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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Lamb

A Proper Holiday

I went on a proper holiday.

After 3 months in Rome, juggling school work, classes, and part time work, I was able to take a true spring break holiday.

Starting with a day trip to London, having coffee with a mentor with a view of Big Ben, then leisurely walking the neighborhood across the river. In a matter of a few hours I was able to see Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, enjoy fish and chips, see Royals attend a Commonwealth Day event, and witness the combination of protests and paparazzi that surround such events.

I hopped on a sleeper train, and woke up the next morning in Edinburgh, Scotland. From the train station, I hopped on a bus and met my mom at the airport. We checked into our flat for the week and settled in to relax before all the adventures began.

Over the course of the week we went on an Outlander tour to visit sites used in filming the series, took a train to the highlands and saw the Jacobite bridge filmed in Harry Potter, toured Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle, walked the Royal Mile, explored the street used as inspiration for diagon alley, and walked along Hadrian's Wall (the northern border of the Roman Empire).

This all sounds lovely right? It absolutely was, but misses the struggles as well. Heavy bags that I wore and walked about a mile between different train and bus platforms, hills and stairs galore, trying to find a bank ATM for cash, having to wait several hours to check into the flat due to arriving in town early and a late check in time.

Were those struggles a pain? YES!! Would I go to Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland again? Absolutely YES!!

The landscape was unbelievably gorgeous! The castles unique and interesting. And the people were some of the nicest people I've encountered in my travels so far. Like, genuinely nice, friendly, helpful, passionate, and hilarious!! I haven't laughed so hard in a while, and you all know I love to laugh.

After 3 months in Rome, hearing how proud Scots are that they were never conquered by the Romans was a fun counterpoint to the strength of Ancient Rome. Oh, and if anyone ever mistakenly thought Scots like the Brits, let me assure you, they love to not love the Brits!!

3 months, 4 countries, 5 castles, umpteen bridges, baths, and basilicas later, and my thirst for exploration has only grown.

One massive discovery I made is how fascinating it is to embark on slow travel. Picking a base to explore from that allows for days of walking the city, and then day or multi-day trips is not a revolutionary discovery, but was transformational for me in how I want to travel going forward.

There are so many lessons I learned through observation and exploration, and I will keep this blog going to share them.

For now, I am eternally grateful for this extended time in Europe exploring, discovering, and finishing a time of study with a fun and proper holiday.




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