USAC, our study abroad program, offers several field trips throughout the semester that are free to us as study abroad students. We intentionally planned our weekend trips around these field trips, as we wanted a few weekends in London, and they don’t come at an additional charge. Our first field trip was to Brighton, a seaside town about an hour train ride outside of London. I thought it was kind of hippy-esqe and a much more chill, slow paced city than London. I quite enjoyed the change of scenery and relaxed day.
Upon arrival, we visited The Royal Pavilion as a group. This is a former residence to UK royalty and is as extravagant and beautiful as you can imagine. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but the architecture and design was beautiful and definitely worth visiting.
The rest of the day we had free time to explore whatever we wanted. We started by visiting the rock beach and pier. It was chilly and windy, but the view was beautiful and it was so peaceful to sit and hear the consistent crashing of the waves. I had some time to sit and be thankful and just relax.
We then visited the pier and decided to ride the biggest upside down ride which literally just went in circles. It was only Lea, Maggie and I so I volunteered to go by myself. I had just eaten a giant slice of cheesecake so I was probably the least thrilled to go on the ride, but somehow got lucky enough to stop at the top with the view of the city while the girls were face down over the ocean, and I loved it the most. It was one of those moments where I thought, “holy cow I’m on a sketchy pier ride in the UK overlooking the city of Brighton,” and it was thrilling.
The rest of the day we walked around and vintage shopped and sampled some of the delicious food. I found a pair of white Converse at a thrift store for one pound, the deal of a lifetime, ha. If you’ve seen my wardrobe, you know I can get down in any store. But since moving to London, I have been super intentional with purchases and tried to invest more in experiences than things. But a one pound pair of sneakers? You know I had to.
We also went into a photo booth store, Photomatic, to take some pictures and wandered around the town admiring the street art before heading back to the train.
This was such a fun day trip and I’m so glad our program sets up fun activities like this for us.