After a busy first week in the UK, I’m glad to say that things are starting to feel like they are falling in place. I got my utilities figured out so now I have gas and electric, and I opened a UK bank account. I even had my National Insurance number (like a social security number) interview which determines what amount of tax I pay and once I have my number, I can use the healthcare here.
Before I get into how my first weekend and second week were, there’s something to note about coming to England. What you will notice early into your time here is that (almost) EVERY SINGLE PERSON, upon finding out you are American, will ask you your view on Donald Trump, and will want to have an at-length discussion about politics in the US. The first few times it happened I engaged in the conversation, but now I’m basically just telling people that I would prefer not to talk about it.
My first full weekend in London was jam packed with things to do. Friday night I went to a Couchsurfing happy hour in Soho (shout out to the host, AJ, who made fun of all my ‘Americanisms’ ;)) which was a lot of fun and I met several people who live in London. Saturday I spent my day in IKEA (am I the only one who finds IKEA confusing?) and then Saturday night I was invited to a flat warming party by another friend. Sunday I signed up through Meetup to do a nine mile hiking trip in the Arundel, Sussex country side. The hiking trip was amazing; I loved the scenery (pictures below) and most people had gone alone so I ended up meeting a few new friends there as well.
Next up is my trip to Wales this weekend. I am taking the bus Friday night from London and staying at a hostel in Cardiff. I booked an all day sightseeing tour of the Welsh countryside (Brecon Beacons National Park mostly) for Saturday which I am really looking forward to. Sunday will be a bit of sightseeing Cardiff before I head back Sunday afternoon. I’m interested to see how different Welsh culture is to what I’ve experience thus far in England.