I have been living in Oxford for the past two weeks and each weekend I have taken an opportunity to travel to a new place. Though the UK and Europe are the ideal places to country hop and sightsee, I have found myself feeling like I’m missing out when I leave Oxford. The first weekend I jetted off to Amsterdam to visit my father, who was there for business. The next we had a class trip to Penshurst Place and Canterbury to visit castles and cathedrals. I don’t regret taking these trips – especially because in one I got to visit my dad and let him show me around one of his favorite places and the other was a part of my program – but I am starting to realize how quickly I am losing time here in Oxford.
A month abroad is the perfect amount of time to get attached, or rather comfortable with, a place. By the beginning of week three I am already falling into a rhythm of daily life here. I frequent some of the same local shops for coffee, sandwiches or tea. I run down the hallway into my new friend Brittany’s room to update her on some exciting new development or just to mess around with our other newfound friends. You don’t forget about home and your life there, you just start to fall in love with the new one you made while abroad.
Though I am here writing about how I don’t want to miss out on a day of my new Oxonian life, I already have plans for this weekend to go to London and Paris. Hypocritical as it may be but when is the next time I will be able to just hop on a high-speed train and step off onto the streets of Paris? So my advice is this: if you study abroad, take as many opportunities as you can to do what you love. For me that happens to be art and fashion, so my trip to Paris this weekend will allow me to indulge my creative whims and run around a city that is as much art itself as the art that it holds within it. For you that may involve traveling as much as you can or staying put and exploring your new home away from home.
As far as missing out on Oxford, I plan to stay here for my last weekend abroad and just soak it up as much as I can.