It was a long ride back to the U.S. but I made it! It is nice to be back and see my horses and friends here, but I am missing my friends and the culture back in the U.K. One thing I am not missing from the U.K. is the food, in exception to Nandos! I could use a little Nandos in my life here in the U.S.
The main difference in the two arrivals was having familiar faces to see. It was so nice after a hectic 24 hours of traveling to arrive in the Portland Airport with my parents and boyfriend awaiting my arrival. On the other hand, when I arrived in the U.K. I had no idea who to look for, or what to expect. Not one of the experiences were better than the other, they were just very different. Arriving in the U.S I new what to expect, and I knew what I had to look forward to, but arriving in London I only had the pictures and stories to live off of. The feeling I had in the two airports were almost completely opposite, the only similarity was the feeling of excitement. In the U.S. I had a feeling of relieve. I had successfully completed my five weeks abroad, and made it safely back home. Excitement followed the feeling of relieve because I was able to see my family! Arriving in London was more of a stressed/excitement feeling. I was excited to see what the next five weeks held for me, but what if it wasn’t what I expected, or what if I didn’t meet any people that I clicked with.
Luckily everything worked out better than I could have ever expected. I have made life long friends, and life long memories. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything!
Can my time in London really be over? Sadly it is… I can hardly believe I have been here for over a month. I am not ready to head back to the U.S. I am not ready to leave this beautiful city, or the wonderful people I have met here.
My host culture has been better than I could have ever expected. Most of the locals I met were willing to talk with me, and share information on things I should see and do. I was not expecting the locals to be as open and friendly as they were due to the fact they are probably seeing Americans on a regular basis. Just like everywhere there were definitely people that wanted nothing to do with us, but I would say over all the locals completely added to my experience.
I have never felt so many different emotions at one time. I am looking forward to going home to my parents and horses, but I am not ready to leave the life I have been living here in London. I wish I had a few weeks left to fit in all the things I have not yet been able to do due to my busy schedule. I am sad to be leaving my friends here, but I am also excited to see my friends back in the U.S. and tell them about my adventures.
These are some of my favorite people on our last weekend in London. We did a pub crawl In Camden. I highly recommend taking part in something like this. Camden turned out to be a really cool area. There were a lot of fun pubs as well as restaurants. Camden seems to have a younger local feel to it.
I can hardly believe I only have one week left in this amazing city. I have been trying to fit as much in as I can in the little time I have left in London. Week four is going to be a crazy week. I will be dealing with homework, field trips, seeing all the things I still want to see, and lastly, spending time with the amazing people I have met.
Yesterday was my first experience with Harrods and I can honestly say it will probably be my last, although it was a lot of fun it was also insane! I spent at least three hours walking around looking at all the wonderful things housed there. It was chaos!They seriously have EVERYTHING you could possibly thinking of… Watches, including a $4,000,000 watch, food, furniture, pets, restaurants, and clothing. It was awesome walking through all the different restaurants and smelling all the wonderful smells of pizzas cooking, or bread being made. There wasn’t a quite minute during my time in Harrods. I probably can’t afford anything on any of six stories of the building, but it was still fun to look at all the over priced idioms.
Also, yesterday I went to The Natural History Museum. It was one of the coolest museums I have ever been into. Most of the museums in London have free admission making them even more enjoyable. The Natural History Museum is a museum you can take your time and read about the different things, or just look around at the different things and cruse through. It was pretty crowded in some of the rooms, but overall not to bad. Even just the inside of the building is beautiful and not something you can easily see back in the states.
I cannot describe what an amazing experience this has been! I have seen more things sense I have been here than all year. These have been two of the very best weeks. I have seen things I couldn’t even imagine, and met people I will never forget. I have learned so much about myself in such a short time. I can hardly believe it has already been two weeks, but at the same time it seems like I have been in London for so much longer.
I have really been enjoying my time in London. I have been trying to fit a lot of things in these two weeks because I know time is going to start flying bye. My class took a field trip to The Winston Churchill Museum and The War Rooms. It was definitely worth seeing. It is hard to imagine what living though a war would be like, but walking through this, it gave me a little taste of what thousands of people were forced to live through. The war rooms are all underground, and you really get that feeling. No natural light, and a bit of a musty smell accompanies the the war rooms.
I had been told the shopping here is really great, and that was no lie! They have so many different markets as well as stores. Because of the unexpected heat wave I have had to buy more summer clothes, and it has been very easy! The only hard part is the exchange rate. I exchanged 100 U.S dollars and in return got 54 pounds. I try to keep this in mind when buying things, that it ends up being almost double of the price in the U.S.
I only have two weeks left. I can’t believe it! As of now I am not even close to ready to be going home. I have already started planning where I will want to go on my next visit to the UK.
A few times a day I remind myself that I am in LONDON! I can’t believe it has only been a week due to the fact I have already seen so many things! One of the first things I noticed was the insane amount of people everywhere moving 1000 miles per hour, all so involved in their own lives. I felt like an outsider looking in on a whole different world. Once the craziness settled down, I was really able to enjoy all the new smells, sights, and sounds of London.
One of my favorite experiences was going to Stonehenge. I learned about the Stonehenge in art history, so it was really neat to actually see and hear about it in person. The day we went was beautiful, we were told that it was once of the nicest days. Not only was it amazing to see, but I met some really amazing people from CCSA on that excursion. If you get the chance I would highly recommend partaking in this field trip.
Also, I have had enjoyed spending time in the coffee shops around town, it is a great way to get some homework done while enjoying a local feel, and being able to people watch. It is also nice because they usually have such a wonderful smell of coffee and baked goods.
I am looking forward to many more new experiences while I continue my say in London.
When I first arrived to the London Air Port I was greeted by the stress of figuring out where I needed to be, what I needed to do, and who I needed to find. To my surprise it was much easier than I had been planing for. As soon as my group found their luggage, we were off to find the CCSA members who awaited our arrival. Air ports are a funny thing, because there are such a diverse group of people in them, you could have no idea where you really are until you get outside. Once our bus arrived to the air port we took it to the Kings College campus where we would be staying for our mouth abroad. The drive to campus was amazing; so many new things to look at. The cars were different, the architecture was different, and all the greenery was amazing. Even though I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours, I was awaked by all the excitement that I knew awaited me!
My home for the next month!
This is a building that is on the Kings College Campus in Hampstead. It is amazing! Most of the buildings have a similar look to the one on the left.
I leave for London in 5 days, and I can hardly believe it! I feel like I have been planing this trip for a very long and now it is finally happening. I am very excited and I am looking forward to all the adventures my trip holds. I have never been to London, let alone England, so it will be a completely new experience for me.
I believe my host culture will be very inviting and accepting. I would love to meet some individuals from London and be able to talk to them about their culture, and how it differs from my own here in the U.S. I have heard people do not drink to the same state that we do in the U.S. I heard in London they drink to enjoy each sip, and make it more of a social action, that an action to change their state of mind. I hope to learn what the main differences are that lie between our two cultures.
I am VERY excited! As of now, I have no apprehensions, just excitement. My mom backpacked through London when she was my age. It will be really interesting to see if I can relate to some of the same things she did, and see how other things have changed.
Until next time, Kylen