Monday, August 12, 2013

"By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show."

^Samuel Johnson
I don't really even know where to start. I just got back from living in London for a month and a half, and there are so many things to say about it that I'm not sure how to say them.

I've wanted to go to London for as long as I can remember, mostly because a ton of my favorite things from throughout my life are based there. But I was completely unprepared for how much I would actually find there. I am blown away by how much of my life I found in a place I'd never even been.

I sat on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral, where the bird woman sat in Mary Poppins. I lived just down the street from the church where Beatrix Potter got married. I went shopping on Portobello Road, just like Angela Lansbury in Bedknobs & Broomsticks. I walked on the street where Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page lived and worked. I took a train out of Paddington Station, home of Paddington Bear. I saw George Orwell's house. I took a picture at Abbey Road on the 44th anniversary of The Beatles's famous photo. And I stood on the place where the piano played by Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Harry Nilsson, Supertramp, and Paul McCartney stood, on the 45th anniversary of the recording of "Hey Jude."

And that's just the pop culture. The incredible amount of history alone could fill hundreds of posts. I mean, I attended an Evensong service at Westminster Abbey, an 800-year-old building where every monarch since William the Conqueror has been coronated. I could go on for ages about the amazing footsteps in which I walked during my time in London.

I think the most remarkable thing about the trip, though--and forgive me for being hideously cliche--is the people I got to meet and get to know. I don't make friends easily. I get anxious about meeting a lot of new people at once. I don't often have very much in common with my peers, and I admit I was worried about not getting along with the other people in my group. I have never been so happy to be wrong.

The 26 people in this group were some of the most wonderful people I've had the pleasure of spending 6 weeks with, especially my lovely roommates. I was a little worried about having three roommates, but it ended up being the best thing that could have happened. The three of them were immediately warm and welcoming, and I couldn't have been happier with the way things turned out. Thanks, guys.

What was amazing about the whole thing was that most of us would never have hung out with each other in any other context, but finding ourselves in the same situation as newcomers to a huge city broke any barriers we may have otherwise had. And I think all of us came away much more open-minded about people we might be hesitant to want to talk to. At least I did.
The greatest group in the most fitting Tube Station

I learned so much over the last month and a half, not just about media and history and culture, but about myself and about other people. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is that there's no way I can not go back to London. And I know I'll make it back someday. (I can has visa?)

Now that I'm home, all that remains is to shake this jet lag and try to feel less sad about not being in London anymore. Well, maybe the first one.

P.S. The Teddy you see in the picture of St. Paul's has a Tumblr! Follow him at