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Kareen Etienne

1st Day in London

By London

Today, the 14th of December 2014, was one of the best days of my life. Thanks to my parents, I had the chance to travel to Paris and London:  two of my favorite cities. It was my 1st time boarding on an 8 hour flight. During the flight to Paris, there was lots of turbulence, but other than that, everything went smoothly.

When landed in Paris, I was so excited to touch the ground of France. I felt the difference between America and Europe. Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to go visit the actual city, I was satisfied with all the people speaking French around me. The walk to our terminal in Paris was pretty long, but I actually enjoyed it. Thanks to the long walk, I had to the chance to explore the airport more. Seeing all the  the beautiful European stores like Prada, Channel, Rolex, and Dior at the airport was amazing. It made me realize how beautiful France may be outside of the airport. My first experience visiting a European country was fascinating.

Our second flight to London was delayed for at least 3 hours. The excitement for London was even more exaggerated. In Paris, the weather was not so great. It was pretty foggy outside with a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius. The airplane also had a technical problem. During the delay, I had the opportunity to talk to my fellow classmates. I speak French and I was so happy to translate for them anytime the pilot made an announcement about the time we were actually going to take off, the weather, or the technical problems. This also reminds me how important it is to know languages. I am a big fan of learning languages. I learned a few Japanese phrases today which was pretty fun. One of my fellow classmates, Mo, taught me.

When we finally got to London, words could not express my happiness. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world because of the structure and antiquity of the buildings. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and being here in the spirit of Christmas is like a dream come true. The decorations on the streets and buildings were beyond beautiful. It was like being in a movie. I taught that I would sleep on the bus because I was so tired but the beautiful view of London was not something to miss.

Arriving at the hotel, we had few minutes to change and hit the streets of London. Walking on the streets of London was breathtaking. We were on our way to the Giraffe restaurant. First we got on the tube, and after, we walked to the restaurant. I expected London to be colder but I am totally in love with the temperature — it felt great!  Walking on the streets, I saw a McDonald’s, which reminds me of the USA.  I didn’t miss it for a bit, except for friends and family.

Giraffe restaurant is like a typical American restaurant. The environment was similar and the foods as well. Even though the ordering of the food didn’t go as well as we planned, I was satisfied with the service. In life, everything happens for a reason. With the misunderstanding of the orders, we had to share food at the table. As we shared food at the table, my classmates and I shared a couple of laughs together, and bonded as a family.

On my way back to the hotel, I came to the realization how lucky I am. I’m an international student from Haiti and this trip is a privilege. A lot of students want to get the opportunity to visit London, and I am actually living the experience. This also enhances my global citizenship as an international student. The hospitality and tourism industry is all about exploring the world. Today, I got the chance to compare the industries in two different countries. Even though there wasn’t much of a difference, this will enable me to become a more successful industry professional with different perspectives of the world. This is one of the most amazing adventures I have been on in my life, and I am very thankful. Today has been a long journey, but it’s all worth it at the end.

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