For my STEP Project, I went to London on a May semester Study Abroad trip. We did a lot of traveling around London and got to experience London as true Londoners. In addition, we traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for a weekend.
Before my trip, I have never really been out of the country. I have taken a couple family vacations to Mexico, but I have never went overseas for a month long. Not only that, but I went without really knowing anyone. I meet my flat-mates a couple times before we arrived, but I did not really know them. This trip was really focused on English culture, something that we were all just thrown into.
Upon arriving to Heathrow Airport, we were all expected to make our way to the train, tube, and flat, all on our own. There were no tour buses that took us places, my classmates were forced to adapt to the London lifestyle, and that we did. It was amazing to me how adaptable I was. I fit right in with my classmates, and I am still good friends with a lot of them. Every day we hustled on the tube to get to class or our excursion. We took trains to Scotland and France, something vastly different than my life in Ohio. Leaving London, I became a completely different person than who I was before.
Luckily for me, I was able to travel with a few of my fellow classmates to London. Once we got off the plane, we really did not have any directions on how we needed to get to our flat, our home for the next month. We all relied on each other and worked together to figure out where we needed to go. Most of us have never really met before this experience, and it was really neat that we all trusted each other so much in another county.
I am not one with directions, so I had to rely on my classmates for help, and offered what little help I could give. The people that I lived with in my flat became a little family. Every week night, we would take turns making dinner. Over the weekends we traveled to France and Ireland together. Living with 8 girls, definitely was a challenge, but we all got through it and still have dinners together whenever we can.
I learned so much about myself. Generally I am a person who always has to be in control. I like to plan and lead the way. In London, I became a completely different person. All the planning was not important anymore. All I was concerned with was having fun. I took advantage of every opportunity to explore the city and meet new people. I had the time of my life on that trip, and every day I wish I was back in London with those people seeing everything London has to offer.
I am planning on becoming a Nurse Practitioner, so the culture class did not teach me anything that would directly relate to my field. However, it did teach me a lot about myself and the world. London has so much diversity, and I had the opportunity to experience it. In just one night I met people from all over the world, an experience I could probably not achieve in Ohio.
As a NP I will be working with people every day. I could be working with people from all over the world, and from my trip, I have gained some insight as to what their lives consist of. Hopefully, this knowledge will help me become more understanding, thus a better NP. London also taught me how to be more flexible, a lesson I will forever cherish. I try to apply this to my everyday life as best as I can. Wherever I end up, I need to be more adaptable. Life was more fun that way, and in a career in the medical field is always changing, something that I need to be ready for.