Carried Away

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been here for two weeks. I think one thing I was unprepared for was how fast things would move here – how easy it is to get carried away. These last two weeks have been a microcosm of my entire adult life; I got these little morsels of life here and started glutinously devouring them with no regard. I grasp at every opportunity, never say no, and thus have over-aggressively taken on this country and everything it has to offer. Sometimes this makes me feel like I’m actually alive, but other times it makes me feel like I’m harming myself, my soul, my body.

A friend told me that I’d find myself in Europe, and even though I’ve just been here for two weeks, I think I’m actually starting to learn something. I move too fast, which sometimes isn’t always bad, especially being in a new country. I think I have such a grand fear of death that my zest for life gets a little out of control sometimes. I’m under the impression that most of the world spends most of their lives not really living. So I make a point to live – or at least I try to. All that considered, though, living life too fast has major consequences, and it’s good to slow down and check yourself sometimes. I’m pretty sure I’ve made the same life mistakes every time I’ve sped off track like this. Sometimes you gotta step back, relax, and enjoy the ride rather than pedaling so fast the chain breaks.

So England, Europe, World, I’m here for you – I’m here to see you, find you, find myself – and all at whatever mixed cross country running/jogging/walking pace it takes. As fun as it’s been running full speed through these past two weeks, getting carried away by you, it’s time to sloooooow down.

Cool down

Things are finally starting to wind down (I may be saying this a little preemptively – it’s the weekend before class starts), which is nice. Freshers week absolutely put Wildcat Welcome to shame. They really don’t ever stop here.

We went to the “loudest club in England” on Sunday – a definite highlight of my time here. It was absolutely amazing, and I discovered a newfound love for Jager bombs there… It’s also refreshing going to clubs here, because no matter how crazy or wild you get there, they’re not near as gross as dance floors in the states. No one really grinds on each other, which lets everyone have fun as a group. It’s a lot less pressure and a lot less grimy.

I went sightseeing again yesterday with some American friends, which was nice aside from getting hella lost near Hyde Park. We had some delicious times in Burrough Market, which is an absolute must see if you ever make your way to Londontown. We cooled down with a jug of sangria, and I had an early, chill night last night.

It’s nice to finally get some alone time here – as much as I love going out and hanging out with people constantly, sometimes you just gotta sit and stare at the ceiling. I’m going to start planning some European excursions soon, but I’ve realized I’m going to want to stay here for a few weekends too.

I’ve really gotten close to my flat as well, who are like a big international family. We’ve got Americans, a Bulgarian, a Lebanese, a Portuguese, a Norwegian, and some Brits. It’s nice to come home to at the end of the day.

Week 1

I’ve been here for a week and am terribly afraid I’m going to wake up from this dream. Before I came, I painted this picture of what I wanted out of this experience, and so far, it’s surpassing any and all expectations (aside from getting to travel, but I don’t even have my schedule yet!)

My abroad program group stayed in a hotel for the first four nights, where I met some really awesome people and went out way too much. It was located in central London, so we got to see a lot of great touristy spots, eat some good food, and find pubs, clubs, and bars. The orientation was extremely unorganized, but I’m glad I had the chance to be a tourist for a week.

I moved into Goldsmiths on Friday, where I finally met some real life Brits (and Norwegians and Portuguese and more Americans and people from all over)! I’ve already made some really fun friends, some of whom I went to central London and shopped with yesterday. Goldsmiths has a nice student bar that we’ve been hanging out at during the night. Today has been pretty chill, and tomorrow I start registering for classes and such.

That’s essentially the gist of the beginning of my English adventure. I’m sure once I get settled in I’ll have more interesting things to say, but it really has been truly a blast. They know how to have fun here, and everyone has been extremely friendly and fun. I feel like I’ll never be ready to go home.


Pack Pack Packin’

I know I haven’t left Little Rock yet, but I’m gonna go ahead and pick up my travel blog instead of dragging my time.

If you didn’t know, I’m studying in London for the next three months. This is going to be my first big bite of the hamburger that is Western Europe, and I’d like to try as many flavors as possible. I tried making a list of all the cities I want to visit, which may end up being an ever-expanding, unreachable lifelong goal, but I’ve got to start somewhere.

These are my big goals:
Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, the Scottish Highlands, Wales, the French coast, and a weeklong excursion to Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin.

Aside from that, I’ve been trying to assemble my clothes for the next three months.