I’ve gone as far as Hawaii with my high school band and I’ve gone to Canada with my family, but traveling to London for a short study abroad wasn’t the same thing. With band there were tons of people and structure. In Canada my parents took care of the money conversions and customs. But in London it was on me. I had my professor and classmates to lean on, so I wasn’t ever alone, but it was an adjustment.

There are a lot of pre-traveling steps to take like booking hotels and flights and converting your money. However, the study abroad program provider took care of lodgings and things so I’ll start with leaving the airport.

Step one: As you ride from the airport to where you’re staying, look out the window and gawk at everything.

Step two: Drop your stuff at your flat/hotel/hostel without unpacking anything or settling in and explore.

Step three: Tour with someone who knows the area.

Step four: Forget the path you took and use a map.

Step five: Go to the express grocery store and buy plastic bags because you didn’t bring a tote.

Step six: Almost get hit by a double-decker bus crossing the street because pedestrians do not have the right of way. But double-decker buses are Londony so you get brownie points.

Step seven: Stay up as late as possible unpacking so that you can kick jet lag.

Step eight: Fall asleep unpacking.


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