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E I G H T E EN | London is Calling

We did it! I still get a little flustered when I think about yesterday's vlog, but I am proud of myself for putting it out there. You should see my blooper videos and mini freak outs ;) Actually, you're never going to see those! Too embarrassing. Today's topic for The Blog-tember Challenge makes me giddy. I love love love traveling, and this spring found a true delight in journeying on my own. I flew all across the country for grad school interviews and to visit family, each trip to the airport more exciting (and often more frustrating/eventful) than the last. But today I'm sharing about a trip of a lifetime, traveling Europe with 20 close friends. Let's go back, shall we?

Today's prompt: Tell a tale of traveling, a city or country you've been to or a favorite vacation.

In July of 2012, I took off on an unforgettable adventure. After two weeks of online assignments and prep, 20 students and 3 professors from Baylor University Theatre headed to Europe for three weeks of sight-seeing, exploring incredible theaters, and seeing show after show after show. I spent time in the UK and Germany in high school, but this was different. This was not a hyper-organized tour or a mission trip, but the chance to study and engage in theatre abroad. Oh how I loved it!

This was also the summer before I started my senior year/advanced directing classes. Zach and I were brainstorming for our shows the ENTIRE time! There were only a handful of seniors on the trip and we enjoyed ourselves immensely! From wandering around Kensington Palace to enjoying the general splendor of London post-Diamond Jubilee and pre-Olympics, it was a dream come true. 

And the shows! We saw a show every night we were in London, including the musical Ragtime, The Last of the Haussmans, Ghost the Musical, Billy Elliot, Crow, and Henry V. The above pictures are from a tour of Shakespeare's Globe (to which several of us sprinted across the Millennium Bridge thinking we were late... I thought I was going to die...) and our last day in London we had the chance to see a production of Henry V. It is perhaps my favorite show I've ever seen! It was well worth the £5 to stand for three hours (oh, my knees!) and witness Shakespeare as it was intended. 

I've included a short clip below because I loved it so much and I showed this to my Intro to Theatre students this week and they seemed to like it as well! Can't I go back and watch it again and again? Oh wait, that's what the DVD is for ;) Warning, it's loud at first. 

A trip to England would not be complete without a few days in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace! This is a close second to Disney World in my book (and that's saying something!).  We toured the old Trinity Church where he is buried, wandered by the river, staying in the quaintest hotel whose rooms are named after his characters and the places in his plays. At Anne Hathaway's cottage (Shakespear's wife, not the actress from Princess Diaries + Devil Wears Prada) we wound our way through a muddy hedge maze and performed monologues for the tourists in town. 

Oh the stories I could tell from this trip! There are too many to choose from and I am suffering from wanderlust enough by simply looking at the photos. If by chance you are still in school and the opportunity comes up to study abroad, I say GO! RUN, do not walk, RUN to the sign up sheet. 

And if you have already graduated but have never been overseas, DO IT ASAP! It will change your life! Experiencing life and culture outside of your bubble, and surrounded by friends as I was, is an experience like no other. Run after it. Make it happen. You won't regret it.

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