What is your name, major, and class year?
My name is Essy Dean, and I’m a senior Creative Writing major and History minor.
Where did you Go, when, and why?
I went to London. I did the Regents University London Program, and I have been in love with British history since I was in sixth grade, which I talk about a little bit in the piece. Then, I went to London in the summer of 2011 with my mom, and I fell in love with the entire city. By the third day we were there I said, “I don’t care. I am doing a semester abroad when I’m in college, and I’m coming back here.”
What surprised you about your experiences on your GO trip, especially seeing the castles you have always admired?
It was amazing. It was really cool just to see how much the street map has changed, but walking around this city that these people walked around and drove through and yelled at each other in (because Henry VIII did a lot of yelling at the end of his life. He basically went insane, but that’s another story). When I was there in 2011, me and my mom were walking up one of the towers in the Tower of London, and I said, “I want this staircase.” And she said, “Wait, you want the Tower of London in your house?” And I said, “No, just the staircase.” I was just obsessed with the spiral staircase.
What was the weirdest thing that happened to you?
Me and a couple of my friends who were also theater nuts—I took a theater class while I was there—we took a day trip to Stratford upon Avon, and we got lost trying to get to London Euston, which was the nearest national rail service station to Regents. We got lost getting there on the subway, which they call the Tube. Then, we get to London Euston, we buy our tickets to get to Stratford, and we had to change trains twice to get to Stratford. The second train was a train that was going all the way to Wales, so it doesn’t even leave the station. It gets delayed and then delayed again and again, so we said, “Forget this, and left.” We went upstairs to where the check in hall was, and we said, “We’re trying to get to Stratford upon Avon, and our train is delayed. How do we do this?” And, they told us to backtrack to a station in Birmingham and from there we could get a regional train to Stratford upon Avon.
We got there about two hours later than we had planned, and we had registered with a specific tour at Shakespeare’s birthplace and all this other stuff. So, we get there and we go into the information center and explain it to them. They just put us on the next tour.
Why should other people GO there?
If you want to go to Europe, and you don’t want to deal with the language barrier but you want to go to other cities in Europe to travel, it’s a great location for that. You can literally get to France in a day. You can go on a day trip to France. That’s how close it is. Then, England and Scotland and Wales themselves are also great places to visit.