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International Center

University of Missouri

An English holiday

by Muhamedali K.

While the holidays are a wonderful time of year, they are also quite hectic. And when you add in being in a foreign country, some things — like these blog posts — tend to slip through the cracks. But never fear, this should be quite a fun post, or at least I had fun in December, so hopefully that is reflected in my writing. I made the decision pretty early on not to travel back home over the holidays to take advantage of my time here abroad, but I hadn’t really put together any plans for what I would do or where I would go. Thankfully, I have the best flatmates a person could ask for (hope that’s not getting old, but they’re awesome) and they all invited me back to their homes for the break. So what could have been a pretty half-baked holiday turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had.

My first stop was Liverpool, or, more specifically, Heswall, which is just outside of Liverpool, with the Dixon family. Staying at the Dixons’ was great not only because I got to help walk the dogs in the amazing parks in the area that had views of the River Dee and Wales, but also because they are a wonderful family who welcomed me into their home on Christmas and made me feel like one of the family. While I was there, I picked up bouldering, which is like rock climbing without ropes. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s actually a lot of fun and not all that dangerous, promise. I also got a tour of Liverpool, which is an amazing city with tons to offer; take another point for the north. I can’t begin to thank the Dixon family enough for their hospitality and hope to be able to visit them again.

My next stop was Dartford, which is about a 30 minute train ride from London, to stay with the Allen family. Once again, I found myself in the company of wonderful people who treated me like a member of the family and made me feel very welcome. While I was there, I traveled up to London and got a one-of-a-kind tour of the city (thanks, Benton!). London is a city that I think can appeal to almost anyone. It’s got an amazing history and atmosphere, and being in a place you’ve only ever seen pictures of is surreal. I took in all of the sites: Big Ben, Parlaiment, Wembley Stadium, Royal Art Gallery, Imperial War Museum and a bunch of other stuff, but we could be here for a while if I went through everything. The trip was amazing and it was definitely something to cross off my bucket list.

All in all, the two trips were amazing and I was able to see even more of this wonderful country. They wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without my amazing hosts and I will be forever grateful to them. I’ll leave you with another cliché quote now: “What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so much?” — Dodie Smith

climbing wall

scenic view

olympic rings

tower bridge

palace

About the blogger

Muhamedali K. is studying abroad at the University of Manchester in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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