Friday, May 29, 2015

What a Great Lifetime Experience!

Before leaving for London we were often told to try and fit in with the locals while being in London. At first I didn’t really understand why it mattered so much that we needed to fit in. Of course, after being there it remains really clear as to why we needed to try and fit in as much as possible. There were so many people in London that everywhere you went there was always a huge crowd. The underground was usually busy especially first thing in the morning, lunchtime, and early evening. Since there are so many people it is a lot easier for pickpocketing to happen. We usually traveled in a group but sometimes we had to split up in order to all get on the underground to travel to a different part of the city. Being in a group decreased our possibility of being pickpocketed. Thankfully, no one was pickpocketed during our stay because we were all aware of the possibility and kept our belongings close to us.

Here in America pickpocketing is not very common. In fact, we often think of if we were to drop a twenty or a dollar that someone would pick it up and say “Miss you dropped some money.” In London, this would not happen because all the people had places to go and things to do and were always in a hurry. This is a huge difference in culture because we are not used to that. We learned quickly to figure out our route on the underground so we could fit in and not be targeted as tourists. This was important because if you fit in then you wouldn’t be targeted as much and shared the mentality of having places to go and things to do. The underground was a means of transportation not a means of conversation. For the most part the underground was quiet and often our group was the only one that would speak. This relates to the common saying that Americans are loud. I noticed that we really are loud compared to people in London.

The means of transportation and people’s mentality in London really helped me to become a more globalized citizen. I’m so glad I was able to experience the differences in culture while in London. Being able to see these differences while abroad made me realize that when you live somewhere you get so used to the customs and practices of everyday life and that it may be hard to understand a different countries way of life. Then, when you go to a different country you think that their way of living is wrong. It is not wrong it’s just different and sometimes different is hard to get accustomed to. Experiencing different cultures allows you to become globally aware of your surroundings and that is what I got to do while studying abroad in London.

I had a great time on the trip, but it sure is good to be home and drive my own vehicle on the “right side of the road.” I want to thank everybody that made this trip possible and all the people that organized the trip. It truly couldn’t have been as amazing without all of you!


  1. Well done! I now have mixed emotions about whether I ever want to go to the U.K. or not, I guess only time will tell.

  2. The underground was the thing I looked least forward to almost every day. I have never liked small spaces with so many people and that just reinforced that idea. It especially made me nervous that we would be targeted with so many people aboard the trains. However, I felt that being in a group might have increased our chances of being pickpocketed because it brought more attention to us as tourists. I also wonder if we are loud or they are just very quiet. It almost seemed that everyone on the train was miserable because they had to travel every day. I feel like our stigma as being loud may be due to them not saying anything because they really aren't all that friendly. I had to make a mental note to drive on the right side of the road when we got back as well.

  3. I LOVED the underground! Maybe it was because I live in a city so crowds excite me! I will admit that I was really tired of people by the end of the trip. Just people in general. I won't lie - I literally kissed my steering wheel when I got in it to drive home Tuesday! I loved London, but I'm so glad to be back in America!