It has officially been a week of London. A chaotic, wonderful week. Since walking off the plane and through customs, there has been barely a moment of rest. Orientation hit first which began with a lot of information about the program and city, all whilst my body was still adjusting to London time, and ended with several excursions. My advice on field trips? Take them! Especially if they’re free. It might not seem like something that you would plan to do yourself but that’s part of the benefit of them. Any time you can go do something with someone who knows more about the location than you do, it’s going to be a rich experience (unless it isn’t, but most of the time this proves true). Our first trip was a bus tour followed by a free ride on the London Eye (free!!) in which we got to see sights like Buckingham Palace, St. Peter's Cathedral, and the Tate. So many beautiful locations and sights (check out pictures below). The next day we got to go to Hampton Court Palace and, though this is something I would have never really done on my own, it's one of my favorite experiences so far. The location was great, the palace itself was beyond beautiful, and it was such a great opportunity to see the city and country from a different perspective. While all of orientation was filled with excellent experiences, I have enjoyed getting to explore the city on my own even more. There’s a freedom in exploring a city and then finding something you never knew was there at all, something you hadn't planned on. As I’ve walked through different parts of London, there have been shops and moments that were totally unplanned and completely magical. It’s discovering you still have one more present under the Christmas tree even though you had thought you'd opened them all already (yes, it's that cool). Which leads to an important point about traveling abroad (from my limited knowledge of it at this point, but so far this has proven to be true). Take moments when they come. You can plan all you want, planning is helpful, but there are also going to be moments that can’t be planned for. Things will pop up or circumstances will change and let your plans change with them! You’ll never know all the great things that can happen if you don't give them a chance to happen. And maybe chaos will follow, but that’s just part of the risk of adventure. Not everything is manageable. And who knows, maybe that chaos is going to provide a wonderful memory. Today I planned a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark which is something that wasn’t on my radar when I first prepped for study abroad, but today when all the details came together perfectly and it felt too right not to pounce on it, I let fate take the wheel (well, I still held onto the wheel some, it was really more of a partnership). Things come up, plans change, the world goes on and so does your trip. Never let opportunities fly by you if you don’t want them to.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Annie Lindenberg spends the majority of her year in Boston, MA where she is studying Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College. Along with her creative writing pursuits, she also writes film and television reviews as a staff writer for Emertainment Monthly. When not writing or exploring, you can find her eating copious amounts of guacamole and starting books she has almost no time to finish.</p>