The front view of Buckingham Palace. The picture is edited to make the image look grainy

Studying Abroad: Settling in

As I've repeated countless times, studying abroad had always been a dream of mine. Even when I was much younger, and still in middle-school, I knew it was something I wanted to do in university. And like all my friends keep telling me, I already did that by choosing to go to U of T. All these comments never slowed me down (nor do I think they meant to), but they did lead me to wondering why I wanted to go abroad. This realization was perhaps a little uncomfortable, but it was something I wanted to come to terms with. To me, going abroad means leaving my comfort zone. When I first got to Toronto I also felt this way, but the awkwardness was cushioned by a number of factors that haven't been present here in London. Multiple times I've had to force myself to go do things on my own. In Toronto, I feel like I never get to do that anymore! In a way, I came to London for the freedom to explore as much or as little as I want, as well as going at my own speed. I came to London because I wanted to become even more independent, re-learn how to be on my own. Although this thought seemed daunting, these first two weeks have proved that, although it won't always be easy, there will always be moments that make it all worth it. Here are some pics of the beautiful places I've seen, mostly on my own, but in some lucky instances with a friend or two. I've gotten to chose exactly where I wanted to visit, and how long I wanted to spend there. But most importantly, I've been able to become comfortable spending time with myself.
A canal running between buildings. There's a boat in the canal and there's a tree on the right side of the frame.
One of the first places I discovered, the Camden canal
View of the Camden canal from a bridge. There's trees on both sides and there is a boat in the canal.
It's a lovely walk, especially right before sunset.
Francesca looking up to a house with a pink facade.
The houses are so pretty in Notting Hill!
An image of the roads leading to a street market. There's a blue house and a yellow house in the background.
And if you're ever in Notting Hill, make sure to visit the Portobello Market!
Francesca smiling outside of Buckingham Palace.
Of course, Buckingham Palace
Monet's artwork in the Tate Modern. It's a piece of his Water Lillies collection.
And a beautiful Monet at the Tate Modern!
          So although I'd love to be posting pictures with tons of friends, I must admit I've done most of it by myself. Luckily, my brother is here visiting, and seeing him has been comforting. Knowing that my mom will be visiting is also comforting. And finally, the fact that people are very nice to me also helps. So yes, although these first two weeks have been a roller coaster, mainly me going through lots of awkwardness and discomfort, it's also me finding beauty through it. Discomfort is not fun to go through, but it helps me focus on the little things, details which I get used to whenever I'm somewhere for too long.

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