Bringing My Home Abroad: A Family Visit

I definitely feel like I am part of the real world in the UK. Flexibility and patience are characteristics I have always struggled with and living in London has been a test to both. Whether interning or traveling, I’ve found it is not worth any fret if I have to wait a little longer or do unexpected things to fill my time.

LIFE THESE DAYS…

So far, my internship has not had much structure in terms of when I work, how long I work, and my daily tasks. Every day is different here in London. I have learned that sometimes planning might be a waste of time. If I have the opportunity to simply sit and enjoy the people around me, I will take it.

Like interning, adjusting to class in London has been different too. Learning from the renowned and enthusiastic teachers CAPA has supplied us with is more beneficial.

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We CAPA students have also had a blast exploring the areas of nightlife in London. In this case, we have learned that it is best to plan ahead. This includes dodging cover charges and rides home. Clubs can be very expensive here, which makes me aware of how expensive London truly is. We have had a blast bonding at local pubs and going out to clubs. My motto so far has been, spend money on experiences, not things!

STONEHENGE AND BATH.

After going to Hammersmith on Friday night, we woke up Saturday to travel to Stonehenge and Bath for the day. Stonehenge has an atmosphere difficult to replicate. You may already know the varying stories about Stonehenge, but experiencing it is different. Getting out of the big city and into the magnificent British countryside is refreshing. I thought the most interesting fact about the area is that military training sites are close to Stonehenge.

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A trip to Bath was the last stop of the day, but certainly not least. The only vision I had of Bath was the actual Roman Baths, but I was wonderfully proved wrong! The golden “bath-stone” buildings span the hills, reminding me of a fairytale. The history of Bath is amazingly preserved and prevalent as far as the eye can see!

A FAMILY VISIT.

Heading into the week, I get one of the coolest presents of all: my family is here to visit! The first day they were here, I toured them around my flat, took them for breakfast at Westfield Mall, and decided to go to Camden. This trip marked many items off my list! Starting at the Camden Market, we sniffed our way through the massive crowd and took a walk down the canal. Little did we know we were walking through Little Venice! It actually reminded me more of Amsterdam. After, we walked through the lively Regents Park where we saw many field games being played and families enjoying the beautiful weather. We walked all the way to Hyde Park and then retreated.

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We brought the suitcases to their flat and headed out for another walk along the Thames. Floods of people were out that evening to catch a glimpse of London’s most recognizable icons. Funny enough, my brother and I recreated a picture we had taken in front of Westminster Abbey from exactly five years ago.

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A part of adjusting to the lifestyle in Europe means accepting that exceptional service quality is not often found. We redeemed ourselves after a bad experience the next night with dinner in Covent Garden at Henrys Cafe and gelato for desert! We also sat back and watched street performers that mindlessly captivated the crowd.

EXPLORING LONDON.

Some days while traveling, I have taken it upon myself to go see places alone. I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum after class. Midway through I took a break in the courtyards. I found my favorite place for a quiet sit! When I finished my self-given tour, I walked around to Harrods. I knew that sector of society existed, but I had never felt such a part of it. Wearing what, in my mind, was a casual dressy outfit, I felt terribly underdressed. If you want to blend in with the crowd, go on the weekend. If you go on a weekday, you will feel eyes on you at all times. Either way, it is worth experiencing.

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The most recent item I crossed of my list is St. Paul’s Cathedral. My parents booked their ticket and I was able to tag along for the morning! I have seen many churches during my travels, but it takes a top spot. The 6 million mosaics, hundreds of historical members of the church and elegant marble appear at every turn. We climbed the increasingly narrow stairs to the Whisper Chambers. With increasing confidence, we climbed even more narrow stairs to the outer ledge of the dome for an amazing view of London. After seeing the stairs leading to the tippy top of the dome, we decided our legs and our stomachs might not make it!

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I have begun to understand the reality of being a working tourist in London. While my parents spend all day touring, I must sit a few things out because of class or my internship. I am quickly reminded that I am here for much, much longer. Hopefully I continue to discover and learn as much as possible about my temporary home!

(Blog post #4: http://capaworld.capa.org/bringing-my-home-abroad-a-family-visit)

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