quinta-feira, 27 de abril de 2017

Arrival to London and first experiences

Hello there reader! This is Manuel writing and commenting and I am about to tell you a thing or two about my internship in London so far. Let's get started, shall we?

London is the biggest city of the entire European Union, a must see for every tourist alike, and one of the most culturally mixed cities that Mother Earth has ever conceived.

The London Eye photographed from a tourist's eyes

But for me London has always been much more than just an epicly large and rich location; I've always felt this strange attraction towards London and, even tho I don't know why or how, I always knew I would visit it some day.

But oh boy, never in my life would have I ever expected to have such an oportunity. It's crazy to think that just some weeks ago I was all laid down on my bed uncertain about my future, relaxed thinking about nothing but videogames, and that now not only am I on the city of my dreams, but also I was offered a job to stay there FOR MORE THAN A YEAR!

The really big London Shard in all it's magesty

Wow! This first month in London has been a huge rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from the highest excitement and enthusiasm to the deepest sadness and despair of leaving behind so much of my life in such a short span of time.

Our own private jet ;)

So I arrived at London on the 23rd of March -several days before I was supposed to (oh clueless me!)- accompanied by my parents and brother who is currently working on Germany, so we took advantage of me moving to London to meet and stay together for an entire week. 

We then found a somewhat affordable hotel near Paddington Station, at around a five minute walk to the most important amenities, such as the coach station or the underground, as well as a Sainsbury's and tons of restaurants.

The first thing I noticed was the severe lack of british restaurants. We were in a turistic area, mind you, but one would expect to find some british-exclusive meals aside from the typical and overrated Fish&Chips. Nevertheless, the variety in food was outstanding in every way; we tried italian food, japanese food, servian menus, mexican burritos, and there were even a bunch of spanish restaurants; it felt like a hub for every culture in one small spot.

One of the cheaper menus in London

This variety in food culture comes as a result of the astounding coexisting set of religions and races that are present along the streets at any given moment. It felt weird at first seeing black people as bus drivers, muslims as hotel owners and business rulers and japanese guys all over the place. It took me around two to three weeks to get used to it.

The Albert Memorial

The London Eye as if it was an ad of a car brand

The stunning Tower Bridge

During that first week with my family we would visit as many places as we could, have lunch, then keep going, have dinner and finally go to bed. It was a really busy time as I had to look for accomodation as well, I felt tired and frustrated as it became increasingly unlikely for me to find a place to live in time before we split up.

In the last day of the week I was feeling sick, not sick for a cold, but because I was uncertain about my future, alone in such a city, mentally confused, with no place sleep in. But like if it were a miracle of sorts, I noticed I received an email from Eloisa, one of the Vassit employees working in the human resources department -we miss you!-. In the email she suggested me to check out a students residency located just 6 minutes away both from Victoria Station and from the office, as some other employee had been living there for the previous two weeks.

The views from my room looking down the street with the Shard on the background

I couldn't be more thankful! That residency is called Holland House, it's in a privileged location and the prize is a joke! Just 150 pounds per week for a double room with breakfast and lunch included as well as a fully-fitted gym!

It was such a big relief, but It all would come to an end the day after, a day that I will always remember, because it represents the first time in my life that I was left alone in the wild without any kind of guidance or help. The following week felt as strange as I was lost. It seemed to last like forever as I was facing so many fears and trying to adapt to a brand new life.

And you know what? Now I don't want to look back! This is a life changer, an experience that made me open my eyes and see the world through wider lenses, and a new opportunity to grow as a person and let go old bindings that only held back my true potential.

For everyone considering doing internship, DON'T THINK TWICE! Do it and let life teach you how wonderful and enriching a trimester can be for you both professionally and personally ;)

Cheers to everyone reading this blog and happy living!

4 comentários:

  1. Moitísimas grazas polas explicacións e consellos, Manuel!
    E parabéns polo contrato, tes moito mérito!

  2. Great article! I know you are a great programmer but I didn't know you have so good writing skills too.
    I'm really glad that you could manage so well to go on in your own and that you are so positive about the experience. I completely agree with you.
    It didn't take me by surprise that they wanted to hire you. I knew you would easily find a job. Congratulations!
    Enjoy your stay in London. There's always something new to see in this big and interesting city.
    Good luck!

  3. Manuel, I loved reading this!! You're a great writer, and I'm so glad that you're enjoying your time in London. Congratulations on the job offer! I've visited London a couple times, and I was surprised each time at the huge diversity of the city--people, food, sights, everything. It sounds like you're in the perfect place to launch your career, and I'm excited to keep following your internship journey. Good luck!!

    1. Hey Maggie, thank you very much for posting! It really means a lot :D