Hello world! My name is Nick Negron. I’m studying abroad at Regents University in London for the semester. I felt as if blogging would be a great way to record my journey, while keeping family and friends in the loop. As I’m writing, I’ve been in Europe for a little over a week now. To be honest, the notion that I’m actually here is still struggling to take hold in my mind. In the brisk London morning, I go for runs in the park, watching the beautiful ducks and swan take their morning laps in the clear water; while birds are eagerly waiting to be fed by children throwing scraps at them on their way to school. I sprint past classical architecture and expensive estates. I join the ranks of thousands of other Londoners as we cross paths in our early morning excursions. How is it possible that this random kid from Westchester has found himself situated in one of the world’s most beautiful cities? Whatever alchemy that brought this together, I’m oblivious to; but I thank God every day for it.
I could give a detailed rambling on every pub I’ve been to, but I think I’ll spare my family. In my blogs, I want to feature a few unique aspects of my experiences, instead of a generalized summary. Now, the phrase “culture shock” can seem a little unnerving and awkward. However, I find it to be the perfect way to describe the pleasant time I’ve had adapting to my new environment. Granted, the move from New York to London is likely a lot smoother than transitioning to a developing country. Needless to say, it has been fascinating to study the city and its inhabitants. The fast-paced Piccadilly Circus, alternative Camden Market, and serene Regent’s Park are just a few of the places I’ve wandered through. Mesmerizing, century-old buildings, statues and artwork stand in abundance throughout London. This deep rooted history, stretching back to Roman times, is richly intertwined into the technologically inept city.
My brain is being steadily refashioned into thinking in terms of English etiquette, Tube schedules, and (already) subconsciously rolling my eyes at the tourists who get in my way during my morning run. Traffic and road signs perplex me the most. While I was aware that Europeans drive opposite to Americans, it still takes some getting used to. For now, my heart still gets a tiny jolt, when witnessing a car speed through, what I believe to be, the wrong side of the road. By far, the most important advice I’ve been given was by another American student, who has been studying in London for the past six months. Don’t allow money to dictate whether or not you will have a good night. There have already been multiple occasions where myself and the friends I’ve made have chosen to partake in a different activity, in order to penny-pinch ( or pence-pinch). I’m perfectly content with this. The great thing about a city as vast as London, is that there is always something to do, for any budget. I haven’t been disappointed yet.
In summary, I’m having an amazing time and couldn’t be more grateful for these precious months I have to thrive in this intricate metropolis.
To my family- love and miss you all!