The last time you heard from me, it was the day of my flight to London. As of today, I have been residing in the The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for just over a week! Although this week has been both the longest, and shortest, week of my life, I couldn’t be happier with how things have gone thus far.
After arriving to Heathrow Airport, the only nerve-wracking moment was getting past the border and through customs. Although prepared with both my VISA, and a letter from Madison stating my purposes for being in the UK, I was still sweating bullets while waiting in line. Fortunately, the border control agent was kind, and swiftly sent me on my way. From there, getting to central London was a breeze; it was simply a train and taxi ride away. I soon arrived at the registration location. Honestly, the worst part about arrival was dragging two, nearly fifty pound, suitcases down a long bumpy sidewalk and up three flights of stairs to my flat (otherwise known as an apartment). Mind you, there also was not a lift (elevator), and I truly got a workout dragging my bags up the stairs.
The days following last Wednesday are simply a blur in my mind. Between orientation, a bus tour of London, seeing a play on the West End, welcome receptions, tea at The Royal Garden Hotel, a tour of Parliament, and my first fish and chips of the trip, I felt like I had barely any time to rest. Thankfully the first night I got almost 14 hours of sleep, so, to be fair, jetlag wasn’t truly an issue anymore. Luckily, with all the activities, I also have gotten quite a few photos as well.
When I have had time in the flat, it has been spent cooking, talking, or getting everything organized in my small room. Having four girls in one room has been a tight fit, but also a really good time. The other three girls in my room have been absolutely amazing, and we’re all getting along really well! The same goes for all of my other flat mates, and it’s a weight of my shoulders to know that we all seem to be able to successfully live under one (tiny) roof. Aside from the relatively small size of the place, I can have no complaints about the location. Not meaning to brag or anything, but I’m practically neighbors with William, Kate, George, and Charlotte (ok so I’m not that close, and I was bragging a little, but I literally live in the Royal Borough). With Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, and my classes only a short walk away, I couldn’t be happier with my living situation. Although a “short” walk anywhere in London is a little bit of an understatement, as I have gotten my 10,000 steps everyday since being here! … Well except for that one day I took a two-hour nap.
Unfortunately, the days of long naps seem to be over for the time being, as I quickly remembered that this is study abroad! Classes started for me on Monday, and I am pleased with the way they have gone so far. While here, I am taking an art class from a Madison professor who joins us for the duration of the trip. Other classes filling my schedule include British Life and Culture, Sporting London, and Photojournalism. The best part about the courses here is that our class time, although three hours long, includes taking field trips to local museums, sights, and even to a football (soccer) match! Even though it is only the first week of class, I have already gotten some homework. However, the workload really doesn’t seem too bad right now, and my schedule worked out in a way that I get Fridays off! This brings me to even more exciting news,
TOMORROW I LEAVE FOR SCOTLAND!
That’s right, friends! 10 other friends and I leave on a train for Edinburgh tomorrow, and I’m eager to see other sights the UK has to offer! However, as we leave early in the morning, I really have to start getting ready for the weekend. I’m sure you will all hear from me soon, and there will definitely be more pictures on the way. Speaking of pictures, for my art class I have to post everyday to an Instagram account! So, if anyone is interested in keeping up with all the pictures I’ve taken (some of which are pretty random) head on over to Instagram and follow @abbyroad2017
Until next time, Cheers!