Blogger Diary: London Flashbacks

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After my freshman year of college, I spent a summer studying in London. It was a unique program that had a tremendously profound impact on me and my life. About 25 of us spent the summer living in a house in the gorgeous Notting Hill neighborhood. Our classes consisted of English literature, which featured books written in and around London, English poetry, and theater, which gave us the opportunity to see a different play each week in various theaters around the city. I did this at a time when I was leaving a lot behind and it was extremely difficult, but the second I walked out of the airport and was greeted by the sweetest, friendliest cab driver I’ve ever encountered, I never looked back.

That summer opened my eyes to people, places and feelings I had never experienced before and for a long time I thought I would end up going back to London to live. There’s a tangible excitement in the London air, and it makes you feel like you’re a part of something special.  I spent my days wandering aimlessly, uncovering beauty in every old building and down each road, settling down in one of many gorgeous parks to read novels and poetry before heading to dinner and the theater, followed by drinks at various dimly lit pubs. On Saturdays we would wake up early and spend the day scouring Portobello Market (the best market I’ve ever been to) for treasures.  It felt like the world was wide open and I could do absolutely anything – even travel by bus through France, Belgium, and Amsterdam with a pretty eclectic group of strangers.  It may have been influenced by my own mindset and personal life, but I will remember it always as a time when I was able to step outside of myself for a little while, and I’ve never felt so free. Have you ever taken a trip that made you feel that way?

These photos were taken with film and looking at them now feels like seeing them in a foggy dream…

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Photos by Julia.

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Comments

Chelsea -September 27, 2012, 10:42AM

Great post. I lived in Bath, England for 2 years in high school. I would have stayed there forever if I didn’t have to leave my family behind to do so. There’s something magical about the English way of life. It’s so much simpler than what we’re used to. Things we take for granted like having hot and cold water come out of the same faucet and large spacious houses don’t really happen there. I loved being able to get groceries at separate little stores instead of a huge super market. We used to go to a little sausage shop on a backroad to get dinner for the night and he always had a new recipie to try. Everything is old and warped and has a story behind it. I loved just walking around towns or castles and imagining up their stories myself.

Sami -September 27, 2012, 10:09PM

I lived in London for five months this past year, and the energy of the city was something I had never experienced before. “It felt like the world was wide open and I could do absolutely anything,” I love that quote because that’s truly how it felt for me too. Every day I woke up there and I was just excited to be alive, and even in that moment I knew that it might possibly be the freest I would ever feel. I’m so thankful I got to experience this, it will forever impact my life. And as much as I dream and hope I’ll move back there, I still find comfort in what I experienced and know that everything will be okay where ever I end up. :)

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