Dear DiversityAbroad.com readers,
Hello, there! It is so wonderful to meet you. My name is Chloe Gandal, and I am beyond excited to begin this London adventure with you in tow. Pour yourself a cup of tea, as I am doing now, and we’ll have a chat about studying abroad preparations.
I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington with a mother from Paris, so I am bilingual. Growing up, we visited France often, so I have had a taste of international travel. However, I have always visited with my parents. We didn’t often do tourist things while abroad, and never had time to “hop across the pond” to London. I am so excited to have to opportunity to visit the city I’ve heard so much about!
With the upcoming trip, I’ve had plenty on my mind and much to do to prepare. While it is still about two months away, I believe that one can never “overplan”. As this is my theory, I am a notorious over-planner.
Recently, I’ve had to take a pause on planning for health reasons. I’ve had reoccurring hip problems for the last five years, and we decided it was time for me to have surgery this summer. So, for the last two weeks I have been confined to my bed, and been on enough medicine to keep me rather drowsy and feeling very “un-planner-ish”. I am recovering well, though, and I should be fine to participate fully in activities while abroad.
I am starting to plan again, and have had wonderful opportunities to meet with people who’ve lived, studied in, or visited London. Something I am rather concerned about is the packing aspect. You see, I have a relatively large wardrobe, which will not fit in the measly suitcase allowance of most major international airlines. Moreover, I have been told time and time again that London is colder than Seattle. I don’t find that hard to believe whatsoever, as I don’t think Seattle is very cold, but I am worried because cold weather requires larger clothing such as parkas, hats, boots, and so on. I am now left with the decision to try and fit everything into suitcases, or resolve to ship some things. I will most likely suck it up and simply try to jam everything into luggage, as shipping rates to England are absurd.
Along with packing, I have several questions that come up whenever I think about my time in London, such as: Should I bring a Halloween costume? Do they even celebrate Halloween as we do here in the States? Is it like New York City, where one fits in more if one wears black? How should I, as an outsider, feel about Brexit? How much should I research about expats living in London? Will I (maybe, hopefully, crossing-my-fingers-that-this-comes-true) develop a slight British accent if I tried? Is it like the movies, or nothing like the movies? Where does Daniel Radcliffe live (if he still lives in London)? and other questions such as these. Call me crazy, but when something this important is awaiting me, my mind tends to go off a bit.
In regards to Brexit, I am quite thrilled that it is all happening now. Apparently, these are the lowest exchange artesian 30 years, which I’m thrilled about, as I will be using all of my own spending money for anything extra (food, activities, travel, etc.). And don’t worry, dear reader, I don’t plan to squander my time staying in London and being so close to the rest of Europe at all. I hope to visit Paris at least twice, and I’ve been taking recommendations for anywhere else I should visit.
Well, I have finished my cup of tea, as I’m sure you have, and I must be off to continue preparations!
Thank you for joining me, and have a lovely day!