Learning to Live Like a Londoner

With a few more weeks under my belt here in London, I dare say its begun to feel like home. Without a doubt, a massive contributor to that feeling is being involved in an internship while here. While at first it was a daunting prospect, trying to imagine working in a foreign city mere days after I arrived, it has given me a routine. Perhaps less a routine, and more forced adaptation! With everyone placed in different locations, on different hours, and working different days there was no choice but to brave it alone.

The first few commutes to work were a challenge to say the least. After adjusting to the underground, or Tube, I was in for a rude awakening when I found out my internship location was only accessible by the OVERground. Completely different ballgame. I arrived entirely too early my first day because I left enough time for every horrible thing to potentially happen, but better early than late. And as with anything, after a week or two I begin to build a routine and learn the area around my workplace.

The more I have gotten out and about the city, whether it be to work, class, or simply to explore, has made London feel more and more like home. It is a surreal sensation to be walking around and realize that I know where I am and not feel the need to pull up my Google maps. Even when I do have to look up where I am going, if it is somewhere new, there is a level of ease because I know how the transportation works. Truly, the best way to feel at home in a city is to get to know it.

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I still didn’t fully realize that London felt so familiar until I took a weekend trip to Dublin. I wasn’t expecting it, but on the plane ride home all I could think about was how I was going home. Even though Ireland has incredible similarities to London in terms of transportation, it wasn’t the good ole Tube. All it took was leaving London to realize that it was home base and see just how comfortable I had gotten living there. Six weeks is not an incredibly long time, but being pushed to join the workforce and experience what it is like to travel during rush hour with other young professionals, accelerated the adaptation process. My proudest moment to date is being asked not just once, but TWICE for directions! While my accent may have ruined it seconds later, for a brief moment I was a true Londoner.

Thanks for reading!

Jenny Bodine

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