I’ve been home in Southern California for a week now and it feels like London never even happened. Life doesn’t feel like it happens in sequential, chronological order sometimes. It’s feels more like I have different compartments of life that I just pick up where I left off at that place when I’m there. Hopefully that makes sense… Anyways. I saw my best friend, Nikki, last Friday and she was all like, “Hannah, you only wrote 2 blog posts and you only have 1 photo in each post…” and I was like “Well, I didn’t make my blog to post about what I did in London,” and she was like, “Oh…” in a very disappointed and somewhat confused tone. I guess it’s a little misleading to go study abroad, make a blog while you’re out there, and not write about your adventures LOL so if anyone else is like Nikki and thought I would post all about my trip, you’re in luck! Here’s a post just for you guys.
Here are 4 things that were significant parts of my time in Londy Town (Including never before seen pictures that I did not post on Instagram HOORAY):
1) Big Ben, of course. Loved that guy. I took a million gazillion pictures of him, even after seeing him for the hundredth time. Every time someone came to visit me, I would take them to see Big Ben and their first time marveling at his beauty felt like it was my first time all over again. I remember the first time I laid eyes on him, it was from really far away, but that was the moment it hit me that I was actually in London. I was walking down the bridge by Somerset House (the bridge that was in one of my profile photos on Facebook) and as I got closer to the middle of the bridge, Big Ben was slowly revealed behind some trees. It was awe-inspiring!
Here’s the photos from the first time I saw Ben and then our first picture together when I walked closer to see him:
I won’t put all my photos of Big Ben or else this post will only have space for him, but here are more pictures during different seasons and different times of the day:
Ugh. Literally, just can’t get enough.
2) My flat. Apartments/dorms are called flats over there. My flatmates were part of my everyday life there. Even if I did not go out with them much or didn’t party really, I did have a lot of personal conversations with them and enjoyed getting to know them. They were such welcoming, respectful people. They always made me as an American and as a person who did not party hard like they did still feel like part of the community. I learned a lot about the British culture from them. It was cool hearing about Beth’s grandma and how she used to go to the pub where the Beatles would play before they were famous, since they’re from Liverpool where the Beatles originated. I thought it was funny how Dani can travel to Paris from her home in Kent faster than to London. Going on Asda runs (which is the sister store of Walmart), my gosh, that one time we walked there at 1 am was more amusing than it should have been. But the most time I spent with them was in the kitchen, our little common area where we would chill, talk, and procrastinate on our uni work. I wish I had more opportunities to get to know them all better. They were such nice people.
3) Everyday Church in Wimbledon. Such a great church. It was so encouraging seeing so many people my age serving, leading, and growing in their faith. At home, the people I’m close to are younger than me so I feel like I’m an older sister to them or older than me and in a different stage of life so I look up to them. I don’t mind that, but it was refreshing to be at a church where I felt on the same level spiritually and mentally with the people in my age range and with people I clicked with. They were so welcoming. I had some life-changing worship nights, lots of laughs from filming skits (RODERICK!), great talks during the wee hours in the church building, a sleepover with some sweet girls, and so much more. And I loved how inviting they are to the Holy Spirit during the services. They kept me fed, spiritually and literally. With pizza. And tea. And cookies. And s’mores puppy chow (LOL Taylor & Emma). I hope everything goes well with them while they start up two new locations this year and continue to serve the community spreading God’s love.
4) The Biola girls I traveled with. I can say so many nice things about these ladies. They were all so kind-hearted, genuine girls who are SUCH FUN and honestly such easy girls to travel with. Seriously, no troubles with our travels whatsoever. Before going to London, we had meetings with the students who did the program last year, you know, for advice and stuff. Well, I saw how close they all were and I always thought, what if I don’t end up getting to know anyone from my Biola group because I didn’t really talk to anyone before I left except for Taylor who I traveled/planned with and my RA, Jess, but even we weren’t super close yet before we left. One thing led to another and I ended up traveling with these girls to Ireland, doing day-trips around England, and just having random adventures throughout the semester. We would have nights where we would all just be fat and bake together. Real talk though, those girls can bake (#wifeme). Or we would go to our friend, Iain’s room and watch the hilarious show, “Miranda.” All eight of us have shared plenty of laughing moments and plenty of getting-to-know-each-other-on-a-deeper-level moments, like boy drama, family drama, friend drama, and all that good stuff. They don’t know this, but I have learned to accept myself more being around them and learned to be more open and not so hard on myself. I’m so thankful to have shared this amazing experience with them.
I could go on and on about my time in London and honestly, I’ve been noticing “When I was in London…” keeps coming up in my conversations lately. But this is all I have time for at the moment, you know, with being back in school and the real world again. Life feels so boring right now because I miss my London adventures, but I’m thankful. Writing this blog and looking back at these photos made me so happy. I’m too blessed, man. I truly am.