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  • tarabitran

It’s real.

So, I’m in LONDON.

FINALLY.

Leading up to this moment the past few days was….well, an ordeal. Trying to haphazardly cram all my stuff I’ll need for four months the night before I leave was probably not the most organized manner of packing, but my mother is an angel and help

ed me suss through my stuff so I didn’t need to check two bags. YAY. Packing light really is the right idea. You don’t want to pack more than you’ll actually wear/need.

And for my last meal in the States my madre brought me Urth pumpkin pie, and we had Christmas tea since that’s the next time I’ll be back–so sweet!

Preparing to say goodbye was the hardest and most bittersweet part of it all. I cried, my mother cried, my dad even got teary-eyed of course, but it was a mix of “I’m so excited this is all happening” tears and “wow this is such a big change and I’ll miss my family” ones as well. Rachel even kissed and told me she loved me too, and I told her to watch Anastasia for me. The pre-check in woman watching was very empathetic, but then I snapped back to reality when she told me to put my jacket on and toss my bag into my backpack–gotta get efficient with your international travel bag allowance.

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Anyhow once I got past TSA and ran into Claudia’s arms, all was well. I mean, I was going to ENGLAND HELLO. The flight wasn’t so bad despite its over 11 hours duration (delay pre/post flight), and American has seriously upgraded its inflight services with a cinephile’s dream in its m

ovie assortment and having sockets to charge your electronics on the plane. Plus, I actually slept 6 hours (sooooo happy about that) and sat next to a very kind French couple who taught me the word for suitcase–valise!! It really is true that verbal communication is only one form of connecting with other people–a smile works just as well.

After landing and breezing through Customs surprisingly, we were here!!!! ACCENT was waiting for us and we took a car from Heathrow (so weird it’s on the other side of the road) to our flats!! Claudia and I got a triple bedroom with loft beds. The light situation was wonky at first and NOT ideal after such a long day of non-showering and uncomfortable chair-sleeping, but now they’re working so hopefully it stays that way. We had a quick housi

ng orientation and then walked over to South Bank (so gorgeous!! can’t wait to go to Borough Market), and I tried curry for the first time!!! It was pretty solid!

We walked along the Thames and then went shopping for necessities–aka SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER. Also Waterloo Station looks like a mall with trains. Grocery stores are different here too. It’ll be an adjustment getting used to all the brands. I got apples (that come in wrapping) and sweet potatoes–Lord knows why I did, maybe bc it’s comfort food? Don’t even know how to use a British oven so good thing there are instructions on the back.

I was feeling pretty tired and dazed after such a long journey today, but after eating, showering, talking with friends in the hall, and oh my God FINALLY getting my phone to work!! (I had NO service for a while and couldn’t send messages/reach my family so having that assurance now makes me feel much more at ease), I am so thankful to be in England. 

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I’m here. I’ve always dreamed of coming here. I feel like being homesick and missing your family is normal, and all your feelings of discomfort become exacerbated when you’re exhausted, but I truly can’t wait to feel settled in and like I’m actually a ~Londoner.~ On the ride to the flats today, our guide Matthew said that “there’s nowhere else” but London for him. I felt that way when I came here for the first time for 3 days the summer before I went to high school. As I was landing at Heathrow, I felt like I was Wendy returning from Neverland (La La Land in my case) ready for the journey growing up even more will bring.

I’m hoping London will become like a home for me too, and as the guy at the front desk said to me today: “By the end of December, no one wants to leave.” I have a feeling he’s right. Here’s to Orientation starting tomorrow (and high tea at the British Museum)!

Cheers, Tara xx
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