I’m very excited for London. I’ve never been to London, not even to the UK, although I got close when I visited Dublin. I think the most exposure I’ve gotten to British lifestyle is through pop culture. The Who, The Smiths, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are all favorite bands of mine, and I caught glimpses of London life through the camera of Martin Parr. I think the British culture and especially language are close enough to America’s, that it is a comfortable enough place for me to set up a temporary home, and explore different cultures from that base.
I’ve started packing, but the weight of my suitcases are concerning me a bit. I think if I were to give someone else abroad tips on packing, I’d tell them to pack as lightly as possible. Getting through the turnstiles of the London Underground will not be easy carrying two check in-size suitcases. Clothes can get very heavy and space-consuming while packing, so I’m attempting to prioritize the clothing I’m bringing. I don’t think I will even have enough room in my flat to hold all the clothes I own, so cutting down will be necessary regardless.
A goal of mine is to manage my money wisely. Going abroad is exciting and fun, but with no meal plan or dining hall to go get food from, I’ll have to start “adulting” this semester. Meal prepping and weekly grocery shopping trips will be a necessity, and I’ll have to form a budget early on.
Overall, I’m excited. That excitement doesn’t come without concerns, but my biggest concern is with how I’ll react to being dropped alone, so far from home in a place I’ve never been to, and I’m more excited to meet that challenge than afraid.