London is an overwhelmingly busy city with a million things to do. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out what to spend a free day doing because there are so many available options. Studying abroad doesn’t leave a lot of time for unplanned relaxing so it’s always best to have some sort of plan for the weekends and any available time between classes. My friends and I would plan interesting things to do together around the city—whenever one of us found a fun event to go to, whoever was available and interested would get together and go. Some of the fun things to do in London include attending concerts, going out to restaurants, finding bookstores and art galleries, cat cafés, and more. We were lucky enough to attend a few concerts during our stay in London which wasn’t difficult to do with the abundance of musical talent in the city. Back home in California, I don’t have many opportunities to see live music and when a popular artist comes to town, tickets sell out immediately. In London, bands and artists will have small shows in local pubs and even sold-out shows in arenas will have extra, cheaper tickets closer to the concert time. Attending concerts abroad felt much more convenient, especially due to the easy transportation system. It’s important to keep an eye out for opportunities for memorable experiences. I went to concerts for artists I didn’t even know and had an amazing time! I realized that I love concert environments because I get to enjoy a show with friends and be social by interacting with other fans before and after the concert.
On days when I want to relax and have a calmer day, I would book a session at a cat café and spend an hour playing with all the adorable cats. My friends and I went to two cat café places during our stay in London: Java Whiskers Cat Café and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. Both places were so fun and we had the absolute best time. I was so happy to play with cats and kittens while drinking hot chocolate and eating a cupcake.
Other than spending time out in the city, I also enjoyed spending time with my friends in their apartments making dinner and talking together. We would have sleepovers and movie nights in the apartments, go out for ramen or sushi, and do homework together in the lobby. I think having this time to slow down and relax helped me stay in the present moment instead of always feeling like I had somewhere to rush to. It was important for me to schedule downtime and know my limits and what I need to do to maintain a healthy mindset. I didn’t want to push myself too far just because I was abroad—although I want to see as much as I can, I also understand that I would rather be rested and present than exhausted and distracted. London has so much to offer and I want to experience as much as possible while still taking care of myself.