Cultural Experience | Wales

Reuniting with the Wilderness in Wales

Venture away from the city once in a while and reconnect with mother nature.

Cities explode with commercialism, consumerism, and any other man-made industries you can think of. While living in the midst of the industrial landscape of the city, one can easily feel detached from the wild serenity of the natural world. In order to satisfy the craving for unpolluted air, calming silence, and rich natural landscapes, it is essential that one ventures away from the city once in a while and reconnects with our wonderful mother nature.

While I love studying abroad in London, this past weekend I was fortunate enough to reunite with nature in the northern countryside of Wales and hike the country’s tallest mountain, Mount Snowdon. This experience was a blessing to my body and to my mind, as I was able to combine the challenging act of hiking for six hours with the exquisite beauty of my surroundings. The journey consisted of walking through a dense, green forest, strolling along a few dusty dirt paths, clambering over steep areas of unsteady rocks, and constantly admiring the picturesque hills, lakes, and towns in the distance.


The temperature dropped significantly as we climbed higher up the mountain, and the misty fog of the low-set clouds swallowed up any views of the distant landscape once we reached the summit. But the overwhelming cloudiness made the experience feel surreal; after climbing for so long to reach the top of this massive mountain, you look out only to see a vast nothingness that somehow emanates an atmosphere of powerful significance. Despite the emptiness that you see, the silence of the space around the summit forces you to feel the thrill of the high altitude and the beauty of the isolation.

While the summit itself fell victim to the chilly fog, the majority of the hike provided amazing views. The frequent passing of adorable steam trains, the appearance of little stone bridges, and the presence of sheep and horses grazing peacefully gave the sense that we were walking through an old folktale. The fresh air was untouched by any major forms of pollution and had that pure, clean smell of wilderness that made the hike more fulfilling.


The wonderful combination of physically conquering the mountain and enjoying the stunning scenery made the weekend in Wales an incredible opportunity to immerse myself in the purity of the natural world. While I actually love living in the excitement of London, I do find myself missing the simplicity and the peacefulness of spending time in nature. Luckily for me, London is one of the world’s greenest cities, and hosts numerous parks and spaces of natural relaxation. I definitely plan on exploring more of the city’s green areas, but visiting Wales made a nice start to my search for nature while living in London.


Gabrielle Boucher

University of Tampa | 19 stories

After the most amazing study abroad experience in London, I've now graduated with a degree in International Studies and continue to travel during my post-grad life. My favorite travel memories include bartending in Peru, taking a cooking class in Thailand, swimming in waterfalls in Ecuador, wine tasting in Portugal, cliff jumping in Bermuda, and touring castles in Romania. I'm always on the hunt for new adventures, and always using writing as a tool to hopefully inspire others to explore the world.

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