One of the primary things I have learnt, or simply realized, from this trip is that no matter where you go or how many different individuals you encounter, people are people. I have come to meet so many students and professors and locals that all originate from diverse backgrounds- not one of our stories match up. But at the end of the day, we are all just human beings striving to get by and experience life.
I think that's why I love London so much. On a deeper level, this diverse city is proving to the world that different cultures, races, ethnicities, and religious affiliations can all coexist. I am in a class titled Human Rights in Film and our large project is creating our own human rights documentary. I'm currently working on a project that explores all of these different religions in relation to each other and in relation to conflict. I am hoping to prove that in order to secure human rights, we have to realize everyone is entitled to the right of religious freedom, as well.
But, of course, I am not just doing classwork here. The past few weeks have been absolutely amazing. Here are some of the highlights:
~ Day trip to Oxford, England and Oxford University
~ Camden Town, London. Everything Beatles related just makes me so happy.
~ Touring Buckingham Palace. The palace is only open to the public in August and September when the queen is away. (She vacations in Scotland for a few months of the year.) Going inside though was absolutely incredible- even though they don't allow pictures. The grandeur of the architecture and interior design is just astounding, along with realizing the true history of the royal family.
~ I was also given the opportunity to attend London Fashion Weekend. Never have I felt so out of place in the fashion world, but still a once in a lifetime experience! I was able to attend a catwalk, shop through the designers personal collections, and listen to various designers and curators speaking events.
I haven't felt too homesick yet- only at times when I'm scrolling through all of the pictures from Sacred Heart. But it helps that there continues to be so much to do here. Even last night, a typical Monday, I was able to get free tickets to see Jessie J in concert at the London iTunes Festival. It's quite unreal that so much culture and music and art and downright fun can be yours with just a snap of your fingers (and the occasional cry when looking at your online bank history).
Otherwise, I am off to Munich, Germany on Thursday for the long weekend. Oktoberfest'ing and also touring Dachau Concentration Camp. Should definitely be a mix of emotions, but I am really interested in seeing both sides of a cultural history.