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The big purpose of writing this blog is to share the experience of my amazing summertime living in London without my parents. Traveling, and studying with a tourist visa. It is not as easy as I dream, but it is a trade with valuable experience. After the end of the freshman semester, I went to England, London to study a summer short course at the University of the Arts London (UAL) and have a nice holiday with my Thai distant relative family who are citizens in England. I want to review how funny I’m when I panic and randomly do something embarrassing in front of strangers. Let me take you guys to my London experiences. 

The first flight alone to a new world

Late in June, my mom and dad drove me to Suvarnabhumi airport with a little concern about my self-reliant journey. My nature is a panicked person and self-conscious at times, so the reason why they are worried is that I will transit the wrong flight and get lost in the galaxy. It’s so hilarious, my mom is so worried about being far away from each other for two months while I only focus on imagining myself in London with the whole freedom unlimited. By the way, this is my first time traveling across the country alone, unexpected that my parents were very brave to send a little girl to a big city like London. Firstly, I booked Bangkok-London with Etihad Airways which took 12 hours to arrive at the destination. Because I had to transit the airplane to Abu Dhabi, and some terrible situation happened. 

When I arrived at Abu Dhabi airport, I bought a sandwich that cost 50 Dirhams ( Abu Dhabi money currency). I already made sure that I can pay with Pound sterling cash and they said yes; however, the employee returned the change to 50 Dirhams which is 500 baht if compared to Thai currency. I try to ask them to change the method to pay, but they refuse me. I’m so infuriated with cash in my hand that it matters in this country but it’s useless for me. Why did they give me Abu Dhabi currency cash even though I will leave Abu Dhabi in just a few hours? There is no internet and I want to vent about how I feel right now to my parents, so all I could do was confront many thoughts and record the video talking with myself alone in front of a camera. Others looked at me strangely, but I care about my money issues more than gossip from strangers that meet just a few seconds. What should I do? I try to figure out how to use this money’s worthiness. Lastly, I went to the souvenir shop to buy a big pack of chocolate with Abu Dhabi currency cash. It was the best choice to improvise. 

At 3 AM, It was time to get on the airplane with a big package of chocolate and fly to my destination, London. Sleeping in an airplane, looking forward to my first experience traveling in Europe. It’s time to adapt myself to a new world and new cultures…

Welcome me to London, look at the sky when airplanes descend to land, me in Heathrow airport with 2 huge pieces of luggage walking out to the beginning of a unique civilization. Let’s review how I can survive in England.

Food, Supermarkets, and burnt sausage by me:)

my favorite supermarket

As we all know, the cost of living in England is extreamly high, 1 pound is equal to 43 Bath. My family advises me to economize, by buying ingredients from the supermarket and showing my talented cooking skills. To be honest, I’m so nothing with how to cook. Gratefully, there is one supermarket opposite my house named Aldi’s with the cheapest price for food and stuff. So I went to Aldi’s twice per day because I fell in love with foreign fruit and cheese that Thailand doesn’t have and was too expensive. Who said buying food from supermarkets takes a small price? On the other hand, I bought a lot of ingredients because I’m so excited about something I have never seen in my own country. It’s very embarrassing, I have no idea about what to cook for my meals, so I cook an English Breakfast with 2 eggs and 2 sausages every morning and evening as a routine. I have been eating raw sausage because of my lack of cooking ability. Even though the outside of the sausage looks burnt, it is believable that I do not get diarrhea or cancer because of my food. Other than that, I was cooking with a lot of smoke in the kitchen without turning on the cooker hood, instantly the fire alarm went on loudly. I ran 4×100 to turn it off suddenly. Thankfully, my neighbor was not aware and knocked on my door. Even though my food tastes strange, I must eat it to survive. Therefore, I want to warn everyone

“don’t lead me to cook, otherwise, your kitchen will be explosive”

Transportation in London takes me somewhere?

