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Hop Skip and a Jump

Posted by Rebecca on 10 November 2008

It’s amazing how far you can get from London in two and a half hours.  You can hop on a train or a plane and be in an entirely different place: new language, new scenery, new culture.  I’ve travelled a lot, but usually it took a little more time and effort to get to somewhere really different.  As a kid growing up in Calgary, we would drive for 3 hours and get to… Edmonton.  Or for a real thrill you could drive east and hit… Saskatchewan.  Woohoo!  Road trip to Regina!

This is the second time I’ve gone to school in London, the first being London, Ontario.  Sure, a two hour drive from London (ON) will get you somewhere very different: Detroit.  For many Canadians, this is indeed an adventure into foreign territory (“quick - roll up the windows and drive the speed limit! Don’t brake until we make it back to free healthcare and Tim Hortons!”).   Things were a little more interesting when I lived in San Francisco. Several hours in a car will get you deep into wine country, skiing in Tahoe or across the bridge to Oakland during rush hour.  Seattle and Phoenix are both two hours away by plane – rain or shine, a change of scenery.  But this pales in comparison to the adventures on London’s (UK) doorstep.

In early October I took the Eurorail to Paris for the weekend.  This was only about 2 weeks after the fire in the Chunnel, and you could still smell the smoke as we passed underground.  When we emerged, the sun was shining in France and I swear there was a waft of fresh baguettes and cigarettes.   New language, new currency, new country – all mine for the weekend. 

A few weeks later I hopped on an Easyjet plane to Barcelona.  In less than three hours I was drinking Spanish wine and eating manchego cheese in a restaurant off Las Ramblas.  We spent the weekend walking around the city, visiting the Picasso museum, shopping at ZARA and enjoying more Spanish wine.  On Friday I’m going back to Spain, but this time to Madrid.  

I realize all this travelling may sound indulgent.  You might be thinking “when does she study?” Sure there’s a lot of work – assignments, group work, and exams.  But it’s also true that the MBA experience is more than just classes and networking events. Next semester our stream has Thursdays and Fridays off and we would be foolish to waste this good fortune, particularly given the Ryanair and EasyJet seat sales.  Flights to Rome for £20? Marrakesh for £40? I’m in. 

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