London 2012: Pre-Departure Thoughts

Only four days to go and I still feel like this Friday cannot come quickly enough. I’ve been planning this trip for the last two years it seems like, and on my last week, it still seems like forever away. There are so many thoughts racing through my head that it’s hard not to sit around and just eagerly await this coming experience.

Even though I am travelling to London for an internship, I cannot help but feel this is a vacation for me. I’m expecting absolutely no downtime. When I’m not at work, I will probably be exploring the city, eating at many different restaurants (dining out is kinda my favorite thing), and generally keeping myself busy. Like last time in London, I rarely slept, rarely slowed down, and was never bored. There’s always something to do and somewhere to explore.

Another thing I’m very excited about during this upcoming trip is visiting Italy for the first time. Although I’m French, I’ve always wanted to experience Italian culture, and with a friend studying in Florence and another close friend living in Milan, I am excited to see what possibilities lie ahead.

England has always had the stereotype of being sophisticated and cultured, and that’s definitely something I expect to encounter living with a host family. I think living with any family other than your own is an experience in itself, but living with an ENGLISH family? Très exciting. I live in California, and therefore the cuisine is very different here from the rest of the United States, so I’m eager to see what kind of cuisine I’ll be subjected to living in East London.

The thing I am most excited about is utilizing the public transportation and making my way alone in a large, cultured, European city. I grew up in a large city (San Diego) but I’ve always had my family chauffeuring me around, and when I finally moved out on my own, I moved to Oklahoma. Not the big, independent experience one was hoping. That, plus meeting people from all over the world is one of my biggest hopes. I love meeting people, and I love experiencing different cultures, so London is the place to do it.

Plus, the Olympics are happening in London this year, so…

The only thing I can say that I’m nervous about is getting overwhelmed with it all. There will be so much going on so quickly, between my internship, classes, transport, exploring, people, and much more, I hope I can handle it.

Also, I hope my host family likes me. 🙂

All in all, I can expect this and expect that, but the best way to travel is to expect nothing and take the experience as it comes, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing when I arrive. But for now, I’ll sit around at home in California and count down the hours until my plane takes off toward Europe.



  1. Panama

    We have lived in a very “posh” area as the English call them not too long ago and it was a completely different scene as to where we are living now. The “posh” area got too expensive and we moved into south east London which is a little bit “dodgy” but not too bad if you know what to look out for. As a general rule, we have found that West London can be quite a “posh” area and you’re more likely to enjoy yourself living there but you could enjoy East London just as much.

    • Justin Racette

      I know what you mean! When you look at the city of London as a whole, East (and South East) London seems the least desirable area when you look in terms of crime rate, wealth and resources. However, London is such a diverse city that you can’t help but to experience quite different areas every few miles. I’ve slowly realized that East London is not as bad as some may claim. When you compare the posh areas, then yes East London isn’t so grand, but when you just look at East London on its own, it’s pretty nice.

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