UCL Backpackers, a series of interviews with UCL students about their travel adventures, makes it return this year. This week, we spoke to Modern Languages students, Benny Williams and Gavin Davies, about what they got up to this summer.
Benny Williams, left, studies German and Spanish; Gavin Davies, right, studies Russian and Spanish.
Where did you travel to this summer?
B: “I’ve got a bit of a list: Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, France and Spain. I mixed travelling with one-to-two week periods of consulting work with the University of Cambridge, which was fantastic.”
G: “I visited Italy last spring and Barcelona in September. In Italy, I went to Rome, Venice and Padua. I especially loved Rome – it’s a real city, but it’s got all the touristy stuff you want and I found people were a lot friendlier than in Northern Italy.”
What was the best part of the trip?
B: “Without a doubt, it was Slovenia. It was how you would imagine an Alpine wonderland to be, but without all the really annoying tourists.”
G: “I really loved the Trevi fountain in Rome, because I made a wish, and my wish was to become beautiful. It came true!”
What’s the best place you’ve visited?
B: “It would probably be Hong Kong. I lived there for a couple of months. I loved being in a big city and, failing to learn Cantonese, I got on better with Mandarin.”
G: “I’d say Cancun, Mexico. Some of the American tourists there were diabolical, but it was a bit like watching a cartoon, which was interesting from an anthropological point of view… but the Mexican people were lovely!”
What’s your travelling essential?
B: “Climbing shoes.”
G: “I could say something that’s not appropriate for this, so I’ll just say a camera.”
What’s one of the sticky situations you encountered while travelling?
B: “Losing my suitcase in Berlin. It could have been worse but I just went and bought new clothes!”
G: “I had a run in with the Mexican mafia…”