Living in the United Kingdom has been eye opening I would say. I have seen, eaten, and tried so many new things. From visiting Hampton Court, to exploring the Victoria-Albert Museum, attending so many productions (experimental, theatre, dance, and music), and even shopping. My taste buds have travelled the world themselves after trying a traditional ethiopian dish, a buddha bowl from a tea shop called Redemption, Indian takeaways from Portobello Market in Notting Hill, a traditional Japanese bowl (turns out I am a fan of horseradish), and my personal favorite Chinese pork buns.
The people of London are kind, but very reclusive. I can only speak from my experiences. But I have always felt accepted and welcomed here. Many people ask me where I am from immediately after hearing my American accent and are shocked or even filled with deep sympathy when they here I am from Alabama. As a native of Alabama, I tell them it’s not THAT bad….. As a Mexican-American, Chicano, born in Florida raised in the south, first Tennessee than Alabama I can never meet a stranger because I tend to make friends quickly. As I finish my fourth month living in London I can notice a great change in my view of the world and people different than I. Being a queer person of color has helped with that a lot as well. I have tried to keep the golden rule of respecting others and treating them the same way I would want to be treated. I believe we need more equality and mutual respect in this world. Places I have loved since living in London are Shoreditch, SoHo, Camden, and Notting Hill. Shoreditch is an edgy, trend-setter hotspot for anyone who loves fashion, meeting new people, and the appreciation of culture. Overpriced vintage shops fill the streets of Shoreditch (as an avid thrifter, overpriced was underlined for it’s indecency). SoHo is a dodgy (because of the pickpocketers) tourist filled utopia with tons of shops, theaters, and restaurants.
I can’t express how much I have enjoyed studying in London. The amount of exposure to the arts I have encountered has been astonishing. An amazing opportunity I was able to do was participate in a Gaga Spring Intensive and learn from the founder of the language, Ohad Naharin. This has been one of my highlights of being abroad. When I return to America, I know I will never forget this experience. Luckily, I will have a community of friends and family to welcome me with open arms and ears to listen to my stories.