I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with Britain. Ever since I opened up a pre-teen novel about the life of Queen Elizabeth I, I couldn’t stop reading about the country’s rich, royal history. Since then, I’ve probably read every historical book on the topic (both fiction and non) available at my local Barnes & Noble. I even went as Queen Victoria for Halloween in the 4th grade. My peers were clearly confused, so I unwillingly settled for being simply a “princess.” My obsession with English royal history actually comes in handy every once in a while, too. Not because anybody is ever in urgent need to know who King Henry VIII’s third wife was (Jane Seymour), but it’s quite useful in the classroom. You know that awful ice breaker that teachers always use to get to know their students better? The one that goes, “All right, everybody! I want to go around the room, and you must say your name, major, and a fun fact about yourself!” After this, you’re usually thinking: A fun fact? What’s a fun fact? There’s nothing interesting about me! I like dogs? No, that’s not fun! What do I say? Should I make up a fake twin sister? Ah!! Next thing you know, its your turn to introduce yourself. You’re still stressing out about the fun fact, and when you speak, your face is bright red. You mumble your name, major and something about how much you love pizza. Lame.
For me, I’ve got my go-to fun fact, “Hi, I’m Abby Baumann. I’m studying radio, TV, and film, and I basically know everything there is to know about British royal history.” Perfect. Usually, none of the other students actually ever listen, but the teacher always seems slightly impressed. Now, not only do I know quite a lot about the UK’s past and present royalty, but I am only a handful of weeks away from studying in Leeds, England for the spring semester… I think my fun fact just got even “funner.”
Words cannot describe how excited I am to live in the country that I’ve been reading about my whole life. At the same time, I am anxious and overwhelmed. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to be away from everything that I know and love. Still, I don’t have one doubt that I will regret it. Through this blog, I hope to take you on the same adventure that I am about to embark. While I’m off studying the secrets of Great Britain’s past, touring castles, and diving into British culture, I hope that you might feel as if you are right there with me. America, Madison, friends, and family (that includes my cats): you will be missed, but I am about to have the greatest adventure of my life. England, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me!