An Adventure in Wales!

Rebecca Perlmutter London, England


October 28, 2022

Today, I’d like to talk about bravery. Not the ‘give a lion some courage and he’ll become king of the forest' kind of bravery, but the quiet kind of bravery you build in the moments you are left on your own. I am proud to say that since I have gotten to London a little over a month ago, I have been feeling very brave. Whether that is in boarding the Tube alone or asking a local for directions, these little brave moments have certainly been building up during my time abroad. 

Recently, I have been teetering the line of feeling invincible in my newfound bravery and completely fatigued by the number of times I have been stepping out of my comfort zone. In both regards, I believe that Arcadia’s Wales Adventure Weekend came at the perfect time in the semester. So, as I board a train both ready for adventure and a change from my new routine, I am thrilled to take you with me to Pembrokeshire, Wales!


1:15 p.m. - We meet outside of the Pasty Shop at Paddington Station and everyone is bubbling with excitement about our trip! I buy a Fanta Lemon for the train ride and quickly learn why that flavor has not made it big in America… Spoiler alert, it’s not very good.

1:50 p.m. - We board our train and I make an embarrassingly long speech about all the animals I hope to see as we drive through West England into Wales. I am satisfied with the number of cows, deer, sheep, and birds I see through the window.

3:30 p.m. - We switch trains in Cardiff, Wales. I will now forever associate Cardiff with an ungodly number of businessmen shouting “Cardiff, Baby!” at the station.

7:00 p.m. - We arrive in Wales and whiz down the pitch black streets in a mini bus. All is silent besides a single freshman whispering, “Maybe this is the first adventure.”

7:30 p.m. - Everyone is ecstatic to have a home-cooked meal they did not make for themselves. We are treated to heaping portions of mashed potato-y goodness and I begin to question who I wronged to have never had cottage pie before today. We spend the rest of the night playing cards and hit the hay at the respectable hour of 9:30. 


8:00 a.m. - I wake up to the absolutely beautiful Welsh countryside and the terror of knowing that in a mere hour I will be Coasteering. 

9:00 a.m. - I join the group of students who are preparing for Coasteering, which is a combination of climbing, exploring, and swimming through the freezing Irish Sea. Someone explains to me how a wetsuit works (it fills with water to maintain your body heat), and I become indistinguishable from a runway model as I put on my wetsuit, helmet, and life jacket. 

9:30 a.m. - We enter the sea! Due to the stormy weather, the waves are huge and the water is super cold, but the mist causes a rainbow to arch across the sky above us as we swim. We swim through dark caves, jump off cliffs, and meet a seal who slaps one of our instructors! The whole activity is equally the most terrifying and amazing experience I have ever had.

12:00 p.m. - We are free of our wetsuits and curl up with a bowl of well deserved soup. 

1:00 p.m. - A small group ventures to St. David’s Cathedral and the smallest city in the U.K. We explore the twelfth century cathedral and Welsh crafts shops, then we hunker down for some delicious ice cream. I question if I should call up Ben and Jerry’s to suggest they make chocolate orange ice cream like my new favorite Welsh ice cream shop, as I firmly believe that everyone should get to try it. 

5:30 p.m. - We arrive back at the lodge for dinner and play many games of Uno, excited for our final activity the next day. I watch as the bartender completely destroys other students in a game of pool and I head off to bed. 


8:00 a.m. - I smother a plate of pancakes in Nutella and then return to my room to bundle up for my hike. This is the activity that I am the most excited about!

9:00 a.m. - We depart on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, the edge of rocky cliffs above the sea to our left and local farms to our right. Along the way, I take in some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. We see a seal pup (pictured above) basking in the sun on the beach during the first week of his life, before his mama teaches him to swim. At the very end of the hike, we land on AberMawr beach and I look out at the sea feeling incredibly content.

12:00 p.m. - We hike back to the lodge just in time for jacket potatoes and baked beans. I pack up my clothes and say goodbye to the cows out our window.

2:00 p.m. - Just like that we are headed back to the train station to return to London. 

Until next time, here’s to bravery both big and small!


Semester England Travel