My house is located in Zone 4 of London which is quite far from the center of the city. The train station that is nearest my home is Anerley station which is overground. Sometimes, there are strikes (train and bus drivers refuse to continue working because they need more salaries causing some stations to reject opening those days), which made my plans messier to take an overground and then transfer to another bus. My home was too far, not too surprising why I often took both the overground and tube to go somewhere. The peak story is every week, I will emerge at the wrong station with the question that pops up in my head “where am I in the world???” The habit of always missing the trains causes me to always be late when I have to meet someone. I am quite disappointed in myself a bit, but every rush hour makes me passionate to be on time and currently, I can do it!

UAL at King’s Cross Station

I booked the short course, branding strategies at UAL Central Saint Martins. Actually, I study for just one week only, with one and a half months left over for traveling instead. I have a lot of experience from UAL. One week in UAL teaches me how to manage time and be on time, although I am always 30 minutes late every day which is a waste of my parents’ money and I am guilty of my mistakes. Every day, I will leave home with wet hair and eat fruit as breakfast during the walk to Anerley, because I woke up too late. Then, I ran into the station before missing the train again, causing everyone to think of me as a nut. King’s Cross station is the center place that gathers a total of trains in the city and outside the city, so the station is too huge. When I went to college, the issue was that I regularly lost my way in the station. Referring to education in UAL, staff and teachers work systematically with modern structures of college and technical communication. I also got one Asian friend from Japan and she was very pleasant to me. Lastly, UAL is the university that provides a varied course for people who intentionally prefer to study intensely diverse branches of arts.

List 4 of my favorite activities

  • Picnic in the park

I learned how to live as a Londoner. The majority of Britain prefers to relax at the park on holiday by bringing some snacks, appetizers, and drinks for chilling and talking with a group of friends. I also prefer to live in natural surroundings. I went to the park every week to hang out with my seniors, listen to music, chill out, etc. Even though summertime causes strong sunshine, the trees in the park make the surroundings cooler. A peaceful place for me to spend time reflecting. 

  • Musical Theater 

There are various kinds of musicals in London, each performance was set in a different location of theater around London. When I was in England, I always chose the music of Disney animation and booked the ticket online which cost 1000 baht per seat. I have watched Beauty and the Beast, Phantom of the opera, Frozen, 101 Damechain, and another list of musicals available in the UK, but I didn’t watch other musicals except what I mentioned. The structure of the performance was using the ultra-modern technique to build up the perfect performance, whether it is actors, props, presence, effects, and sound. The show makes the audience, including me, excited to watch the performance very professionally. I’m so proud to present to all of you guys to watch the musical in England for once.

  • Oxford street after class

If you come to visit London, you might know Oxford street including a lot of shops and restaurants in the heart of London. Even though the prices of food and stuff might be more expensive than outside of urban areas, it’s a center for gathering tourists. Oxford Street is a place to allow people who are buskers that want to show their talent to the crowds who walk through. I like to shop at Oxfords street after finishing class. Many brands in Oxford street have a discount, causing me to go shopping as fast as possible. When I have nothing to do, I like to find some burger restaurants to eat at and stroll along Oxford street. 

  • Brighton beach

It was my first time wearing a bikini, I felt more confident in my body because of the culture in Europe where people do not judge the dress up of women, which makes me comfortable wearing it in England only. It is the best experience for me to have a macaron, an alcoholic drink, and sunbathe in the early afternoon. The Brighton trip caused me to change to tan skin, but I love it! 

Lastly, England is the biggest change in my 19 years old experience. It was a wonderful journey with new experiences, community, and culture. I am learning how to live without parents and facing problems alone. Furthermore, The money that my parents paid to send me to England is worth my experience in helping me grow up and understand the important goal or how to prioritize the level of responsibility. The best thing that I learned from England is love from my relatives, a family who took care of me as a real parent while I’m in London. I learned how to self-love because they shared their warmth with me.  After all,  my summertime was so amazing and memorable for me.

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