I have officially been in London for a week now. The week has been full of the classic tourist pictures, exploring the London markets, figuring out the tube and bus system, drinking delicious cups of coffee and tea, attending a musical, making new friends, and interviewing for my internship. I have enjoyed this week, but I am absolutely exhausted.
My soul is alive in this city of 8.3 million people. I have loved walking down streets filled with diversity of people and buildings. I have taken spontaneous turns and ended up at colorful markets, historical museums, Evensong at Westminster Abby, and the classic pubs. My Fitbit can attest to my findings as I have logged 49.73 miles of walking in just one week.
On Thursday, I had my interview at a financial firm in London. I only spent a small part of my morning there, but I can already tell that I think I am going to like it there. It is in a lovely part of London and only a short walk from my flat. It is a small company in the heart of London and the co-workers seem very friendly! One of the employees managed to spend a good time talking to me about his favorite parts of San Francisco and all about the new stadium that the 49ers play at. The environment is different than an American company, but I am excited to learn about the British work style as well as learn about financials and taxes in the United Kingdom.
Although I have enjoyed my time here, in some ways this week has felt a bit awkward, like that classic welcome week we have all gone through as a freshman. As this semester has started, I am in a new city with new people. I have gone through that “awkward introduction” with countless people- you know the one where you say your name, school, year, and major. It has been a scramble to meet new people as everyone is trying to plan their adventures across Europe for the semester. This “scramble” had me thinking- what if I was different then the group, what if I didn’t spend every weekend traveling to the next country to cross off my list, but what if I really invested where I am placed for the semester.
As most know, this is my second time studying abroad. After already completing a semester abroad, I realized that my goal for this semester is not to use London as a hub for my travels, as I did in Spain. Rather as my love for this city has grown, I really want to invest in the city and country that I am living in for the next 4 months. I want to spend my weekends traveling across London and Great Britain. I want to become a local at a coffee/ tea shop, join an organization with British college students, and invest in my coworkers. I don’t want to be a nomad for the semester, traveling from one place to the next. Rather I want to find a home in London. I want to invest and truly experience life as a Brit.
Now that you know my goal for the semester, if you see me posting about that next new country I just visited, feel free to hold me accountable 🙂