Do you remember the first time you went abroad? What was the impression you had of the first place you travelled to?
I still remember the feeling of not knowing what I was doing when I first walked into Heathrow (London’s airport). It was my first experience outside of Mexico and it was 2 days after the bombs in the city’s underground so as you can imagine airport and many places were packed with police and security measures which made me feel more nervous than I was before leaving home.
What was my first impression?
– English accent was impossible! They spoke too fast and my English was really bad back then. Going out to the streets was great but at the same time it was tough to ask for directions or buy things. There were moments when all I could hear was not clear at all!
– London’s streets: Organized and clean. It was just amazing to walk along the green and clean streets; people would not bother or give me weird looks.
– English culture: early dinners, tea, pubs, family environment… Perfect!
– Transport: People walking and passing through really fast to get into the underground and awesome double-decker buses are part of London’s unique style.
Everything about this city was perfect and not even the moody weather could change my mind!
After a few years and many international experiences, I went back to my favourite place in the world and despite the fact that I found it completely different, I still think that London is one of the best cities in the world.
What was different?
– Language proficiency: Everything seems different and simple when you are capable of communicating with people around you. Asking where to go or what to do stops being complicated and you’ll discover many things that you missed due to the lack of understanding. The accent is not an obstacle any more! If you like British accent then it’ll be just like music to your ears listening to how people talk and pronounce every single word.
– Moving around the city: You never notice how many things you’ve forgotten about a place until you visit again. Streets were crowded with people trying to reach work and tourists taking photos of every corner of the city which was still organized and “somehow” clean, I noticed that it is possible to find trash on the streets! After all, London is a popular city and crowded places are difficult to keep clean. Double-decker buses are still awesome!
– Culture: After travelling to quite a few places I could finally notice how English people behave and what kind of things they like to do. The first time I was just impressed by everything they do but didn’t really care about analysing or observing every small detail.
Is it possible to love a city?
Of course! When you are a language lover and big fan of travelling you will for sure visit many places and you’ll get the chance to compare hundreds of them, share your opinions and views but most of all you will learn how to deal with different cultures.
I’ve seen many things and until now London is the perfect place (no matter the financial situation or defects). I think you can feel connected to a place if you really love what’s in it: culture, people, language, architecture, etc.
What is your favourite place in the world? Why do you like it so much? Share your comments in the boxes below and let us know about your experience!