London, finally! After four months full of anticipation, and a Week 10 full of tight deadlines and a stressful move out, I finally made it to the place I looked forward to being in the most. As a Puerto Rican, and travel junkie, I’ve had the chance to experience many cultures throughout my lifetime, and create a cultural identity of my own! However, this experience is different. I’ve realized that I’m not away for a two week vacation accompanied by my family and friends, nor is this simply a 3-hour flight away from home; I’m living thousand of miles away from everything I know, with a significant time difference, and immersed in a totally alien environment all on my own.
In these past few days, I’ve really engaged in particularly getting to know English culture. On Saturday afternoon, my fashion design crew and I went for Afternoon Tea, a tradition practiced since the 18th century.
We’ve also eaten lots of fish and chips, and sipped on some local ales at street pubs.
On Sunday, we rode the Big Bus Tour around the city, where we got to know some of the most famous landmarks, and other not-so-well-known facts about the city. For example: London is one of the greenest capitols in the world as a product of the Clean Air Act, which started in 1956 to clear the smog produced by pollution coming from industrial establishments. We even got to see “The Play That Goes Wrong” in a theatre in Covent Garden, a play full of British jokes and humor!
However, British culture isn’t the only thing that makes this city unique. London is a place of diversity, where all sorts of cultures coexist. As I walked through Hyde Park, and along Bond Street, it was incredible how I heard a different language every ten steps of the way. London, being one the most cosmopolitan, complex cities in the planet, attracts people from all over the world that come to the city for all sorts of purposes. No wonder it is one of the leading fashion capitols! Being introduced into this culturally diverse setting has truly been an eye-opening experience, and has made me realize how much there is yet to know and haven’t been introduced to. It has also made me realize how, just like myself, many people carry their own cultural roots wherever they go, and have become part of who they are.
Hopefully, the next two months are full of more adventures, growth and fun times!