I spent 30 days in the wonderful city of London, and the experience has left a permanent mark on me and the way I view the world. This may sound like hyperbole, but rest assured, there is veracity in every ounce of that statement.
When I first arrived back home in San Diego, I was shocked by the immediate differences that I noticed between an American and a Londoner. (Yes, a Londoner and not a European. Most Londoners don’t like to be referred to as Europeans.)
“In the five days that I have been back from London, I have found myself very aware of my mannerisms when speaking to others”
The rhythm and beat of how people interacted on a daily basis were radically different than what I was used to. While an American might be a little louder and exaggerated with movements, a Londoner tends to be more reserved and deliberate in speaking. This is a little bit of a generalization, but for the most part, it holds true.
In the five days that I have been back from London, I have found myself very aware of my mannerisms when speaking to others. While it may not seem like a big deal, it actually colors my interactions with other people in new ways.
Another major difference that I noticed was the love of history within London. There is a deep-rooted pride and respect for that which came before. It can be seen with the classic taxi-cabs, the people reading newspapers on benches or the tubes and especially in the architecture. The buildings have an elegance that — from my experience — is unmatched anywhere in the U.S.
While in London, I was lucky enough to be taught by a local Londoner — Professor Makey. He was able to illustrate many of these differences that I speak of through his classroom explorations around the city. He had a deep respect for his profession that I will carry with me as I step into the classroom to teach my students, once I have my teaching career.
All of these differences make London unique. I had to adjust to various changes that I was unfamiliar with. Traveling abroad helped me push past my comfort zone and it opened me up to new experiences and new ways of living.
I am thankful that I have a family that supported me in my travels. If it is feasible, I would recommend everyone travel abroad. You will come back a different person. One who now has perspectives widened and is open to change — the change of a lifetime.
Anthony Lince is a third year English major with an emphasis in teaching. He traveled with the College of Extended Studies London Summer Program.