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Jensen Lassiter

  • Turn Left For England

    by Jensen Lassiter | Oct 13, 2017

    One of the most amazing parts of studying abroad in England thus far is the extra opportunities to travel around Europe. In just four short weeks, I’ve been able to travel to four other countries, countries that I wouldn’t easily be able to access from the states without putting a massive dent into my savings. 

    One of the most rewarding parts of being able to travel is seeing new places and meeting new people from all walks of life. It’s quite amazing visiting places that you read about in history books, or in art class, or in literature class. 

    Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Paris. For me, Paris had never been a bucket list city, yet suddenly for this experience, it seemed to climb the list rapidly. Paris wasn’t quite what I had expected. I was lucky to see the most iconic sights and walk down crowded avenues that were famous around the world. There was so much I got to see, yet it wasn’t enough. Paris quickly became a city that I knew I would have to visit again in the future. I crossed off major sights like the Arc De Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. I saw the house where Picasso lived and worked, and Bastille. 

    One city crossed off, but only a hundred more left to explore.

    Last weekend, a group of my friends and I traveled through France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. We traveled to Calais, France and were able to explore the ports before setting off to Amsterdam for a few days. In Amsterdam my friends and I explored the many canals as well as a few museums. We took a boat cruise down the canals as well as walked through the infamous Red Light District. We took a side trip to two smaller cities, Edam and Volendam. Edam is approximately the size of Manchester, and so incredibly charming. Families ran little shops and made delicate chocolates.

    One museum in particular held special importance. We toured the Anne Frank House. Inside was one of the most amazing experiences, but very melancholy. It was really special to stand inside a small space that made such an impact on modern history. Learning in an actual, real life environment is something that really cannot be replicated inside the walls of a classroom, and I’ll never be able to truly explain how it felt to be there. 

    From Amsterdam we traveled to Bruges, Belgium, or Brugge. Brugge hands down became my favorite city I’ve visited thus far. The medieval city was radically different from central London. It was beautiful and picturesque, the type of quaintness you would think of in the scenic countryside. There we explored markets and little local owned shops. We scarfed down Belgian frites, or fries, using mayonnaise instead of ketchup. Believe me when I say I can never go back! We also had a delicious Belgian waffle with chocolate sauce and bananas.

    Coming home we traveled again through Calais. We visited the coastal white cliffs of Dover which were simply spectacular. We were able to view the ancient castle high up on the cliffs and learn mini history lessons from our tour guide. 

    We had a slight delay in our return from France, as UK border control is rather fierce. After our visas and passports were nearly triple checked, our customs agents directed us to the left, left towards England. 

    While it’s only been a few short weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to explore new places and cities. Many more weekend trips have been planned and I cannot wait to share with you where I go next! I’ve learned so much about the histories of new countries that I don’t know a lot about. It’s fascinating to learn about places in a classroom setting, or in history lectures, but it’s even more amazing to see these places in real life. It makes the world seem so much smaller, and it’s a feeling that I hope never goes away!

    Be sure to check out my posts on Instagram to follow along with me!


    Jensen Lassiter ‘19 is an English major. She is currently working as a blogger for MU and is studying abroad in London, England this fall. Her dream job is to be an English and Creative Writing Professor.