One Month Abroad Already?

It’s so weird to say, but I’ve been living the London life for a month now. No, over a month! It feels like yesterday I boarded my six hour flight to Heathrow, and arrived to Nido Student Living to find that my living arrangements for the next four months would be a very, very tiny dorm room. But no worries, I’ve adapted and have become a commoner. Or so I like to think…I still have to nail my British accent before I head home in April.

So, what does one do when abroad in London? Luckily, London has so much history…especially when it has to do with the royal family. There’s so many (free!) museums to go to, markets to explore, parks (Hyde Park) and famous buildings to see (Big Ben, Parliament), and of course you must take a photo outside a red telephone booth. (Because if you didn’t Instagram it, were you really there?)

So far, I've tried to do as much sightseeing as I can. The first week we arrived, my program, IES, took us to Windsor Castle. If you don't know, Windsor Castle is about 45 minutes outside of the city and the Queen's official residence. Basically it's where she spends her weekends when she gets tired of Buckingham Palace #jealous. Also right by the castle is Eton College, aka a boarding school for Prince William, Prince Harry and Golden Globe/BAFTA winner Eddie Redmayne. So if your next boyfriend went to Eton, he'll be super successful (I'm on a hunt to find an Eton boy.)

The beauty of Europe? The drinking age is 18. So while I haven’t been to Roys or Sports yet (so soon!), I’ve been navigating the pubs and clubs here. The drinking culture in Europe is very chill compared to the US. In London you get the best of both worlds. Don’t want a crazy night out? Totally fine, just hit up a pub. In the mood for clubbin’? Get it girl, they have many posh clubs to go to.

London is a melting pot, so the food game is on point. While the British are known for tea, it’s also known for Indian cuisine. Brick Street has all of the amazing Indian restaurants, and it’s a crime I haven’t been yet. But they have everything here, so I can fulfill my sushi/brunch cravings. (Yeah, I love food.) So far, the best food I've had was at Camden Market. If you're every visiting, do NOT eat before heading to this market. You'll find every kind of food you can imagine, including my favorite: dutch pancakes with Nutella. Oh, Europe has an obsession with Nutella (not complaining) and it definitely tastes better here. Remember that when traveling Europe.

And lastly, but more importantly, the shopping is prime. London is incredibly expensive, (doing the conversion in my head gives me a minor heart attack) but I could never go four months without shopping, especially with Top Shop on every corner. Oh, and Harrods is every girl’s heaven. If you don’t know, Harrods is a VERY upscale department store. It has departments for everything (pets, toys, shoes, Christmas, etc.), known for its Food Halls (literally Google it), and has so many restaurants within it. I went to the ice cream parlor and while it cost me my leg, that sundae was worth it. 

It’s a big city to explore in such a short amount of time, especially when I’m traveling almost every weekend. I mean, I still have yet to become BFFs with Kate Middleton or find One Direction (so they can fall in love with me…) This first month has been a huge adjustment, incredibly fun yet super fast. So, I’m taking in every moment I can. That’s all you can do when you only have four months to see the world.

P.S. OH RIGHT! CLASS! Yeah we have that. 

* Original photos by Hannah Lavine