Welcome to my blog!! My name is Renee! I am a junior studying Environmental Biology at Tulane University. During this summer, I will be interning in London, England for The Conservation Volunteers. Through this internship, I will be able to pursue my passion for environmental conservation and explore the various parks and green spaces in London. As this is my first adventure abroad, my time interning in London holds many exciting possibilities.
"One's destination is never a place. It's a new way of seeing things." ~Henry Miller
As I think of my first few days abroad, these words ring true in my head. Before I actually arrived in London, my idea of this foreign city was just a place; London was simply a location, a word on my boarding pass. It wasn't until I actually stepped foot in the vibrant, multicultural, and bustling streets of London did I realize that this destination is much more than a place, but rather " a new way of seeing things." In the few days that I have been here, I have been surprised by the differences in this new lifestyle. For instance, cars driving on the left side of the road and some of the British slang have continued to leave me utterly confused. Also, it is both shocking and amazing to walk around a tube transportation station and be surrounded by people with many different ethnicities, languages, and backgrounds.
Exploring London has given me a new perspective, helped me form friendships, and truly brought this destination to life. Through the CIEE orientation, I have seen many historical sites, such as the Buckingham Palace and the Hampton Court Palace.Visiting these sites with other fellow interns has helped me form friendships with the other interns. You know you have a solid group of friends when you spend upwards of 20 minutes wandering around lost in the Hampton Court Maze before you finally find the exit (or the 'way out' as the British say!). One day during orientation, we took a bus tour of the city! Looking at the beautiful architecture of London while listening to a very knowlegdable tour guide truly gives you a new appreciation for the city's history and culture.
Coming to London has been more than traveling to a point on a map. This destination has given me a new perspective. In these first few days, I have had a glimpse into what it is like to live in a completely different time zone, in a city in which "over 300 languages are spoken" (check out this article containing fun facts about London!). If this first week has been any indication, the rest of my summer in London will be amazing! The start of my abroad experience has been insightful and magical, but it's only just begun! The journey starts here.