My semester in London is absolutely flying by, and I wanted to give you an update. I will be sharing my most honest opinions about my transition from the US to the UK.
My transition from home to abroad was difficult. When I left my family in the airport I thought to myself, “How do I think I can travel the world and alone?” I was tossed into a new country with no friends. Two days in I called my mom sobbing because I was having a hard time making friends. It was then that I made the decision to push myself. My semester abroad could either defeat me or be an opportunity for growth. From that moment I started to say yes to all opportunities. That night my roommate asked me if I wanted to go out with her and her friends to a fun bar. I wasn’t ready or prepared, but I said “WTH why not?” and got dressed. That night I met one of my really close friends and had an amazing night with new friends. I came home feeling so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone.
My first day in London I had no clue how to get around or where I could buy stuff. I know what you’re are thinking “Oh silly Anna, everything is in English.” You are correct, but being tossed into a new big city is quite disorienting. I took off to set up my new phone number, get some everyday essentials and grab lunch. I did most of this alone and even found my way back to my dorm. It seems like a small victory, but these are the instances that made me grow. I saw that I could take each challenge head on if I make it into something small.
I did not experience too much culture shock when I moved to London. However, when I took a weekend trip to Paris I felt unbelievably out of place. I took two years of French in high school, but this did not provide much help. These experiences keep pushing me to see the world from a different perspective. I am just finishing up my spring break in Greece, and I have seen so many beautiful sights. We were in Mykonos for most the time, but it is the #offseason. Most restaurants and shops were closed for renovations. This meant we walked around the main town as some of the only tourists on the island. I was in awe that people get to stare at these beautiful sights every day. We got to see the authenticity of the island without the floods of tourists.
I am here to say that I am proud of myself. This might sound like a typical blog post about going abroad and being “changed”. I don’t think I have been changed, however, I think I have tapped into unreached potential. One of my favorite YouTube channel’s, Yes Theory, promotes “seek discomfort”. (If you have not heard of them go check them out.) From the first time I saw one of their videos, I was drawn to this energy and lifestyle. We get stuck in our day to day ruts. Taking a semester to study in London pushed me to seek discomfort in my day to day life. I know I can connect with people all around the world. I can travel the globe. I can try new foods. My father always says, “Falk’s say can.” I brought that with me to London and made the most of my time.
The people I have met on this journey are amazing. I met friends from the U.S. and friends from all over the globe. The best part is that most of my friends are from Minnesota so we will have an easy time staying connected. People continue to surprise me with their hospitality and genuine curiosity for life. I am so thankful to spend 4 months with these new friends. I can already foresee a hard goodbye come April, but I am so happy to take this time and enjoy it.
These next two months are going to fly by, but I cannot wait for what is to come. Thank you for reading. I know it has been a long time since I posted on here. I am happy to say it has been because I have been busy traveling the world. Thank you for your support!