Even though it feels like much, much, much longer, today marks exactly 21 days since I arrived in London. I feel like I’ve done more in the past three weeks than I have in the past three years, and that’s not even an exaggeration. I wanted to do a little “highlights reel” post today talking about the most monumental things that have happened, so grab a little hot cocoa and settle in for a bit of a chatty post!
It's not goodbye, it's see you later.
Leaving my family behind back in the Middle East was definitely the hardest thing I’ve done in a while. Some days before leaving, I read a lot of articles and watched YouTube videos where people gave some solid advice on dealing with saying goodbye to your home, your parents, and your friends, but nothing prepared me for the embarrassingly spontaneous ugly-crying session I had at the airport. I was totally fine leaving my house – though I didn’t look my cats in the eye because I knew it would break my heart (also how am I tearing up typing this right now? I am a hormonal mess) – and I was fine whilst my parents walked me into the airport and checked me in. But the second I walked away from them, the fact that I wouldn’t be seeing them for at least a few months hit me and I couldn’t stop my emotions from getting the best of me. Most of the airplane ride passed in a similar fashion; a balance between crying and doing my on-air skincare routine. If that sentence isn’t the epitome of me as a person, I don’t know what is.
Turns out I like people more than I like Netflix.
Graduating from my undergrad degree in January definitely had its pluses, but one thing I missed out on was socializing with people my age. I’m an extroverted person by nature so not having the opportunity to make friends turned me into a bit of a hermit and started what could now be considered an unhealthy Netflix addiction. Thankfully, moving here changed that and I got to meet a lot of new people. I now have friends from Portugal, Nigeria, France, China, Russia, Brazil, Italy, America, and India. And I’m nowhere close to being done. Give me all the friends!
My favorite spot in the city is a laundry room.
Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it does make a catchy title, doesn’t it? My favorite spot is the 25th floor of the building in which I am living, and it happens to be next to the building’s laundry amenities. The reason why it’s my favorite? Well, the photographs below should explain it all.
I’m a sucker for good views, and this one is so exception. This is the spot where my friends and I hang out most nights, catching up and talking about the things we’ve gotten up to during the day. I can already picture myself missing it once I have to leave, but for now, I’m just gonna make the most of it.
I went to the zoo and missed my cats some more.
My dad visited London shortly after I arrived, and one of the things he really wanted to do was spend a day at the zoo. Personally, the zoo makes me sad because I don’t like the idea of animals being caged, but London Zoo was a cute once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience. A lot of the animals reminded me of my cats, particularly the armadillos. One thing I did really love at the zoo was the butterfly house, which was just a room full of flowers and butterflies with gorgeous wings.
Who's a slave to consumerism? This girl.
One thing London has a lot of that we’re lacking back home is markets. There’s Portobello Market, and Camden Market, and Brick Lane Market (which I’m going later to week so stay tuned for a post on it!). I visited the first two on separate days, but loved both of them equally. I could spend a week in these markets and not get bored.
I saw brothels IN REAL LIFE!!!
I went to China Town for the first time and also had bubble waffles for the first time, which were pretty good. You know what else I did for the first time? Saw literal, actual places where you could hire people to…you know. And though I played it cool in the moment, the only thing running through my mind was how bad my mom would kill me if she knew I was in an area like that after dark. I successfully didn’t mention it to her. Until now. Sorry, Mama. I am anticipating the angry phone call already.
Tell London I said it looks pretty at night.
I’ve been on the River Thames cruise and on the London Eye before with my family, but what I really wanted to do was experience both those things at night. As suspected, it was one of the top five favorite things I’d ever done in the city. The river cruise was more fun than the Eye, so that’s definitely something I’d do again, probably a few more times. That being said, the view from the Eye is always incomparable to anything else (yes, even the laundry room on the 25th floor).
Stab me, Villanelle.
If you know the first thing about me, you know I love the murder-mystery TV show Killing Eve. It is, hands down, one of the two best shows ever created (right up there next to Jane the Virgin). I remember watching the first season back when it came out in 2018 and fan-girling over the gorgeous costumes the main character, Villanelle, wore. I remember extensively Googling where she got a dress or a pair of shoes, getting frustrated at the fact that they cost an arm and a leg, then spending hours looking for close and affordable matches. Never in my right mind did 2018 me ever expect to see these costumes in person. And today, I did!
Since this happened about six hours ago, I can account for the fact that I got actual butterflies looking at the clothes. It was surreal seeing them in front of me and if it wasn’t for the CCTV cameras, I definitely would have brought them home with me one way or another.
It's 2AM so let's cut this short.
Basically, London is beautiful and I love it and I can’t believe I get to call it home. I can’t wait to experience more and share it all on here with you guys! Now feast your eyes on this. You’re welcome.