The Best Thing For You

Eliza Zachowicz—Though some of you may know if you are subscribed to my YouTube Channel, I am currently abroad in the beautiful city of London, England. However, before I arrived at the University of Roehampton, my mom and I decided to have an adventure of our own.

Since she had never been to Europe, she was extremely excited and though this was my third time, I was equally anxious to get here. We started in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and spent two days there. We went to the I AMsterdam sign, saw the city central and walked a whole lot. However, my favorite part of this beautiful city was the fact that we were in town for their Taste of Amsterdam festival. Though it is the same concept as Taste of Buffalo, it was definitely more upscale. It took place in Amstel Park, which is huge and one of the best parks I’ve ever seen in my life. We arrived early and wandered through, getting ice cream, playing on the slide, and looking at the animals in the petting zoo. When Taste began, we were given a map and a food magazine along with our coins to pay for food and beverages. My mom and I split just about everything we had and every last bite was incredible. We got caught in the rain, but didn’t let it dampen our spirits and we ate WELL.

Following this lovely city, we went to Cologne, Germany, which is actually one of my favorite cities in the world. It was my third time being in Cologne, the first being when I had been there on an exchange through my high school, staying with a girl named Milena. That was four years ago, and somehow we managed to meet up once again. Her and her mom met us outside of the cathedral and took us sight seeing and to an amazing pub for dinner. We then stopped for ice cream and sadly had to say goodbye once again but it was amazing to be able to talk to her in person once again. The next day, my mom and I put locks on the lock bridge for our significant others and threw the keys in the Rhein. We then wandered the street market that was set up near by and took a river cruise. After, we walked to the chocolate museum and tried free samples and made our own chocolate bars. To finish these couple of days off, we had Doner, the best sandwich that exists ever and ate our hearts out.

Next, we went to the amazing city of Dublin, Ireland, and I had an amazing time. Our hotel had a restaurant directly below it and we were starving after our flight so we stopped in for Bangers and Mash. It was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted and I was devastated when I finished it. That night, we were picked up and taken to Merry Ploughboys, a Traditional Irish Music Pub with live music (from the Merry Ploughboys) and Irish Dancers, served with a three course meal. I had some type of vegetable soup, an amazing beef that was soaked in Guinness and apple pie. It was awesome, and afterwards I got to take a picture with the band. The next day, we did everything that we could. We went to Temple Bar, a gelato shop, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and anything that struck our fancy. We also did a hop-on/hop-off bus tour with awesome commentary and singing. This also may have been the country that I went a little nuts on souvenirs in…

And finally, we arrived in London, England, our final destination. Our first day, we tried to see as much as possible because we knew that on Thursday I would have to move onto campus. We saw Westminster, Parliament, The London Eye, Tower Bridge and the (not so exciting) London Bridge. In total, we ended up walking over 7.6 miles and we were exhausted. The next morning, we had breakfast and then went over to Roehampton where I got my stuff into my room and got set up. We then got our oyster cards and went to Buckingham Palace, where they were having a garden party for war veterans. Everyone was dressed in their best as they entered which was pretty cool to see. We then went to Finlay so that my mom could get her Meghan Markle sunglasses in SoHo. And we finished the adventure off by heading to Lauderee Paris for the best macarons I’ve ever had in my life, seriously recommend. After that, my mom went back to her hotel and I stuck around to meet the people I’ll be living with for three weeks. As of today, I’ve only been at school for two full days. Yesterday, we had our orientation, campus tour and then got our official ID cards. Today, a group of people I met and I went to Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour and got to see the QUEEN live and in person. So far, it has already been incredible, and I still have 3 amazing weeks ahead of me.

That being said, studying abroad, so far, has been one of the best experiences of my life. Seeing Europe with my mom was so much fun, but being on this campus, with students from all over the states and one from Australia, is incredible. We all come from different walks of life and learning about others while we experience this amazing thing together has already been wonderful. Roehampton is seriously gorgeous and I can’t wait to share my vlogs from this experience. If there is a will, there is a way. Study abroad, no matter what you have to do to get there. Sell old clothes, design a tshirt, sell candy bars, do a GoFundMe, apply for scholarships. There are so many ways to get you on an airplane and to a new experience where so many memories will be created. I can honestly say that travel has made me who I am today, and I would not trade that for anything.

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