I feel like I am falling for this city too hard and too fast. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Philadelphia, and I think it has a lot to offer, but London just gets me. I feel like there is always something going on here—like around every corner is a new adventure. Perhaps this is just my excitement in its absolute newness to me, but the culture shock has been overwhelmingly positive. I mean, I’ve barely even begun to explore, and I still feel this way already.
One thing I do really want to do before I leave is get myself more oriented with where I am by foot. While taking the tube, I tend to become quite disoriented. It is an alarming sensation to step out from the underground and have no idea which direction you went or how far. In Philly, public transportation seems much more straight-forward. Maybe that’s just because of my familiarity with it, but I really enjoy knowing where I am in relation to places I’ve been or to places I’m going. Mentally mapping the city as a pedestrian would make me feel much more comfortable in this space. I will keep you updated on how that goes for me in the following few weeks.
On another note, I have to say, I was extremely pleasantly surprised with the living arrangements we received through study abroad. I mean, I didn’t think it would be awful or anything, but I definitely was not expecting all this. Blithehale Court is a student living apartment complex located in Bethnal Green. It isn’t necessarily in the heart of the city, but anywhere you’d want to go is only a short tube ride away. Plus, I feel like we are getting a more authentic feel for London here since it is not really an area flooded with tourists. We live just a minute or two from the nearest Sainsbury’s Local and I was quick to locate the nearest yoga studio—which is about five minutes away, just around the corner. There is a local park across from our flats and others, like Victoria Park, only a few minutes away, as well. We are surrounded by culture and hidden treasures in any and every direction.
Not to mention the actual flat! We got the real, V.I.P. hookup here. This is actually my first time ever having a bed larger than a twin and my very own bathroom with a shower and everything! I don’t ever want to go home! When I saw the rooms, I just thought, “this is the height of luxury!” We also have a kitchen/living area and were supplied with basic kitchen and cleaning supplies. All in all, the living space is quite a success, and I am lucky to share it with some of the nicest girls I have ever met.
I have been so absorbed with actually exploring and looking around that I haven’t really remembered to take pictures of it all, but I will be sure to provide those soon. For now, here are some lovely pictures of my wonderful flat and my adorable roommates.