Spring Break Abroad

Julianna Caskie
April 4, 2022

For the first time this semester, I finally decided to leave France for a few days. Our program recommended we stay in our host country just in case covid restrictions would abruptly change, and I heeded that advice, but with spring break, I figured I had a good chunk of leeway in the event that something went wrong. Ultimately, each student has to decide what’s best for them in terms of leaving their host country, and while I know plenty of people who have already left France prior to spring break, this was the best time for me to try it out. A friend of mine from my home university is studying abroad in Ireland, and unfortunately our spring breaks only overlapped for a weekend, but we decided to meet up in the middle in London, nonetheless.

Landing in London was super exciting, my friend had arrived about a half an hour earlier than I did and was waiting for me when I made it through the security check at the border. Since the airport we flew into wasn’t super far from the actual city, we agreed to take the train into London. Luckily, our hotel had our room was already set up for us, so we were able to check in and leave our bags in the room we shared for the weekend. With our passports locked up in the safe, we headed into the city for a day of exploring!

We started our day by going to the Taco Bell that was just around the corner from our hotel…now I know it might sound lame to go to Taco Bell while abroad, but it’s both of our favorite fast food chain restaurants back in the States and neither of our host countries has one. After a lunch that felt like home, we set off for the discount ticket booth in Leicester Square. Last semester, we were supposed to go into New York City to see the musical Six as a part of a club field trip but were ultimately unable to go at the last minute; now, we finally managed to get to see Six! Wandering around the city, it felt weird hearing English all around me again despite only having been in France for about 2 months. Several times, I caught myself slipping up and almost saying the French phrases for excuse me and sorry to people I passed.

After a quick dinner since we managed to get ourselves into a bit of a time crunch with the show starting at 8 p.m., we headed off to the theater in the West End. Now Six wasn’t the only musical we caught. On our second day in London, we managed to score 40% off tickets to The Phantom of the Opera which is probably my favorite Broadway show. I’ve seen the Phantom before in NYC, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see it in the theater it was originally performed in—Her Majesty’s Theatre. For the Phantom, we got amazing seats; we were in the 8th row which is probably the closest I’ve ever sat for a show.

Seeing the Phantom of the Opera was the last thing we did on our second day, so I’ll back track quick and tell you all about the different tourist sites we visited before the show. We tried to go and see as many things as we could right away on our second day, so we got going fairly early in the morning and stopped for some Krispy Kreme donuts. With our donuts in hand, we made the walk down to the House of Commons and passed by the guard horse stables on the way. After that, we went a little farther down the road to see Westminster Abbey before heading off to check out Buckingham Palace. We wanted to see Hyde Park, but we were both starting to get hungry, so we took a quick detour to grab lunch at Pizza Hut. With lunch out of the way we got to enjoy Hyde Park before exploring St. James Park.

On our last day together, we still had to check the Tower Bridge off our sightseeing list, so we decided to head east and check it out. Unfortunately, when we left our hotel, it was raining, so we changed our plans and went to visit the British Museum. It’s a pretty big space, so we wandered around until it was time for lunch. The rain stopped while we were inside, so afterward we made the hour long walk to the Tower Bridge. On our way, we made a few detours here and there to see things like St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Globe Theater. By the time we were done at the bridge, we were both hungry, so we headed back to where our hotel was, grabbed some pizza for dinner, and called it a day.

My friend left early the next morning and I didn’t leave until the early evening, so before heading to the airport I went to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. After that, I took my time getting back up to the hotel to pick up my backpack. I grabbed Taco Bell once last time to hold myself over until the semester is over and caught my plane back!

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Julianna Caskie

<p>Bonjour! My name is Julianna Caskie (she/her) and I am from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I’m a junior at Lehigh University studying political science with minors in both architecture studio as well as women, gender, and sexuality studies (strange combo, I know). In my free time I love to read, travel, dance, and compete in Mock Trial tournaments with my team. I can’t wait to share my journey in Paris with you!</p>

2022 Spring
Home University:
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA
Political Science
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