How I Met Your Adventure: Bristol in My Pocket10 October 2013
How I Met Your Adventure is a series of posts featuring you, my readers! Whether it's that time you almost got arrested in Rome or a heartwarming story about finding love in Tokyo, I want to hear your unique travel story.
I’m Sara, a Texas girl born and raised. After studying abroad in London for a semester, I couldn’t shake the wanderlust bug. So I packed up my bags and moved back to England for my postgraduate degree. Will I stay here after I graduate? Who knows. But I am loving everything about my expat life.
When did you know you wanted to move to England, and how did you go about doing it?
After returning to the United States, I could tell things were different. I was no longer feeling that thrill of experiencing new cultures. I knew I wanted to go back, but I had no idea how. This was about the same time I had to seriously consider a future with my History degree. What was I going to do after graduation? There was so much more learning to be done. I didn’t want to graduate. I wanted to know more. So I looked towards the people I admired the most: my professors, most of which had gotten postgrad degrees in England. In order to be taken seriously as a historian, you need more than a Bachelors degree. So I began looking into getting my Masters abroad. The more I looked, the more I began to experience that same ‘thrilling’ feeling.
Have you faced any challenges with your new expat life?
Because I had studied abroad in England before, I was prepared for the move. There have been minor challenges (I miss Taco Bell like crazy), but overall it has been an extremely smooth transition. Bristol is a city of expats, and the locals have welcomed us with open arms.
How did you end up in Bristol?
During the postgraduate application process I had applied to three universities in London. My mom, convinced I was some sort of history genius, encouraged me to apply to at least one prestigious university outside of the London area. I looked up St. Andrews, Oxford, and Cambridge, but the University of Bristol stuck out to me. I then weighed the pros and cons between Bristol and London. Bristol had the advantage of the university prestige as well as a lower cost of living. In the end, I felt I could get more of my money’s worth in Bristol, and I don’t regret that decision for a second.
If someone were to visit Bristol, what would you recommend that they absolutely MUST visit?
At first I was so overwhelmed with seeing everything in my new city that I didn’t really enjoy it. Bristol has the advantage of being a big city without the craziness of London. Because of that, I would recommend taking a step back and enjoying the simple things here. Taking a stroll on the Harbourside, laying on the grass at College Green, and walking across Clifton Suspension Bridge are all things I recommend. The thing I most recommend however is to eat as much as possible.
Do you ever get homesickness? How do you deal with it?
I still consider myself in the ‘honeymoon stage’ of my expat life. I love my new city so much that I haven’t gotten too homesick yet. With technology nowadays, it’s so easy to stay connected with everyone you care about.
What's been your biggest adventure so far?
THIS has been my biggest adventure. Nothing I have ever done before this even compares.