Weeks are going by in a flash here. I’m already two weeks into the 14-week program and can’t believe I’ve been here for so long. It’s beginning to feel a bit more like home and a lot less difficult to understand.
I came to London assuming that I’d spend most of my time alone. I tend to do things by myself and really enjoy exploring by eating at a table for one or sitting in museums under the anonymity of a single body. But, there’s something comforting about enjoying dinner while laughing with friends.
I fell into a group of girls who make everything a bit more fun. There’s something about having girlfriends to get dinner with or plan fall break with that is so special. I’ve never been one to have a close-knit group of friends, but having one here has made the away from home situation so much more comfortable.
I still do the “table-for-one” thing every week. That’s usually the night I have budgeted for my “going out” meal. This week, I went to a place called Lina Stores. It’s a cute little Italian place that gets absolutely packed. There are a few perks to being a table for one, the first being that they can almost always seat you. I wound up at a little barstool outside, looking in through a window. It was absolutely perfect.
I ordered a white wine, the first drink I’ve gotten with a meal since being here, and a pasta called Gnudi because my waitress said it’s amazing. Her recommendation was spot on.
Dining alone can seem intimidating, but I think it’s one of the best things to do after a long week. It gives you a chance to sip your wine and feel pampered while you watch the people inside the restaurant interact. It also offers some time for reflection. While I slowly ate my food and sipped, I was able to fully recognize how lucky I am to be in London and with the people that I’m with.
Then, I went home to my friends and found myself laughing until it was time to go to sleep.
Going out to eat in a group is a different experience. It’s not less exciting or soul-satisfying, it’s just different. My girl gang dressed up and went to Bill’s. It’s empowering to be in a group of beautiful, strong women because it spreads their confidence by association. Walking down the street feels good. Their supportive words fuel and energy that keeps a smile tugging at the corner of my lips.
When we talk, it’s hard to remember that we’ve only known each other for two weeks. There’s still so much to get to know about these people and I get to do it for more months to come. So, use this as your introduction to the characters in this study abroad story because I’m sure they will be coming up a lot in future posts.
A table for one is nice, a table for five is fun, and I’m so grateful that I’m ordering a table at all.