London Calling

London Called — I answered

(Originally published: 3/26/12)

I don’t always like to reminisce. It’s true that some things are better left in the past; however, I can’t deny my past. I am a product of my past and present environmental stimuli and live my life with little shame and no regrets. That being said, I am going to be 100% honest about the catalyst to my interest in European culture and history: the Age of Empires PC computer series. To get a quick taste of how I spent an unmentionable amount of time during my early adolescent years, here’s the intro to the second installment to the series: Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings was developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft.

I don’t want to dwell on the game series but I did want to share the trailer to aid in your understanding of how it all started. Those games sparked my interest in the medieval time period of knights, peons, castles and kings. It then catapulted my desire to learn more about global history that I was underexposed to throughout my early-childhood education. Before these games, I only knew England as the country from which the U.S. emerged. After these games, I knew more about historic battles such as the Battle of Hastings and historical figures such as Edward Longshanks. From there, the rest was history.

My interest in London has grown through the years. From listening to my friends’ amazing experiences with the city to reading into its current global significance, as well as its architectural and societal developments throughout the past 2000 years. The city is filled with artifacts and examples of mankind’s struggles and triumphs to become what it is today. It has a sort of mythical lure that is inexplicable yet also undeniable. Though I do plan on visiting sites like Alexandra Palace, various museums, art galleries, castles, and pubs, I am more excited to cycle about and explore a city that is almost 9x older than my entire country. I can only fathom a morsel of my enthusiasm until I am actually there.

I never thought I would be able to experience London at such an early point in my life due to the cost of travel. I probably wouldn’t have even applied for the class if it weren’t for the persistence of my good friend Ryan. He helped me believe in myself and tap into the adventurous, vivacious and ambitious side of me that I do so well at consistently inhibiting.

Throughout the past few months, I have proven to myself that I am able to save money and work hard for an experience that, 7 months ago, I would have never guessed to be part of. It has already proven to be a huge, progressive step towards discovering the rewards of my work ethic and the direction I want to take with my future career. However, I am not yet content. I am adamant about pushing myself to the limits of my abilities and, throughout the remainder of this semester, ensuring that no outside or internal factor can stop me from achieving my goals.

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