Because the UK is so close to other global cities/countries compared to the US, I took advantage of the ease of access and traveled outside of London. So far I’ve had the opportunity to visit Stonehenge, Bath, Dover, Brighton, Paris, Brussels, Bruges and Amsterdam. Every single trip was an incredible experience, and I feel immensely grateful to have had the chance to see all of these different places. With that being said, I definitely had a favorite trip…
I’ve never seen anything like Bruges. The Belgian city is spectacular, from the leaning Belfry tower overlooking a spacious central plaza to the cobbled streets winding in between step-gabled houses. I felt like I was on vacation in Ye Old Suburbia. Bruges was the second stop on our spring break journey from Brussels to Amsterdam, a trip I’d recommend everyone take. Some friends of mine prefer visiting cities known for their nightlife, but Bruges felt more my speed.
My roommate and I explored a good deal of the town at a leisurely pace, stopping into restaurants when we were hungry and boutiques when we were curious. We saw bridges, windmills, mopeds, horses pulling carriages and Golden Retrievers off of leashes. There were abundant chocolate shops, delicious fries and ales on tap around every corner. The entire trip felt like a fairytale, and I’d go back in a heartbeat if given the chance. Generally, I found that when it was time to head back to London, I was happy to return to routine. However, leaving Bruges was a bummer.
I’ll be wrapping up my study abroad experience with a trip to Lisbon, Portugal. Although I couldn’t be more excited to see Lisbon, I don’t see how any place else could top Bruges. Regardless, I’m very much looking forward to the trip, and have already begun planning beach visits and booking tours. Unlike every other excursion, I’ll be heading straight home to Nashville after Lisbon. I imagine that’s going to feel bizarre.
If I were to give a word of advice to someone planning a trip, I’d tell them to book everything as soon as you can. Tickets for almost everything are cheaper, there’s more availability, and you can plan around your trip properly. I ran into a bit of trouble planning a trip to Iceland, and wasn’t able to go because of a last minute schedule conflict. Though sometimes this is unavoidable, do everything in your power to nail down dates and secure your schedule!