7 ways in which England changed me

The Playlist has been updated 🙂 London in the Rain!

End of December came and it was time to go back home, four fantastic months have passed by in a blur. I started to count the days and hours with sadness, I had made of London my home, I had discovered the world within a city, I had walked and explored at my leisure without worrying of anything, I had learnt to love the constant rain, the cold and even the short autumn days.

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Houses of Parliament 

As I packed my suitcases I reflected on the many ways in which I had grown up and changed over the past four months. I was going back to Peru with a huge bag of incredible experiences that changed something in my very essence:

One: I became fluent in English, despite studying it when I was in school, it wasn’t until I lived in England that I could see it’s true value. I remember being upset when dad signed me up for the English course during school vacations! Now I was grateful for it. Speaking English gave me the opportunity to study, meet people, and travel without limitations.

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Penguins in Liverpool – 2009

Two: Speaking of languages, I had the pleasure to meet people from many countries, whom happily taught me to speak some words in their own languages, and learnt some Spanish in exchange. This created stronger friendship bonds and reinforced the value of learning languages to break barriers, there is no more FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) if you learn a new language and interact with people in a more authentic way.

Three: In London it is quite common to see people reading, on the tube, buses and parks whenever the weather allows to sit under the sunshine. Not only in London but also everywhere else, specially on the trains from city to city. Only then I realized it had been long since the last time I read a book! So taking advantage of the huge bookstores I immersed myself back in the stories, lived the plots, cried and laughed with the characters. I could let my imagination fly, to live different lives at once, I still do!

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Statue of Lady MacBeth – Stratford Upon Avon 2009

Four: I discovered a particular love for Museums, since most of the museums in England are for free. There is not time enough to see them all, but my top are: The Natural History Museum, The imperial War Museum, The National Portrait Gallery and of course The British Museum. I love how nicely organized they are, where I could embark in a story of history, and not just look at a collection of objects.

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Natural History Museum

 

Five: It opened my perspectives in unimagined ways. As I often say to my friends: I felt like I was living in a bubble where everything was safe, I knew everyone and everything, a pristine comfort zone, but once out I could see how much I was missing out, it didn’t look that nice anymore. I had travelled on my own, organized my trips, taken good care of myself in unknown places, learnt to listen to my gut feeling, even more, I broke my introversion and made new friends.

I learnt things about me I didn’t know till then, and I liked what I found out. It takes some serious courage to travel solo, I met many women traveling solo everywhere I went, and there are more out there all around the world. We experience life differently, we see risk, comfort and adventure differently, and we enjoy each moment with a different perspective.

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Trafalgar Square – Favorite spot in London! 

Six: For a person who worked in the tourism industry, the experience to live abroad was rich in many ways. First of all, I appreciated even more the effort that people from this part of the world made to flight long hours to visit Peru. I could now relate to where they came from, I could build genuine empathy with them because I was part of their world for a little while.

Seven: I could see with different eyes the richness of my own culture, everything we have and everything we are, from jungle to coast, through our beautiful highlands. I could acknowledge that despite having one nationality we Peruvians also hold great cultural diversity, which we don’t value enough sometimes.

Those were seven – seven because it is my favorite number- ways in which travelling, studying and living in England had changed me. I was curious and adventurous enough to make the most out of four months.

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Since you’ve been patience to read all the posts, here it is a Picture of me back in 2009 🙂

Hard as it was to leave, I promised to myself I would come back for more, now a part of me stayed in the places I’ve been, I had a new sense of belonging. What the future had for me you will discover in the next stories…

Cheers

Hasta pronto! See you soon! Auf Wiedersehen! A presto! Au revoir!