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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

In the Bag

Photo ByAbigail Balme
Florence, Italy


Backpacking the far corners of the world is considered a rite of passage among young people throughout the world (or at least a great part of it). Before university, many young kids take a gap year and travel abroad, giving themselves a tantalizing taste of what the outside world is like. Americans (in my opinion) tend to have a different mindset, one that is closed off from anything that may lead to foreign dangers. That’s why I caused such a controversy among friends and family last summer. I was a young, naïve, eighteen year old girl who was setting off to see as much of Europe as I could within an eight-week span with not but a backpack, camera, dreams of adventure, and eight years of Spanish under my belt.

The first stop on my trek was England—land of fish and chips, Big Ben, Stonehenge, David Beckham, and James Bond. It is a great destination for young travelers because of its talent of balancing history and modernity in its cities and uploading traditions in its villages. It has beautiful country sides, hearty food, amazing chocolate, good sports and ancient castles. For me, the purpose was to visit family in addition to: punting down the river Cam, ordering my first beer, (legally) touring the Tower of London, riding the London Eye, betting on horse races…and losing. I wanted to see some of the most beautiful sights in Europe.

London is a must-see city but do not spend all of your time there. Get further into the great outdoors and experience some of the amazing opportunities that the Yorkshire Dales has to offer. Stay at a honey B&B and learn the varying customs of the townspeople—they vary from village to village.

The further away from the cities you go in England, the more opportunities you to have to explore. Explorers can find old Roman ruins in farmers’ gardens, take hikes among beautiful scenery, fish in the local waterholes, or go extreme sledding in the winter. One of the amazing aspects about the Yorkshire Dales is that it eludes time—farmers do their work in the old ways, people live quietly, seemingly disconnected from the outside world. They prefer to socialize at Sunday brunch rather than through Facebook, and the pub is the most valuable building the villages have to offer.

The Dales are a place where everybody knows everybody. It’s a place where memories are never forgotten because they are frozen through the lens of the camera and hung on the walls of the village pub.

My favorite place in the Dales is hidden within a shaded valley. To the Locals it’s known as Rainby–a roughly thirty-foot waterfall and swimmer’s hole, stocked with trout where you can try your luck at fishing. It’s also a great spot to have picnics, go swimming, or even try your luck with a leap of faith off the highest point of the waterfall into the cool waters below.

Every time I go to England I make an effort to visit Rainby. Sometimes she is only a trickle, other times she is a force to be reckoned with, but she typically reaches her equilibrium between May and early July–the best time of the year to take a leap from her top, if you ever want to try it out.