I realize I literally have not written in a long ass time, but I got busy (and a lil lazy). Bear with me on this post, though!
It’s crazy how quickly time can fly by. I feel like just yesterday, I was on the way to Disneyland with my sorority as I gave this rambly shpeel about how it was the “worst year of my life.” Lo and behold, I would get an email the vert next day informing me that I was taken off the waitlist and would be able to study abroad in London. From there, I was so eager to return to a city I loved so dearly, and quickly enough, I was headed across the pond.
I struggled at first with being in London, I have to admit. Assimilating into British culture was quite simple, mainly due to the language and pace of the city, yet I could not connect with London in the way I had just last summer. The fall semester was, by far, my favorite semester at USC, and I left on such a high note making it harder to not be going back. I was freaking out, not because I was going to London, but that I wasn’t going to be at USC. London, however, turned quickly into my home, and I would not have traded my time for anything.
Looking back at London and my other travels, I know I have made memories that will stay with me forever and had experiences that will shape me as a person forever. Last night in London, a few friends and I went to grad Mexican food at one of our favorite spots just going through all of out highs and lows of the semester. I love traveling or being away from home (and school) with people you may or may not know well because it is these experiences that really form a genuine, true relationship. My teacher in high school used to say, “You don’t know someone until you have traveled with them,” and I could not agree more.
I am so unbelievably lucky to have had this incredible experience. What a whirlwind of a year it has been, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have studied abroad twice in the last year. Leaving London early on a Sunday morning as the sun was rising was extremely saddening (besides the fact that this one woman from United was so mean and I had to buy a new suitcase and repack all my bags at the airport…at 5 AM). I cannot express enough how much I love and will miss this city.
Here’s a little recap on my term overall:
Things I have learned:
- Never be late to a flight
- It makes much more sense to pay for meals with a card machine at your table
- Dogs are so well trained in Europe
- Trousers and trainers should be a staple in every city
- Turning 21 in a city where the drinking age is 18 can still be lit
- Trying something new and force yourself outside of your comfort zone is important
- Europeans do not believe in iced coffee
- LA’s public transit is child’s play
- Be extra cautious of your items, especially when you have two phones
- Don't wear makeup everyday
- Studying abroad is one of the best choices you can make (trust me, I’ve done in three times, technically)
Things to do in London
Here are my previous posts on London. I have to put together something for the last two months, also, so stay tuned for that.
- Introducing London
- Settled in the City
- Finding home, Filling my stomach and Fawning over The Box
- Haven't Forgotten About You, London
- I also wrote this lit post on my favorite 20 albums of all time
Cities traveled to
Here’s the list of places I went to. I have information for each city, except for the last two because I got lazy and didn’t write posts.
Here’s a random list of some of my favorite memories from abroad.
- First Sunday in Notting Hill and Portobello
- “Bagel Nation” in Berlin
- Abbey Road
- Fulham FC game (COYW!!!!)
- Finding “Bobby” at the canals in Amsterdam
- First time at The Box
- First night at Maddox (RIP)
- Scheming around Paris on Valentine’s Day
- Night at Urban Beach in Lisbon
- Watching the sunset in Cascais
- Unofficial food tour of Prague
- Jamie xx at Ally Pally
- Afternoon drinks at Opium in Barcelona
- Daniel’s live reading of Zola Twitter
- Night at Fabric after Camille and I got offers from Facebook
- Making Boomerangs at the Cliffs of Moher
- Getting rejected from Temple Bar on St. Patrick’s Day and then sneaking in
- Nowrouz in London
- Going to the V&A
- My 21st Birthday at Cirque Pop-Up (RIP to everyone)
- Baba surprising me on my birthday
- Visiting Facebook LON offices
- All of those random warm afternoons spent on Southbank and in Shoreditch (Happy Hours included)
- The weekend we went to Heaven three times
- Seeing all of the RPDR winners at Freedom
- Island tour in Split
- Maya’s 21st Birthday and the whole next day
- Rowing boats in Hyde Park
- Cirque finally reopening (IYDKDW)
- Photoshoot in Holland Park
And now the moment I know everyone has been looking forward to most, my abroad video (because I cannot be a basic study abroad betch without it!). I think this is a world’s better than my one from the summer, and I wanted to mix the clips together in no particular order to really help enhance the experience. I also made sure to add one of my favorite songs that I could not stop listening to (or hearing out) this semester.
I cannot believe how quickly this semester has come to a close. It feels like just yesterday my parents were dropping me off at Dulles to head off east. I am so happy that I chose to end up going abroad (even if it meant missing a year of Coachella). London is an impecable city, and I will always count it as a home. It is truly crazy that by the end of the summer, I will have lived in three of my most favorite cities in the world.
Thank you to my family (even Nima who decided not to talk to me for a month) and my amazing friends (those abroad with me and in other places and those from home) for all the support and love and putting up with my insistent need to get content and work on my aesthetic (it all pays off, DW).
Cheers, London! I love you forever and hope to see you soon. Next stop, Menlo Park!