What To Expect When Living In London

Tori Ford
Fashion Merchandising and Design: Design and Development
Regent’s University, United Kingdom, Spring Semester 2017

Okay, let’s talk money ladies and gents. As the semester rolls on, I realized the importance of making a budget before going abroad. London is an expensive place, but if you stick to a budget, you can make it through. I see why God says we have to know the state our flocks, or in modern day terms, money stacks. Gotta ball on a budget, peeps.

One of the bigger things on the budget: the food. DELICIOUS but it can be expensive. Some tips on going out to eat. Remember the tip (gratuity) is automatically included even if they didn’t deserve it (I call it, extending some grace), and make it clear you want tap water. Otherwise, they bring out the fancy bottle of water that’ll end up on your bill later. The best places for me when the cafeteria was closed, were Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s. Though, I spent most of my time at Tesco’s. My roommates would say I was a die heart ambassador of Tesco’s but that’s because Tesco’s came through for me every time! The grocery store has food that is affordable for students and it was 24 hours, which was great for the night owls who had late night study sessions (me almost every night). I must say, the food is healthier than the United States. Even the microwave dinners were fresh, never frozen and they were not made with preservatives and the like. This did not come as a surprise because I knew Europe’s health standards are higher than the United States. I also appreciated the variety. The food ranged from typical English food to yummy Indian food. Surprisingly enough, the kind of food I ate the most was Indian food. I did not expect that to be the case but I have discovered so many tasty dishes!

I reluctantly veer away from the food topic to discuss the L-word: laundry. I have 3 words. Empty your pockets. Laundry was not affordable. To wash and dry one load cost about 5 British pounds which was almost $7.00! I was not aware how costly it was so I was happy to have packed one of my suitcases just for clothes. Since I had so many clothes, I did not need to do laundry until the end of the month. When that time came, I hand washed a lot of my clothes and hung it dry or threw it in with my roommates’ dry load. In total, I only had to do laundry with the machine twice in the whole semester! You read it right folks. For the resourceful bunch, this is a great way to cut cost.

Because I did not want to do laundry too often, I did not work out as much. Though, I have found that London was the home for cardio junkies for sure. People were either walking, running, riding a bike or doing plyometrics and endurance training in the park. I did my cardio during nice days, after prayer and Bible study. Checking exercising off my list early was the best thing for me.

Photo by: Heather McFarland

Another tip is to walk everywhere. Heather and I wanted to walk to as many places as possible. Our walking trips also included going to some cool museums. Victoria and Albert Museum, Zoology Museum, and Natural History Museum to name a few. Check out the pictures! I tried to pick my favorite for you all.

Peace and blessings,

– Tori

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