During my time in Germany, I met some of the most interesting and brilliant friends that I have. Spending a year together in the beautiful city of Heidelberg, they kept my feelings of homesickness at bay and made my year abroad full of fabulous days making exceptional memories. The downside of being back at home is that everyone is now scattered around the world, most back studying at their home university. One of my closest friends is in America, so for us Skype and WhatsApp are life savers, allowing us to catch up and feel as though we are still in each other’s lives despite over 3,000 miles separating us. My Dutch friend Joelle is in London this year doing a Master’s, which is brilliant for me. This weekend I decided to travel down to see her and check how she was getting along in London, a city very different to those in Holland.
For most people, a weekend in London means playing tourist by visiting museums and the classic sightseeing attractions. For me, the masses of people around this time of year is slightly off putting. Of course, I couldn’t visit London without a trip to the Science Museum to satisfy my inner science nerd and a bit of shopping on Oxford Street was worth fighting the crowds for. The main reason for my trip was to see my favourite Dutch friend and it was lovely to be back together after five months! As with all good friends, despite the time apart it felt as if we’d never been away. I’m so happy to see that despite an initial overwhelming feeling, she has settled in to her new life in London wonderfully.
One thing I love about Leicester is the ease at which you can get across the country due to its central location. The train to London took just over an hour, with no changes. Booking in advance with a railcard makes the cost very reasonable; my train tickets cost the same as going out for dinner with friends on a Friday evening. In a couple of weekends I am planning on going to Birmingham for the Christmas markets and I was amazed by how cheap the train is. After my European travels I plan on trying to visit new places in England, something I’ve never really thought about doing before. My housemate and I have generated a mini bucket list of things to tick off during our last year in Leicester and I honestly had no idea how much of the city I haven’t experienced. As they say, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone!