It has officially been a year. A year since I flew seven and a half hours across the ocean. I had hoped to create a blog like this while I was actually there, but sadly that never happened. So instead I decided to use this blog as a way to look back at the most amazing experience of my life.
London, England. I have been fascinated with the city across the pond for as long as I can remember. (Maybe it was growing up listening to The Beatles or my constant fascination with the Royal Family). To live in London was a dream of mine, a dream that somehow finally came true.
It all started with a failed plan A. I had originally applied to work in Disney World after my graduation in the fall, but sadly didn’t make the program. If you know me, you know that Disney is a big part of my heart. I was devastated to say the least. I didn’t have a plan B. I had no idea what I was going to do once I graduated. This forced me to do a little research and I realized I still had a chance to study abroad. So I decided to push back my graduation, which certainly helped me financially. Without the student loans, I don’t think I could have gone abroad.
It was a long process finding the right school, many had photography programs, but they usually consisted of simple introduction classes. Finally I found American Intercontinental University, which had various photography classes including portrait/fashion and advertising. I had taken both classes at my home school, but I figured it would be a bit different outside of Ohio.
I’m naturally an emotional person, I’m one of those people that cries at commercials, so saying goodbye to my mom and aunt was quite difficult. Luckily, I was making the trip with my dad, which helped me from completely breaking down. To say I was nervous on the flight over to London is an understatement. I had never flown more than two or three hours. I don’t think I relaxed the entire time.
A foggy day in Londontown…a fitting description for our landing. I couldn’t even see the ground until we were nearly on the runway. It was now March 16th! My dad and I gathered the four suitcases (I did pack light!) and hopped into a cab.
We stayed at the Mitre House Hotel. It was a decent hotel, small, but that was to be expected. We were both utterly exhausted, so we ended up falling asleep for a few hours. Once we were able to keep our eyes open we decided to head over to Kensington Gardens, which was less than five minutes from our hotel. We walked through the Italian Gardens and down to the Peter Pan statue, which I’ve been dying to visit for years. (Possibly after seeing it in Winning London, one of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s films…) Next we came to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. It was amazing to see it in person!
After that we made our way down Oxford Street, and to be honest I felt like I was back in New York. There were so many different languages being spoken, rarely did I hear an English accent. We decided to grab dinner at Pret A Manger, which ended up being one of my favorite places. Delicious fresh made sandwiches, fruit, and more. I wish we had more restaurants like that around here. After dinner we headed back to the hotel.