The clock is ticking on my time here in London. As the days go by, the urgency to continue trying new experiences increases. This has been an amazing semester, dare I say the best I have had thus far in my college experience. I continue to seek new memories that I can speak positively about to students who are interested in studying abroad. So what better what to demonstrate all the opportunities living in London has than taking a last-minute day trip? My last Sunday in London, I decided to take a bus over to Cardiff, Wales. Have you ever heard of that? Taking a day trip to another country! I didn’t know what Wales would behold for me but sometimes surprises can be a good thing!
Though we only spent about six hours in Wales, it may have been one of my favorite countries that I visited while studying abroad this summer. The weather was slightly cloudy and drizzly but that is typical Welsh weather. The landscape is absolutely gorgeous. Even in the city center, there is a large nature park. Within driving distance, there are 330 parks in Cardiff! Unfortunately, we stayed in the city center where all the shopping areas were so when it was time to head to the bus station, we noticed a large park full of beautiful lakes, rivers, tall trees and gardens. I soothe myself with the hope to visit it again in the future.
This week at my internship, the lesson of flexibility was heavily instilled into me. Within two days, we worked in four different locations! As a small business owner, sometimes you may be called away from the office for a variety of circumstances such as the building’s water or power being temporarily blocked, or having to take care of a friend of the family. While it can be a bit tricky to adapt your work style and concentration between the different locations, your business’ success depends on your ability to think quickly and respond to whatever situation you are faced with. Being a flexible worker can help you be flexible in all aspects of your life.
Flexibility can illicit spontaneity within your heart if you allow it to. A dear friend I have made on this program frequently asked me if I would have liked to accompany on walks around Hyde Park after work this past week. I did not have much (if any) homework to do so I would also take her up on her offer, despite not planning to leave my dorm once I made it back home. It is important to spend time with your friends, especially when it provides you with an opportunity to bond. Our walks around the park allowed us to reflect on our joy and gratitude for being in London and being able to enjoy each other’s company. I am so grateful I decided to start a conversation with her when we were preparing to start our study abroad program. I made an amazing friend who I plan to cherish for many, many years to come.
Spontaneity has not just taught me to try new foods, but also new manners of conducting myself. As a child, I was a picky eater and would seldom try new things that I was unsure about or felt uncomfortable doing. This mindset has prevented me from being as open-minded as I would prefer now in adulthood. What better place to start trying to change this mindset than in London, a hub for different cultural foods and forms of having fun? During my time here, I can proudly say that I have tried and enjoyed a medium-well burger, different types of cheese over than American, Lebanese chicken wraps, Indian Nan, peri-peri chicken and pliau rice, chicken doner, Chinese duck, English Sunday roast, Danish hot dogs, Dutch french fries, and sunny side up eggs! I must say, once you become unafraid to try new foods, you start to crave an expansion of your pallet! I hope to go back to Gainesville seeking out new recipes and restaurants to continue expanding my tastes.