Fun and Travel

By Maddy Taylor (University of Maryland, USA).

While I did work very hard at Maryland, and it was occasionally difficult to balance work and play, I had a great opportunity to explore the US while on exchange, and explore I did! I think an exchange really teaches you to seize the day, it feels like such a waste to sit around watching Netflix all day and so I’ve become much more proactive with my time. As a result I have had some awesome experiences while I’ve been here.

Sports at American College are a must, and so we attended a few basketball games at Maryland’s incredible Comcast Centre.

Comcast center at UMD
Comcast centre at UMD
Go Terps!
Go Terps!

We explored DC, and obviously saw The White House. It was great being in College Park because of its proximity to DC and the ease of getting in on the metro! I’m sure I’ll appreciate my short trip into London much more when I get home.

The White House!
The White House!

I did an 8k and a 5k run down in Virginia Beach with my family while I was here, one was for St Patricks’ day and the other was a colour run – so fun!

Shamrock 8k in Virginia Beach with my family
Shamrock 8k in Virginia Beach with my family
Colour Me Rad 5k with Annabel and family down in Virginia Beach
Colour Me Rad 5k with Annabel and family down in Virginia Beach

I visited Baltimore twice, such an interesting city with so much history and so many beautiful sights. It also didn’t hurt that we had a local tour-guide to escort us around (thanks Annie!). That is another great thing about studying abroad, and in American in particular, your friends will be scattered everywhere!

Baltimore rooftop with Annabel and Annie
Baltimore rooftop with Annabel and Annie

My first big trip of the semester was to Philadelphia, and although it was still pretty freezing while we were there, it was great to see the city and explore.

Philadelphia! Freedom, Liberty and of course Rocky!
Philadelphia! Freedom, Liberty and of course Rocky!

And then Spring Break rolled around and of course I had to jet off to the Bahamas! This was such an incredible experience, if a little strange to be in 30degree heat while it was snowing back in Maryland. And there wasn’t much of an opportunity to show off our tan when we got back, but the satisfaction of being an English Rose (nice way of saying very pale) and brown in March made up for it!

Breezes, Bahamas
Breezes, Bahamas
Weather Difference - College Park to Bahamas
Weather Difference – College Park to Bahamas. And it never even rained!
Snorkelling with Sharks and Atlantis!
Snorkelling with Sharks and Atlantis!

And then I had my 20th Birthday in College Park and my wonderful friends came for dinner with me at our campus restaurant.

Birthday meal at Adele's
Birthday meal at Adele’s

Of course what would an exchange in America be without a trip to New York City?! We saw three plays in three days (Newsies, Once and Of Mice and Men), got into the MoMa for free, ran into President Obama and chilled out in Central park in the sun, could it get much better?

New York - Central Park, Top of the Rock and The Empire State Building
New York – Central Park, Top of the Rock, Of Mice and Men and The Empire State Building
Times Square!
Times Square!

And then Annabel and I took a trip to the theme park Busch Gardens, which was simply incredible.

Locked up in 'England'
Locked up in ‘England’

I also joined my extended family in Kiawah Island in South Carolina for (American) mother’s day and a wonderful few days of relaxing and amazing food.

Lunch with the family
Lunch with the family

And now I’m finished my exams and set to spend almost my entire summer by the beach and working by the oceanfront. I’m so so sad that my semester studying in Maryland is over, but at least my time in America is not! Now I’m going to run outside and get a tan!

(P.S. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who made my travels and semester possible – all of my exchange coordinators, my parents, my extended family in America, and of course all of the wonderful friends I’ve made in Maryland (yes, and you Annabel). You all know who you are – so thank you!)

One thought on “Fun and Travel

  1. Glad you enjoyed cheering on the Terps!!! That’s my alma mater, and I grew up in the area 🙂 Did you get the fishbowl-sized ice cream sundae at Adele’s in Stamp?? Curious, will you be working in OC, MD over the summer? That’s a pretty fun spot. GO TERPS!

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