In 10 days, you gave me an experience of a lifetime. I thank you for showing me a culture widely different from my own, bringing a new world to my fingertips. I’ve gained a better understanding of where I am from, who I am, and who I would like to be and where I would like to go. You’ve made me a new person.
I love your rich history, how it lives in the walls of every building as if it were cigarette smoke. I’ve been where legends of science, literature, and royalty walked, dined, and lived. On various street corners, I saw doors that said, “Here lived…” and each time I stopped, I gawked with wide eyes and my phone plastered to my hand to get the shot. I marveled at Westminster Abbey, standing on the graves and memorials of those who contributed to society beyond measure. I was inspired at Poets’ Corner, where I stood before my literary idols for longer than what I imagine is socially acceptable.
I’ve seen that language, literature, and the news is not dead but very much alive. Thank you for giving me the pleasure of hearing various languages and accents and learning a different vernacular. Seeing bookstores nearly every five minutes made my heart leap. You have given me hope as an aspiring journalist that people do read the newspaper, be it walking the street or on the Tube.
Thank you for giving me the experience of new foods from various cultures I would have never had otherwise. You have also shown me the good in people, and as I heard at the Royal Military Chapel before I left London, “We don’t see people as they are; we see people as we are.” Thank you for the adventure and teaching me about another culture. I have been to places I only dreamed I would see, and in a small way, I have seen and been a part of another country’s history. Thank you for the friends I made, and because of them, I have had some of my greatest memories.
Your breathtaking views, architecture, fashion, and history all have inspired me. Although it rained every day, your beauty is a watercolor painting, bright and vibrant. I’ll never forget running into museums for shelter from the rain or being poured on in Oxford. You are as beautiful at night as you are in the day. (Big Ben, you are one handsome clock tower.) Being on the Tube, squished between bodies and luggage, I couldn’t help but people watch, wanting to know their stories and where they came from. Whether I jumped on a train or ran in the rain, I was in for an adventure. You made it so easy for me to feel comfortable and at home here. London, you have given me a piece of the world, and for that, I am grateful.
I will never forget you.