Travel Weekly: From Mexico to London

For any travelers looking to enrich their appreciation for historical content around the world, Santa Monica College student Lillian Ryan says that England and Mexico should definitely be on your list. As an international relations major at SMC, Ryan's passion for traveling sends her on a different experience almost every summer. Two memorable trips include her trips to London, Englad and Akumal, Mexico.

After visiting Akumal, Ryan was quick to praise the city for its environment.

"It was incredibly beautiful," Ryan says. "The water was so warm and you could see the bottom [of the ocean]."

Although the people in Akumal were very kind, Ryan says she could not help but feel for the people living in less fortunate conditions.

"Honestly, it was really sad; there was a lot of kids trying to sell you stuff," she says, of her experience witnessing children who were forced to sell in order to maintain their living conditions. "They were really nice, but there's a lot of disparity there."

Ryan says that the chance to swim with dolphins was definitely her favorite experience while in Akumal.

While staying in London, England for two weeks, Ryan says she was able to appreciate the rich amount of history that has followed the country for thousands of years.

"The history is nothing like you can experience in the U.S.," Ryan says.

Some of London's attractions that Ryan was able to visit include the tower of London and the London Eye.

Ryan also went on a street art tour while in London.

"There is like these really elaborate murals that people do; it's different from graffiti," Ryan says. "It's artists like Banksy and all those really famous people."

She says that an exceptional dish she enjoyed was shepherd's pie. Along with the Indian food in London, Ryan recommends any tourists to try the cuisine options.

From places Ryan has yet to visit, she says Turkey tops her list.

"From what I've seen in pictures, it looks incredibly beautiful and I just want to experience the history of it," she says.

As far as Santa Monica goes, Ryan's love for experiencing variety is what she enjoys most about going to SMC.

"I'm from a small town, so this is definitely a lot broader," she says. "I love the diversity, and I love experiencing people actually coming here from different parts of the world."

Although Ryan has traveled, she has yet to travel to many other places, yet she still longs for London.

"I would probably go back to London before I go to Turkey," she says. "Anywhere in Europe is just to experience history, and I think it's really important to broaden your horizons."