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How the North East charmed this California girl
Last September, I (Elisabeth) boarded a plane at LAX to begin a new adventure as a Media and PR student at Newcastle University. After living in the ‘toon’ for several months and starting a work experience placement at Harvey & Hugo in Darlington, I’ve happily adjusted to life in the North East.
As a Southern California girl who chose to spend a year abroad in the North East, many people I’ve met ask me… what were you thinking?! Back home, they are still asking me how life is in ‘London.’
While I am quite lucky to have spent my life in California and have enjoyed my travels throughout the UK, I have to admit – there is something special about the North East!
Here are a few reasons why I love it here –
- The People I first arrived in the North East by train, all alone, in the middle of the night after traveling for 20 hours straight. Not only did the security get me safely to my accommodation, but they went above and beyond and made me feel safe and cared for – even if I had to ask them to repeat themselves more than a few times, due to the Geordie accents that my ears were not accustomed to! I have continued to have great experiences with friendly, helpful locals.
- The History Some of my favourite places in my home state are the Spanish missions, but for the most part everything around me was quite modern. Since I’m a bit of a history buff, my first couple of months were spent visiting all the old castles and cathedrals I could! I love hearing the unique stories of each place and the centuries of influences that literally shaped the buildings.
- The Views I love the diversity of stunning views in the North East! I still get excited to pass through small towns that are unlike anything I’d see back home. I never tire of the endless lush green land and the charming view of the Durham Castle and Cathedral when I take the train from Newcastle to Darlington and back for my work experience placement. Scenes like the juxtaposition of the castle and priory ruins looking over the sea in Tynemouth are breath-taking and something I will never forget. I can even appreciate the sight of a light dusting of snow, every once in a while!
- The Events There are a variety of great events in the area that are always so easy to get to! Whether a short walk from where I stay in Newcastle, a quick train trip to County Durham or brief ride to the beach on the metro, fun festivals and markets are never far away. It is also quite easy to get involved – I have had great experiences volunteering at events around the area! Finding out about events and volunteer opportunities in the North East is made simple with social media, as local organisations have established a great network.