“That one time I fled the country”

Alright, I have a riddle for you – What do you get when you add one British Airways ticket, one lost, apologetic Canadian (complete with little to no cell reception), and at least two or three steak and ale pies?

You get me. Yep, just me. Lost in some pub, somewhere in Leeds, England, on the first night of my long-awaited year of exchange. But as I said above, I had pie so everything was fine.

You see, I managed to stray too far from my accommodation here on the first night, and it got dark so I eventually stopped trying to find my way back and started looking for grub.

Lucky there’s a pub literally on every corner here, so I was content to refuel before heading back. And wouldn’t you know it, I was only a few blocks away from my dorm room anyways.

But the reason I brought this up isn’t to draw attention to the fact that I now have extremely easy access to pies and beer (although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of it).

No, what I want to focus on here is where exactly I am, and truthfully why England has knocked my socks off so many times I end up barefoot most days.

My main secret: I GET LOST!

Seriously. Losing track of where I am has been one of my greatest attributes in this country so far… Which may seem strange now, but I’ll explain more in my next post. There have been several stories in development that I desperately want to share with you, but I think I owe it to England to reserve this post for just showing you where I’m sitting right now.

This is my view:

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OK, I lied; this was taken just below my dorm a couple nights ago. Here’s one from my room.

This is my view when it’s raining:

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Pretty, huh? I live on the second floor of Devonshire Hall, which is a long, elaborate old building that dates back to a time that I do not know. But trust me, it’s old and beautiful – just look at this:

The main gates:

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As you can see, I’m basically living at Hogwarts. No big deal or anything.

Distances:

Where am I? Well, I’m about one km away from this:

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A 10-minute bike ride from this:

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And, most importantly, about 45 minutes by train from THIS:

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That’s right, fellow ocean junkies! The ocean is alive and well in England. I cannot express to you how fast I ran into the waves when I saw this sight, and how fast I ran out when I realized how cold it was. A safe distance is nice enough for me.

And most importantly, I’m just a hop, skip and a jump from alllll of this:

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This, and other authentic food from basically anywhere in the world is probably my favourite thing about England so far. I intend to keep a photographic record of the best international dishes I have here (yes, I’m one of those people), and attempt to replicate them at home.. which will probably go exactly how it sounds – very, very badly. But hey, a guy has to try.

Wow, looking back on this post it’s really apparent that I’m essentially bragging of how great this country is right now. But on the upside, I will most likely die from malnutrition soon because all I eat is pies and Pad Thai here, so there you go.

Next time I’ll be sure to post some legit stories of the situations I’ve got into by getting lost here… it’s a fun time.

Until then, cheers to the maple leaf!

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4 Responses

  1. name says:

    Why are you there and what does this have to do with UVic ?

    • Talen says:

      Of course, excellent question! I realize now I completely missed out on these important details.. I was able to go to this wonderful place (the University of Leeds) through the study abroad program that UVic offers! Essentially it’s allowed me to do the entire third year of my biology program here in England, while still earning UVic credits and only paying UVic tuition. I highly recommend it as an option to anyone who is looking to get out and travel while experiencing different learning environments around the world!
      UVic has over 50 partner Universities that students can choose to go to, all over the world – here’s a link that really helped me out for anyone who’s interested!
      http://www.uvic.ca/international/students/incoming-exchange/partner-universities/index.php

      Sorry for the confusion, thanks again for bringing these details to light 🙂

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Fun read.

  3. Cassandra Smith says:

    Came across this article off of LinkedIn and once I read the author of the blog after clicking I couldn’t NOT read this.
    Glad to hear some of your adventures (or lost ways) in England. The old style buildings look amazing too by the way.
    All the best with the rest of your trip Talen!

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