Great Britain

Click the dots on the map above to view pictures I have taken in these locations.

Being my first big trip outside of the US, my two months spent in England were influencial in shaping me to who I am today. The transformation from before the trip to after the trip was significant to say the least. Arriving in London alone gave me a feeling of sheer excitement that I had not felt in a long time. I had no idea what to expect. I wanted adventure, to see what else is out there, so I kept my eyes wide open the entire summer. I had never spent much time in a large, cultural center like London is. I was stunned by all of the different languages I heard, how people looked different and dressed different, and how everything just did not seem ordinary.

I remember thinking that this would probably be the only chance I have of living outside the country (and how wrong I was), so I was not going to let a single minute slip away. Rather than spending time in the dorm, you could expect me to be out exploring new parts of London. I’d even take the subway to a random stop and try to find my way back to the dorm. Excitement and curiosity took over my life, and I couldn’t have been happier. This was my first experience living in an unfamiliar city. I was hooked.

During my time in London, I worked in the old financial district and lived near the Kings Cross station. Taking the subway to work every day was something new to me. I loved seeing all the people heading to work. They all seemed so important, probably investment bankers or something along those lines. I worked in an office full of internationals; two Italians, several British, an American, a Spaniard, and my boss was from Kashmir. Growing up in small town Illinois, I’d never been around that kind of diversity in my entire life.

Although I was more closed at that time than I am now, I did make new friends from different countries. It was easier to hang out with only Americans but putting in a little effort in meeting others went a long way. I know I could’ve met more people while in London, but I really didn’t know how. I was more introverted and I thought everyone hated Americans. Live and learn.

London is as expensive as they say (plus, the exchange rate was 2 to 1 while I was there). The exchange rate is more favorable now for the US dollar. For the frugal traveler, London is full of fun free things to do. Walking through Hyde Park or Regents Park can be an entire day activity. Or walking around from Trafalgar Square down to Big Ben. The city has many museums which are oftentimes free to enter. London also has many markets scattered throughout town which are fun to explore.

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About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.

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