Isn’t there anything more beautiful than a properly functioning public transportation system? At least, when it is properly functioning.
When I first arrived in the UK, there was something amazing about how easy it was to book a train all the way to Scotland. It was in fact, very easy.
Here’s the thing though: The UK is known for 2 things: Strikes and cool weather. Our study abroad group got only one of those things, and it’s not the one that makes traveling cross-country any easier.
We faced record high heat waves this past week, and staff shortages due to strikes. Trains were cancelling left and right. We had to travel for classes, and we had weekend trips to make. So what do you do? A special skill that I learned is to not be too attached to the date and time you’re supposed to leave. It happened a couple times– one of which interfered with our class requirements. My class group that needed to travel to Bristol made quick decisions to switch from Monday (where temperatures caused train stoppages) to Wednesday, where the temperature was much more forgiving. It was decidedly not fun to change our schedule. I’m not one to hate spontaneity, but when it’s the last full week of your study abroad, you don’t want to push anything off for later. You want to have as much time as possible to do everything you can. Class comes first though. And our trip was to Bristol, a place where we were still able to have a lot of fun on our class assigned “pirate hunt”. We even got to visit where Blackbeard was born!
So adapt when you can, cut your losses when you can’t. A study abroad can be made infinitely more stressful not just by missing plans or plans getting messy, but by mourning the perfect plans you thought you were going to have. Public transportation isn’t perfect, so try your best and forget the rest!