England’s regions are a little bit different than Canada’s. Britain has crushed nearly triple Canada’s population into an island 40 times smaller than my great home. In under an hour, you can cross through several regions. I’ve settled into West Sussex, but in the past three weeks I’ve already explored Kent, London, Brighton, and East Sussex.
I’ve already seen a lot, done a lot, and experienced a lot. This is the most important information—the best of the best—the secrets of Sussex.
Eccentric Brighton: The gay capital of the UK boasts beautiful buildings and cobblestone streets that are best explored as a local. Brighton is a place to live, not to visit as a tourist. The Lanes sell absolutely anything you could ask for and the nightlife is always vibrant.
My friend and I attended a bizarre fashion show. The guests dressed as curiously as the models. Brighton is not limited by ideas of current fashion. Everyone fits in because no one does. It’s true what they say—in Brighton, anything goes.
Homey Hove: Just a hop, skip, and jump away from Brighton is Hove. The two are often intertwined, much to the loathing of the residents of Hove.
In my eyes, Hove is more of a home than Brighton. Hove is full of rich retirees who enjoy the white-washed beach and quiet main streets—far away from Brighton’s raging parties.
My friend and I dawned sparkly masks and party dresses for a Masquerade Ball at Ralli Hall in Denmark Villas. The event was extremely well coordinated. It was a fun, new, exciting experience full of Sussex locals that welcomed us warmly.
Artsy Oxfordshire: The surrounding area of the university city of Oxford is full of lush, rolling hills and quaint adorable towns. Campuses are spread throughout the town, ranging from the Park and Ride to the canal and all the way up to the old castle.
My friends and I explored an exhibition of Master Drawings in the Art Gallery. Afterwards, I fell through five floors of incredible artifacts. Sometimes, I forget how deep and wide Europe’s history goes. I would definitely return to the free exhibits and explore the gorgeous campuses more thoroughly.
Cute Kent: Golden fields and winding roads led my friends and I to a family friendly BBQ on the outskirts of a small town in Kent. Right near the airport, a large group of friends gathered to drink Pimms and Lemonade and watch an air show.
The Balkan Bomber shot up into the sky, an impending image of doom. I imagined how the war must have effected the lovely land I was lucky to stand on. Although plenty of beautiful buildings have been destroyed, Kent still houses many adorable villages to enjoy.
Crazy Knockhill: Summer means camping in Canada, and luckily, I made some British friends who agree. We drove out to a Mountain Boarding Course past Brighton where the boys flipped around on boards with big wheels while Mikaela and I played basketball.
We weren’t allowed to burn entire pallets, but we did have a small fire, cooked some beer sausages, and even introduced the Sussex boys to Canada’s most refined dessert: s’mores.
Lively London: After spending far too much time in England’s favourite city, London has lost its charm for me. On July 1, Trafalgar recaptured some of that charm as it was transformed into Canada.
To celebrate International Canada Day, the square hosted a hockey tournament, sold Molson and maple syrup, and even managed to find four major Canadian bands to entertain.
My friend and I ended up in the front row watching The Arkells, Jan Ardenn, The Sheepdogs, and The Tragically Hip. It was an incredible event that made me love London and miss home more than ever.
I still have a lot more exploring to do, but I’m trying to travel slow, take my time, and explore deep, rather than wide. I feel as if I am getting to know each place on a more intimate basis—and that is worth all the time in the world.