Leaving London (For Now)

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I recently saw the movie The Lady in the Van. In the movie, the main character breaks himself into two parts: the one who writes and the one who lives. The two parts are in constant argument with one another. The writer wants the “liver” to live in a way that would make a good story (and to notice stories around him to tell). But sometimes, the one who lives just wants to live. It is a strange concept for a character, but this is how I feel a lot of the time.

I hoped that I would actually document all of my London experiences. And I did, for a little while. But, as usual, I stopped. I got too busy. Well, sort of. I really just didn’t feel like doing it. While I absolutely love writing, and wish I would do more of it, sometimes I leave my stories in my head (because yes, I am narcissistic and always inside my own head).

I keep a journal in my bag with the hope that I’ll mimic other pretentious writers and jot notes down (and because it makes me sound cool), but my journal is empty. Sometimes, I don’t even want to be creating stories. I’d rather just live, as obnoxious as that sounds. And, let’s be real: when I get home, Netflix is always the priority.

So, as much as I value documenting my experiences, I am too lazy to actually perfect it. But at least I am writing something now, so I’ll do you a favor and get over myself.

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The Columbia Road Flower Market might be my favorite London attraction. I also might have a slight plant obsession, but it’s fine.

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We had turkey at a lobster/BBQ shack, because in London, Thanksgiving is the same thing as Fourth of July. 

Today is my last day in London, and I cannot believe that time passed so quickly! Studying abroad is like a long vacation: school is pretty easy, you legally can’t work, and you have zero responsibilities. Every once in awhile, I stop and pinch myself, for at the moment, life does not seem very real. Except for the fact that I’ve dipped into a good amount of my savings. That part is a little too real.

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My pop music teacher got us all hooked on the Beatles and took us to Liverpool, where the band got started. Now I always gave Beatles songs in my head, which is WAY cooler to complain about than Justin Bieber.

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We went to Hogwarts, and Sophia judged my fangirling.

I’ve fully enjoyed a break from reality. I hate myself for using an inspirational quote here, but while here, the world really did feel like it was at my fingertips. I traveled way too much and explored more London neighborhoods than the actual locals probably have. While I am way too excited to reunite with my adorable, eco-friendly, mildly basic white Prius, I’ll definitely miss getting to hop on a bus or train to head to another part of town. I also walk a lot more here, so I’m going to have to find a new excuse for not working out (more gummy vitamins?).

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Someone please date us

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Making friends everywhere I go

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Making friends part two

I learned how to entertain myself here (YES, OTHER THAN WATCHING TV). As I get older, I’m starting to notice that I don’t need as many activity breaks as others, because I am absolutely crazy. I realized that sometimes, if you want to see the world, you can’t wait for people to follow you. While I still prefer the social comfort of friends, going exploring by yourself isn’t actually that bad.

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Shoreditch is probably my favorite London hood. JUST LOOK AT THIS HOUSE WITH THE FLOWER POTS.

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Cute little shop on Exmouth Market (where I lived). I might have purchased a tiny succulent with the hopes of sneaking it through customs in Atlanta. Stay tuned.

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I turned 21 here. It was slightly anti-climatic (the legal UK drinking age is 18), but I still got a few free birthday drinks out of it.

I think I started to feel like an adult here. I cannot describe it (and it definitely sounds silly on virtual paper), but i just feel older. This feeling may suddenly change when I move into my family’s small apartment for the next month, so we shall see.

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Last group selfie in London. I’d say we killed it.

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A promising group photo at The Ninth Ward, our favorite bar. We went there way too much, so they gave us t-shirts and let Sophia be a bartender for 20 minutes. I think I’ll miss this fam the most.

So London, I leave a piece of my heart with you. Don’t have too much fun without me.

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3 thoughts on “Leaving London (For Now)

  1. Your journal is in your head and the notes and impressions there will reveal themselves sometime in the future when you reflect. Don’t be self critical. You did the right thing just experiencing rather than documenting. You could have been like the person who brings a camera to see new things and ends up missing subtle things because of the time spent looking into the camera. I’m so glad you will be in CT for Christmas Eve at Audry and Joe’s.

  2. Wonderful blog Caroline! Your Uncle Donald’s sentiments are right on. Your days in London with all those fun experiences are memories wlll no doubt be at your fingertips when least expected. You will have a lot to look forward to when you are back home, I bet. Your family can’t wait. And let’s not forget those other two, Cody and Scooter, who are probably just sitting at the door awaiting your arrival!! Wish we could see you soon, but it may not be till summer time. We will talk soon.

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