When you’re an American in England, you have to sign every time you use your credit/debit card. Literally. Every. Time. The other day, I was at the grocery store and had to sign for my groceries. The cashier asked me if I had an English back account, to which I responded no. He then asked me if my account was American. After I said yes, he genuinely and sincerely asked me if I was from North or South America. If you know me, you’d know I wasn’t offended even a little bit and the whole situation simply made me smile. Since returning to London almost two weeks ago, there have been several moments like these that made me fall back in love with this place. I am so thankful to be able to come back and my favorite little things about London make me all the more grateful.
Around the more tourist-y areas, there are usually vendors who sell caramelized peanuts and almonds. I have never eaten them due to a peanut allergy, but they smell heavenly. The IES Abroad London center is right next to the British Museum, and one of my favorite things to do during my lunch breaks is walk around just to smell the caramelized peanuts. It’s almost like NYC gyro vendors, but so much better. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone actually eat them, but the smell is enough to keep me walking around there day after day.
On these walks, it is not unusual for me to stop by a Sainsbury’s and grab some strawberries. When I was in London over the summer, I quickly became obsessed with British strawberries. There was more than one night where I would stop by the grocery on the way home, get the biggest case of strawberries I could find, and eat the whole thing and watch The Crown until way too late in the night. British strawberries are so much better than American strawberries. I cannot actually express how deep my love is for them. Even though they are not in season, I still get them and they are still amazing.
In London, you can go just about anywhere and find some interesting sights. One of my favorite things to do in my down time is to wander around. I love not knowing where I’m going and just taking lefts and rights until I feel content. On one of my first days here, I walked over 5 miles with no direction, no map, just taking in London. You get to see so much more than you might otherwise see and get to take in the bits of the city that are so special. If you are interested in doing this, I obviously would highly recommend. HOWEVER, please bring a charged phone and GPS to get yourself un-lost at the end of it all. Also, be aware of your surroundings and don’t go into areas that look unsafe.
I’m settling in well in my new home here. These few small things and interactions with vendors warm my heart and make me so excited to be back. There is so much about this place that is so incredibly special. London holds a very special place in my heart. I look forward to all of the memories to come!
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<p>Hello, I'm Allison! I am a Public Relations major and I am very passionate about travelling the world and learning about different cultures. I am a serious foodie, and one of my favorite parts of travelling is being able to experience culture through food in the place I'm in. I spent my Winter Break this year in China which was probably my favorite trip I've been on! When I am not flying or taking a road trip, I love all things history. Here's a fun fact about me: when I take study breaks, go on The History Channel website and read different articles about whatever is going on in the history world. I am so excited to be spending time in London and to learn about all of the history and culture there!</p>