My journey to London actually started in 2008 while I was attending Casper College. My advisor and professor Art Washut mentioned the trip that Chadron State College put on to send students to London to study the justice system. Little did I know that when I started studying at Chadron in the Fall of 2013 would I embark on this great journey. After the Fall semester ended, Dr. Tracy Nobiling sent out an email regarding the interest in the London trip. I began filling out the required paper work and found out we were going over the pond in January! As I look back the months went by pretty fast, I remember putting a post on Facebook that I had 60 days left and that flew by. Now that I home from the 2 week journey in London, that is exactly what is was, a journey. I had only flown one other time by myself and had only traveled to Mexico. I had no idea the great opportunities I would have on that journey. To name a few: meeting life long friends, going behind the gates at Buckingham Palace, #10 Downing Street, and Westminster Abbey. I am now on another journey which I only have been on for about a month. This particular journey came aware to me on April 21, 2014. I was diagnosed with stage 1 rectal cancer. I was told in the beginning of my cancer journey that I would not be able to embark to London but I twisted the arms of the doctors and they obliged. The emotions have been such a roller coaster. The London journey was put in place for me to escape for a bit and truly embrace what life has to offer. Tomorrow, May 28, 2014 I will continue on my cancer journey and undergo surgery to remove the tumor from my colon. So now I would like to thank you all that made my journey to London possible. First of all, Dr. Tracy Nobiling, thank you so much for be willing to work with me since I was an online student and being crazy enough to take 10 college students with you overseas for 2 weeks and getting it all planned out for us. Second, Maria from ISA, thanks to you for getting everything organized, all the coach rides, our oyster cards for the underground, and your advice on what to see. Third, our tour guide, Sarah, thank you for your intense passion on history and sharing that passion with us on all our adventures. Finally, to Constable Richard Watson, words can not explain how thankful I am to you for all the amazing experiences you provided us. Without you my journey would not have been complete. So with that said, I want you all to enjoy the journeys life brings you.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Am I a global citizen? Part of me would have to say yes now that I have traveled to London and Paris but the other half of me feels like I am not since I have only traveled to Mexico besides those places. The experiences I had over the pond have made me much more globally aware and that countries do things much differently than America. I think that it is always good to get out and experience what the world has to offer. I believe that to be a global citizen you must be globally competent. There are many things to consider to determine whether you are globally competent or not. There are certain skills, behaviors, attitudes, values, and concepts to think about. One of the big ones is being fluent is other languages. When we went to France there was a major language barrier for me while we were there. This just proved to me that I need to take the time to learn at least one other language. My attitude has changed drastically since returning but in a good way. When I first left on this trip I knew none of the people I was traveling with and this forced me to have to engage with others and with that I have gained life long friends. My desire to new opportunities and ways of thinking and ideas has broaden as well. I feel like I can do anything now and there is nothing holding me back. So yes I would say that I am a global citizen but there are some things I need and can work on.
Now that I have been home for a few days I realize that I am adjusting to the States. I find myself being reminded that I am not in London anymore. While over in London it took me a few days to get comfortable with my surroundings and the massive amount of people. I am a very observant person and I think that helped me with trying to fit in. After a few days I think I began to get the hang of things such as using the underground and referring to things as they do. Another issue I had to get quite comfortable with was using the pound system compared to the American dollar and figuring out which coin was how much. Having the great experience of being in London for 2 weeks I now think that I can think globally. Before I left to go over there, I let my imagination run wild of what things I would see and what it would be like over there. Part of my imagination was true and other things I had completely wrong. This experience has made me much more open-minded about the World and that there is life going on outside of little Lander, Wyoming. When the next opportunity arises to travel abroad I can think back to my experience in London and remember that things may not be what you imagined them to be.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Well the 2 weeks of my London trip are coming to an end. Tonight is the last night I will spend in London. A group of us all got together and ate dinner at the pub by our hotel. The consensus seems to be that we have all enjoyed our time here but we are ready to go home as well. I am ready to come home because I am just so overwhelmed with all the people here and having to eat out every meal. I am so fortunate to have met all the people here and the group of students I traveled with. I feel like I have made some life long friends. London is full of so much history and it was great learning about it and learning about the justice system here but I am ready to be on American soil.
Friday, May 23, 2014
While studying abroad I have noticed some local behaviors that can cause consequences. One thing I have noticed is that there is a lot of smoking of cigarettes which can contribute to other peoples' health issues because of all the second hand smoke. Along with that issue of smoke there seems to be a lot of pollution from all the traffic. I guess you will have that when a city has over 8 million people just living here and then another 7 million using transportation such as the bus and underground tube systems. While using the tube we have noticed that when we blow our nose a bunch of black stuff comes out on the Kleenex, I know that sounds gross but it really is and I am sure it can't be good for your health. I have caught a pretty bad chest cold while being here and I am sure the pollution and the underground tubes have not helped. I am sure many cities are like this is the U.S.A. as well but since I live in a small town of 7,000 people I do not deal with these issues. I don't know if there will ever be anything done about these issues or if there is anything you can do when there is such a massive population.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
This past week has been amazing. I have experienced the Trooping of the Colours, Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guards, Paris, Wicked, the Supreme Court, the London Legal Walk, a lecture at King's College, New Scotland Yard, and being able to stand and take pictures in front of #10 Downing Street. To begin with, I had a wonderful experience today of being able to go through the gates of Buckingham Palace and witness the Changing of the Guards right up next to Buckingham Palace. This experience was such a special experience and I am sure that if you search Youtube for Changing of the Guards on May 22,2014 you will see pictures of us behind the gates because many of the tourists thought we were quite important to pass through the gates and witness the Changing of the Guards while they stood outside the gates. After that we were able to pass through very guarded gates and stand at #10 Downing Street, if some of you don't know that would be where the Prime Minister resides. Following that we went to New Scotland Yard which is the Headquarters of Metropolitan Police. Constable Watson and a few other Constables gave a lecture on what their duties are. This was a special day as we said our farewells to Constable Watson. If it were not for him, we would not have experienced all the wonderful things that we did. But now back to the rest of the week. Yesterday was Paris and it was an ok trip. The morning was pouring rain but once it subsided, it was nice. We went to the love lock bridge where people put locks on the bridge and then throw keys into the river to prove their love. We also went to Notre Dame which was beautiful! We also walked by the Louvre but the line was massive to even and get in and I've heard it would take months to see all that it has to offer. After that we saw the Eiffel Tower which was breathtaking. We then headed back to the train station and came back to London. Another great thing we got to experience this week was the Trooping of the Colours. This is a ceremony that takes place for the Queen's Jubilee parade. Her real birthday is not on this day but it is tradition to celebrate it then. It was so amazing to see all the soldiers to respect the Queen even though they were just rehearsing. It was a warm day and it is not uncommon for a solider to faint and we did witness this happen. That night the girls and I went to Wicked the play and it was absolutely unbelievable! If you ever come to London you must go see it. Anyway has the week comes close to it's end, it is bittersweet!
Monday, May 19, 2014
After being in London for a week I have realized that London has some thoughts about Americans. The first thing I have noticed is that they like to make fun of the fact that we drive on the "wrong" side of the road but really we drive on the right. I rode in the front seat of a taxi and it was a cool experience. There was an instance on the tube where the locals were talking about the "crazy Americans." They also think that we have a huge violence problem because we can't control our gun problem. I can understand these things because when tourists come to visit America I say things about them that aren't always nice. It has really opened my eyes and I hope to be more accepting of tourists to American. Overall the folks here have been very nice.