Last few days at the Pub
Before I knew it, our group was coming up upon our last few days in London. Upon orientation one of our guides in the program told us about cultural adjustment and the stages of living in a new area or returning back home after being away. The first stage is kind of like a honeymoon period where everything is super exciting and new, the second period is one of frustration that might come from cultural differences, and the third is an adjustment period.
As I reflected, I think I experienced the honeymoon stage for the first two weeks of my trip. I truly had so much fun exploring every day and just immersing myself in the city. Before I knew it, I was comfortable with taking the tube and I felt very capable and confident.
The last week I was there, I think I started to really see true London and the ups and downs that comes with living in the city. I became frustrated with how early shops closed and how expensive everything was. Traveling in between zones could easily get upwards of 8 pounds a day. I also became annoyed with British culture, their serving culture, and honestly the accents as well.
However, once both of those periods balanced out, I feel like I gained a real sense of what traveling to a new country is like. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies but there’s so much to be learned about the place you’re in and about your own sense of independence. I was also grateful to be in such a good group and on our last days we spent our evening at the Railway Pub—a bar with great food just a block from our accommodation. One of the bartenders even joined in on our picture. He’s the one eating a pita chip and hummus!