I’ve been in London for about 2 days now and I absolutely love this place. It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to. Its got that big city feel that you get in places like New York City but the architecture is so beautiful. I can just sit and walk out on the streets for hours just admiring the buildings and such. The flats we are staying in are nice and much bigger than I was expecting. We have a massive living room that has large windows that I love staring out at the rain. One of the things that I love about London is that there are parks and squares everywhere. So many green and beautiful gardens. I absolutely love it. I just want to sit and watch the people and just enjoy being in London. I can’t wait to continue to go out and explore. I want to spend some time to myself to appreciate London through only my eyes. I want to just walk around and just let whatever find me.
I’ve had an okay time with my anxiety. Going out to pubs and clubs at night makes me have a lot of anxiety. I have a really low tolerance and being in a new place is terrifying if I am drinking. It’s been hard to deal with people wanting to go out and have fun while I’m dealing with social anxiety and worrying about getting home and everything. It can make me a debbie downer but I unfortunately can’t just let loose wherever and whenever. I’m hoping to get more comfortable as I learn more about where I am and learn my way around.
There are a few things that I’ve learned off the bat that I wanted to share so you don’t look completely lost and touristy.
- We may speak the same language but the culture is absolutely different. The British are generally a quiet people when out in public, making me stand out like crazy. They all know where they are going and will just keep moving on. The Brits get a reputation for being cold and rude but it’s probably because they don’t just wander down the street like we do. As long as you are polite and considerate, you’ll all get along just fine and no one will have a problem with you.
- Public transit is huge here. Don’t be afraid to try it out. It’s actually fairly easy to navigate. It’s one of the best ways to travel and the cheapest so definitely use the tube, bus, or even walk. London is a walkable city but remember they drive on the opposite side of the road than we are used to, so always look both ways just in case. Also on escalators, stand on the right, walk on the left. Very important.
- Pubs are awesome. Pub culture is something you have to experience in London. You can get food, drinks, and just meet people. Everything is ordered from the bar so don’t sit down expecting to be served all the time. It’s always good to double check. Tipping isn’t as big of a deal here as it is in the states but it’s always nice to leave a few pounds for the staff, especially if you they were really nice. If you want water, ask for still water. They will usually give you sparkling if not.
- You should do all the touristy stuff. Just realize that everyone visiting from around the world is doing it too. Places like Buckingham Palace and the London Eye are going to be packed. It’s also a prime place to be pick-pocketed, so watch your stuff. But it also is an amazing adventure to just walk around the city. London has awesome markets and tons of parks. Feel free to just let the city take you wherever. It will always be a journey.
Overall, London is an incredible city. Being here for 3 days, I’ve had an amazing time and I can’t believe I only have a week left. If you plan on coming to London or the UK, just do some research into the culture, history and norms. It will help everything go a bit smoother and you will enjoy your trip more.