Hello again, Before I left for London two years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long), I published a post about what my life would be like there. If I recall correctly, I decsribed… More
I have officially survived two decades in this world and in honor of this milestone I wanted to share with you all some things that I have learned:
- Waking up in the morning is a lot easier when you’re excited about your breakfast.
- No matter how nice you are, not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay.
- Being single means you save a lot of money around Christmas and Valentine’s day.
- There is no need to be ashamed of or embarrassed by your taste in music.
- Spell-check is a wonderful invention.
- You can learn how to do anything by watching a Youtube video.
- Sometimes you grow apart from people and that’s normal…humans are dynamic.
- Never ride a razor scooter while wearing flip flops.
- Don’t compare your life to the the lives of others, because everyone has their own path to take.
- Watch at least two episodes of a sit-com after watching a horror film.
- ALWAYS remove your makeup before going to bed.
- You are never too old for chocolate milk or Disney movies.
- Procrastination is only good for making your future self hate your past self.
- Books are good for the mind and the soul.
- Napping is a beautiful thing, but it can also mess up the rest of your day… so nap strategically.
- Take advantage of any opportunity to experience a new place (whether it’s a town or country). The world is beautiful place and there is so much to see and learn.
- Accept other people for who they are.
- There is something really enjoyable and satisfying about piping frosting onto cupcakes.
- Mistakes create good learning experiences.
- Birthdays are the best, because they are like personal holidays celebrating YOU.
I’m young and I know that I have A LOT more to learn… but I can’t wait to see what those things are in the next twenty years!
I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day! 🙂
This is part two of my “Things that I noticed about London.” If you did not read part one please click here .
The contrast of old and new architecture is beautiful.
London is an extremely old city, and it is not uncommon to see well preserved buildings that are 300, 600, 900 years old (significantly older than the United States)! The city continues to develop, creating modern skyscrapers that are so creatively designed (such as the ‘Shard’ which reaches a shattered point at the top, imitating shards of glass). Walking around the city one won’t find themselves in a strictly new section or a strictly old section. Both new and old architecture can be seen mixed throughout the city. One of my most humbling experiences was when I was standing at the Tower of London (nearly a thousand years old) looking across the river at incredible skyscrapers).
There isn’t any organization to the way the streets are laid out.
Back to the fact that London is an extremely old city, the streets are all intertwined; laid out in various directions. Due to the fact that the streets were incorporated over hundreds of years, the English did not lay them out in a strategic grid pattern like those in New York City. Although this can make traveling a bit confusing for tourists and newcomers, it also adds a bit of charm and incorporates a sense of adventure.
Delicious pastry is sold everywhere.
I’m not sure if the English have always had delicious pastry or if it’s because the Chunnel has provided a lot of French influence, but one can easily satisfy their sweet tooth in London. If you’re in London and you suddenly have a craving for something sweet, considering stopping by an outdoor market, a cafe, a quick stop restaurant (such as Pret A Manger), or even a grocery store (they all have a section with a variety of freshly baked goods; from baguettes to doughnuts and everything in between).
One must remain rather quiet on public transportation.
This does not mean you have to be silent, but locals expect their ride on public transportation to remain peaceful. If you’re having a conversation with your friend, keep your voices low unless you want to receive dirty looks from those around you. Once I even witnessed a man telling a younger man to be quiet while on the bus.
Walking 30 minutes to and from school or work is quite common.
During my semester abroad, I chose to walk to class everyday rather than spend money on the tube. I quickly realized how common it was to walk long distances to get around the city, and I grew accustomed to it quite easily. People in London are quite fit, as walking easier than driving and cheaper than taking the tube. I often saw business people walking with small suitcases and students carrying large bag packs in order to hold everything they would need for the day. Of course at 8:30 AM on a Monday morning I would have to convince myself to step outside and endure the walk, but once I looked up I was reminded how lucky I was to be there and enjoyed the view all the way to class.
During my stay in London I kept a journal that I sporadically wrote in… At one point (within the first month) I had made a list of random things that I had noticed about London and here are just a few. Stay tuned for part two…
Nobody knows which side of the ‘foot path’ (sidewalk) we are supposed to walk on.
In most cities there is a universal understanding that one walks on the right side, but in a city where the cars drive on the left side everyone gets a little bit confused. Do we follow suit with the cars and walk on the left? Add in a few thousand tourists from all over the world and we just have a bunch of people nearly bumping into each other on every street corner.
Everything is on platforms.
I felt like I always had to take a step up wherever I went. The bus seats are on platforms, many toilets are on platforms (why is that necessary?), and from one room to the next in shops and restaurants there is often a single step upward.
The computer key boards are different.
The keyboards aren’t drastically different, just an exchange and reordering of some symbols. Although, it was enough to slow me down quite a bit the first time I tried to do homework on the computer in my university’s library.
Restaurants and grocery stores with a wall of prepared foods are extremely common.
This is super convenient for business people on the go and students on a budget. Rather than sitting down at a restaurant for lunch, one can just stop in to one of these shops and purchase an inexpensive pre-made sandwich or soup.
Food is cheaper if you order it as take-away.
In many of the quick stop restaurants like Pret A Manger, I often chose take away and ate my food elsewhere rather than sitting in because it was cheaper. I believe there is an eating-in tax that causes the price difference but I’m not entirely sure. Besides, I would much rather eat outside in the Somerset House courtyard on a beautiful sunny day than eat in.
I had such a wonderful semester studying abroad in London. I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to live in such a great city as well as the opportunities to travel around Europe.
Here are some of the souvenirs that I collected throughout my four months abroad:
Youtube: Eden Jayne