First Impressions of Living in London

  • The tube is expensive, how am I supposed to afford to get to my job or to school?
  • How is this a city, but everything is so far away? It seems to take half an hour to get anywhere.
  • Is everyone looking at me because they know I’m not from here? Can sense my US accent?
  • Not having the same accent is almost just as bad as not speaking the language. I’m heavily intimidated to speak to people.
  • Everything is covered in red tape here, too. It’s going to take weeks to open a bank account and obtain a National Insurance number.
  • It’s not that hot, so why am I sweating?
  • Is it always this windy? I don’t know that I’ll be able to handle having my hair down.
  • Oh yeah, I don’t like living in cities. Too many people.

My first few days were stressful, and I felt like I barely even got the chance to enjoy it.

My first mistake: I took the train into the city rather than an uber. It took just as long and was probably just as expensive, but it meant that I had to carry 200lbs of luggage onto three trains. The last train included a foot-high step-up. I was a sweaty mess. The final “five minute” walk from the last station took more than ten with all of my stuff. My bags kept falling off of one another, eliciting looks from people leisurely walking struggle-free.

As soon as I arrived at my flat, I had to change and attend a job interview. I couldn’t have planned everything worse. Afterward, I didn’t even feel like exploring the cool area or getting food. I went to sleep at 7pm that evening having eaten only a handful of cashews.

The next few days were spent wishing I already had friends to go places with. I’m no stranger to eating alone, but it seems worse when I’m too intimidated to even order food.

Everything just seems a little bit different here. The self-checkouts are self-explanatory, but still there’s an extra step I’m not familiar with.

It’s been nice to slowly start easing into a schedule (don’t worry, I still don’t know my weekly schedule), and I’ve enjoyed getting to know people in my building and program. And the city!

London! This is London! I’m in London!

I have to keep reminding myself of this huge fact. No matter what is happening in my life, it’s happening in London.

Here’s hoping I can get further into the groove of things as I navigate my way around this giant city.

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