Helloooooo everyone! Nice to see you all once again 🙂 It’s officially the end of the semester and final exams are commencing soon so the campus is relatively quiet. I’m having my first paper this coming Friday, which means the day after tomorrow and I’m getting nervous about it. It’s the last final exams of my study life so I really hope I can perform well to draw a nice end to my Masters degree life here. It was really exhausting studying the whole morning in the library and thus I decided to take a short break to blog now (actually just to find an excuse to not study) 😛 Will go back to studies once I finished with this and so please do pray for me and fingers crossed I’ll do well in my last finals!
Anyways, back to the main topic for today. I went on a HOST visit again with my friend, Jessie to Exmouth 2 weeks ago! 🙂 To read more about what is a HOST visit and also my first HOST stay, please click here.
FYI, Exmouth is a beautiful small town by the seaside located at East Devon of England. It’s approximately 3 hours away by car or train from Guildford. Initially, me and Jessie were supposed to have HOST stay at Paignton, which is another town about 50km away from Exmouth but unfortunately the family that was supposed to host us became unavailable. However, the regional officer for Devon, Dr Terri Kelly was really kind and helpful as she reassured us that she will find us a new host family and kept us updated. In the end, to our delight she managed to find us another new host family- The Stradlings which we really appreciate their kindness as they are willing to drove all the way to Newton Abbot train station to pick us up after knowing that we had already bought our train tickets to Paignton.
So on Friday morning, we set off our journey to Exmouth happily. 🙂 Upon arriving at the train station, Judith and Richard, our hosts for the trip welcomed us warmly and drove us back to their house in Exmouth. The Stradlings lived in a lovely 3-storey house with a big garden just a 5 minutes walk from Exmouth beach. Me and Jessie have our own separate rooms and I’m really happy with my room as it’s facing the beautiful garden! Waking up the next two mornings with such a beautiful garden view just made me feel so happy! 😛 After settling down, Judith took us on a mini tour in the beautiful garden which is fully managed by herself most of the time, while Richard, who is a really good cook prepared a full Sunday roast for dinner in the kitchen. We even had Crème Brûlée for dessert and me and Jessie get the chance to help make the crackly caramel topping made from melting sugar using the cooking blowtorch which is really fun! 🙂 We then had a good time enjoying our dinner while chatting together before going to bed. By the way, it’s also the first time I had full Sunday roast and it’s really delicious! 🙂
The next morning, Richard prepared a traditional French breakfast for us with a simple yet delicious Croque Madame sandwich. It was really tasty and I’m planning to try and make that after my exams 😛 After breakfast, we went and have a stroll at the beach and I’m really excited as I’ve not seen the sea for almost a year! The day was really sunny and bright that day and there’s many local families having picnic on the beach with kids playing in the sea and it was a really lovely view. Exmouth’s Jurassic coastline was also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site with the red sandstone cliff that aged about 200 million years from the Triassic age which stretches from the beach in Exmouth all the way to Dorset, which is really amazing! After that, we departed to Sidmouth, which is a Victorian era small town by the seaside. We had ice creams by the sea front and it was a really fun experience. The ice cream is really huge and yummy, which even attracted sea gulls! It was again my first time eating ice cream in such a way that I not only need to make sure I don’t messed up my clothes in ice creams but also keep an eye on sea gulls! Judith was not so lucky as a sea gull managed to swoop down and took her ice cream away! 🙁 After finishing our ice creams, we proceed our trip to Wareham town in Dorset whereby the Judith and Richard’s son, Matthew is playing on a band in the bar for the night. It was definitely an amazing and unforgettable night listening to music and having fun with the locals 🙂
On the last day, we had a full English breakfast in the morning and then stroll around in the other side of Exmouth beach before departing to Exeter to catch our train back to Guildford. As our train is in the evening, we get the chance to explore and walk around in the city. Exeter city is really beautiful with many landmarks such as the Exeter Cathedral, Cathedral Close, Exe bridge and also the River Exe that runs through Exeter. Before departing back home, we managed to had an English tea also with scones and clotted cream which is my favourite!
I really enjoyed the whole visit to Exmouth and would really once again thank the Stradlings for being such amazing hosts. 🙂 I learned a lot and also experienced much things which further enhance my understandings of the British culture and it was really an amazing and unforgettable trip. Once again I would really encourage every international students to go for a HOST visit if you really wish to know more about British culture. 🙂
So that’s all for today and it’s time to go back to studies. Hope to see you all again soon!
Take care and have a nice day! 🙂