrets because the coast trail is incredible to see.
Our third and final day was for kayaking at Abermawr. We woke up, ate breakfast, got in our wetsuits again, and had a quick on-shore lesson about how to paddle correctly and get out of the kayak if we capsize. The instructors’ jobs were to judge us according to our practice in shallow water and then determine how far to take us. They said they rarely get to take people as far as we went.
While on the water, we learned how to ride an incoming wave over a shallow rock for fun. On my first attempt I successfully rode the wave, but on my second attempt I went too soon and got stuck and the wave then came in and flipped me. Luckily, we had learned how to correctly exit the kayak and the two instructors helped me get back inside.
After our kayaking session we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back for London. The best part about the trip was getting away from the touristy city stuff I had been doing for the past 3 weeks and seeing another aspect of the United Kingdom. Wales is entirely different than being in West London, but I didn’t even need a passport to get there. I would advise anyone studying abroad to explore different areas and see what’s out there. Europe is incredibly diverse and the more you can experience the more you get out of your trip abroad.
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