It’s hard to fathom that I’ve been in London for over a whole month now. I still remember the nervous anxiousness I felt saying goodbye to everyone and embarking on this journey but that nervousness has been replaced with a sense of contentment. I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given and want to make the most of it. This blog has been a great way for me to share my experiences, but at the same time, it has also been a great way for me to digest everything I have seen and done. So here it is, a sincere thank you to everyone who has ever read it. It really helps me keep going, and in the process make the most of my time in London.
As journalists are known to do (and as Amanda so greatly advised me to write), here is a list of the top 5 things from my first month abroad, in descending order with #1 being the best. (Note: this list is by no means definitive and does not mean these are the only things I have enjoyed.)
I don’t know how to explain this thoroughly but I will just say this, London is the most international city I have ever been to. Literally, I have heard more languages being spoken on the streets than I have ever heard in my life. Sometimes I’m not even sure I am in England because it seems no one has a British accent, especially in the school. I love this. This city is truly a melting pot. The best part about it is that there is no big deal made about it. That’s just the way things are. I can only imagine a city like this in the U.S. Every ethnicity would have its own borough and if by some chance people from different races co inhabited an area there would be a glowing 3 page spread in the newspaper. The world has a lot to learn from London.
#4-Ease of Transportation
This is not limited to the tube, either. London has it together when it comes to making it easy to get from one place to another. Of course everyone knows about the underground, but the bus system has been simple to use as well. Then there are the rentable bikes littered all across the city. If I wasn’t so scared of getting trampled by a car, I would definitely try these bad boys out. But above all, London works hard at making super easy to walk from place to place. There are maps literally everywhere. I never am completely lost because every two or three blocks, there are maps telling me exactly where I am. Such a simple yet brilliant idea.
Seems silly to list these two places out of all of the things I have seen and done, however, I truly have relished them. I am a bit of a scrooge when it comes to spending money, so these stores have been lifesavers. Yes, in the grand scheme of things getting cheap food may be inconsequential, but I have to eat and these two places have gotten the job done and then some. I can honestly say that of the 100 or so meals I have eaten in my time here, about 80 of them have come from these two. They have provided me with good food at a great price, and I will forever b e thankful.
I can’t explain the feeling of going for a walk and passing historic monuments like St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Bridge (actually its Tower Bridge but whatevs) and not even flinching. It’s not that I have become complacent, or don’t think they are cool, it’s exactly the opposite. I am immersed in them. I don’t have to stop and take a rushed picture with 1 million people in the way because I can come back literally any time. Not to mention all of the old style architecture that fascinates me. I still walk down some vintage streets and marvel at the buildings that are centuries old in some cases. The best part is, there is still so much more for me to see.
Anyone who knows anything about me could have pegged this one. It’s no secret that I love soccer and it should come as no surprise that the things I have enjoyed the most have been the soccer matches I have attended. I have watched hundreds, maybe even thousands, of soccer games but to see them in person, hear the fans singing and feel their passion, it is something spectacular. I had dreamed about what it would be like to go to games in Europe, and they have lived up to every expectation. While I would rate the Fulham game over the West Ham game (probably because I like Fulham more), I can’t deny that the fans for Nottingham Forest at West Ham were the most ardent, boisterous, passionate fans I have ever heard in person. Football has not let me down.