Hello everyone and greetings from across the pond! For those who don’t know me, I’m Dany and I’m currently studying abroad in London (along with fellow CAs Tom, Julianna, and Sarah!) It’s crazy to think I’ve been here for nearly two months. These weeks have flown by and I hope the second half slows down somehow because I honestly never want to leave.
Though I’m only halfway through my semester, this experience has taught me so much about everything from traveling to cooking. So I’m going to do what I do best and give you a list.
What I’ve Learned from London:
1. How to cook.
Before London, my complete menu boasted scrambled eggs, easy mac, and the best bowl of cereal you’ve ever had. Sometimes I would be adventurous and microwave a frozen dinner. But here in London, I share a kitchen with 14 people and they all cook. And they like it. And they’ve encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone (the fridge) and splash around the deep end (the stove). I am proud to say that I can now successfully fry an egg, cook chicken, make rice, prepare vegetables, and create some really good pasta meals. Yeah it’s still pretty standard but believe me, it’s a significant improvement from my frozen dinner days.
2. How to travel.
Sometimes things go exactly like you plan. Sometimes plans fall completely apart. Traveling, unfortunately, is not as easy as clicking a button, hopping on a plane, and taking selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower. When you’re on a budget, it may take a while to find the best prices and deals for flights and hostels. There’s a lot of details that need to be worked out beforehand so that once you actually arrive, you can throw away the map and forget about planning and explore. But at the same time, it is just as important to not let that stress overwhelm you and take over the excitement of the entire trip. In the end, these are your adventures, and it’s about what you want to get out of them. You don’t need a first class flight or the perfect hostel or even a huge group of friends to do what it is you came here to do: get lost in a beautiful city you’ve never been in before.
3. How to be British.
Three things: tea, accents, and the Queen. Although the last point is tricky because I do believe Queen Elizabeth shares her throne from time to time with Queen Adele and Queen Rowling. That said, the best way to really take advantage of being abroad is to fully embrace the culture you’re in. Learn how to make an authentic cup of tea. Try fish and chips everywhere you go. Ask people about their accents and where they are from. Introduce yourself in an intelligent manner and dispel the stereotypes about Americans. Be proud of who you are and where you come from and show a genuine interest in where you are and what you’re doing there.
I encourage everyone to go abroad at some point during their college career. This has been the most rewarding experience and it’s not even close to over. I’ve met some really great people, explored some fantastic cities, and done some really amazing things in the past few months. I can only hope the second half is just as good. I do miss Boston a lot but at this moment, I honestly don’t know how I will be able to leave.
Anyway, I hope everyone is having a fantastic semester! If you have any questions about abroad or any tips or recommendations, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org! Also if you’re dying to go abroad and want to live vicariously through me until you get your chance, check out my blog at danyvasquez.com!