I realize inserting London into Thanksgiving really has no relevance to “giving thanks”. I’m not “giving London”. But let’s cut to the chase. London has already given a lot to me.

Moving to an unfamiliar city that is 3,575 miles away from home is harder than trying to chew and digest a glass bottle (uh…ouch? I don’t plan on trying that).

Trying to find a place to live for 3 months that is not a street corner, under a bridge, or a hostel is almost tragically impossible. Any real estate agent will laugh in your face and wonder why you can’t stay longer than 6 months. Yes, it happened (along with other infuriating events leading up to it). But we won’t go into that now.

All of that aside…I really just wanted to thank the city of London for all it’s given me so far along with the people who got me here.

.1.
Thank you for giving me a drastically different way of life that I have not experienced before.
Moving to a different country is like reinventing the wheel. In the past week, I’ve had to re-learn my day-to-day lifestyle. I didn’t know where to get food, where to get household supplies, how to get to work, how to use appliances, which way to look when crossing the street, and what coins to use when I’m paying for something.

.2.
Thank you for giving me a profound respect for and reliance on public transportation.
It makes me feel like a functioning member of society. And if you think about it, it also connects me to hundreds of people without an ounce of interaction. It automatically gives me one thing in common with every single person using it as well. Alone together.

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.3.
Thank you for your 3 pronged outlets. But not really. They are weird.

.4.
Thank you for inspiring me to see architecture in an entirely different way. Old and new, in harmony and ever changing.
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.5.
Thank you for giving me the chance to enjoy your endless and unpredictable rain spells.
Glistening reflections on the city streets makes everything – the buildings, the lights, the cars, the people —melt into the landscape as if the ground were an expressionist painting in its most raw form.
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.6. 
Thank you for your incredible diversity in people, arts, entertainment, dance, music, and film culture. There is so much to endlessly experience and learn. I am completely in heaven.

.7.
Thank you to the Wright Brothers, and all the other flight pioneers who made it possible for culture to be experienced in its raw form rather than forever be distant fantasies you read in books.

.8.
Thank you to my employer and my open-minded, flexible managers who have the confidence and trust in me to allow something like this to be possible.
Their enthusiasm for not only company travel, but all-around life experiences extends beyond any I may ever encounter again in my lifetime. I cannot speak highly enough of them.

.9.
Thank you to my colleagues and friends who have already helped make my journey a little easier.

.10.
And finally, the BIGGEST thank you to my family.
It was strange not being home for the Thanksgiving tradition. I know letting me go was not the easiest thing in the world. But you helped me get here and I carry you with me everywhere I go. I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for what you passed on to me: your knowledge, humor and wit, intelligence, decision-making, common sense, determination, and everything in between.

I now see why everyone I knew raved about studying abroad.

Simply living is one big classroom. Experiencing it by working in the real world may be even better than doing it in college. It’s giving me an incredible depth of knowledge on culture, day-to-day office interaction, what makes people tick, and things I haven’t even realized yet.

I have so much to be thankful for. London has so much more to give…

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