Arriving in London

Marble Arch in London (Auna Harvey/UConn School of Business)
Marble Arch in London (Auna Harvey/UConn School of Business)

I arrived in London at 7:31am (also 2:30am “my time” aka eastern standard time). On the plane, I managed to sleep from 9pm until we landed, so after five and a half hours sleep I felt pretty good. A couple of eyedrops in my “I don’t quite want to wake up yet” eyes and I was ready to take on London!

Although I wasn’t hungry, I grabbed the banana from the basket the flight attendant extended to me, already in the traveling student mindset of taking free food when you can get it. And I’m glad I did because that banana did not go to waste!

Coming up the stairs of the tube and seeing London for the first time, that’s when it hit me. I’m really here, I thought. It was an awestruck moment. I took a second to look around and take it all in. I noticed the architecture first, absolutely beautiful. Then, I saw the street shops. After my moment with London (which couldn’t have been any better unless Adele were personally greeting me with a warm donut outside the tube), I thought about my parents. WiFi was the number one mission at that point. I ventured out from the tube to the street, looked to my left and right; right looked good, so I followed it and did a circle or two before I came across a very friendly Starbucks (known for its free WiFi). I popped in and immediately sent out group messages letting everyone know I made it safely. Mission accomplished.

Prior to arriving in London, I searched the exact transit route from the airport to Christina’s apartment (my friend from home who I was staying with). Piccadilly Line to South Kensington, Bus 414 to Church Street Market, Walk .3 miles. With Google Maps, anything is possible, even when all 414 lines are down for the day due to protests. My plan was out the window before I even stepped into the car. But, given the time I had and my excitement to see London, I decided to walk the rest of the way to Christina’s from South Kensington. It ended up being the best decision. I walked all along Hyde Park, saw the Marble Arch pictured above (which felt like a true treasure to stumble upon), and enjoyed the ordinary sights of the city along the way.

The worry and nerves I had felt slowly dissipated with each step away from the airport. I began to find my stride, and that’s a good feeling. There’s really nothing better than taking a big risk that feels way outside your comfort zone and then feeling like you made the right decision afterward. Leaving the country for the next few months is feeling like the right decision.



Auna Harvey ’18
Management Student, UConn School of Business
Auna Harvey is a senior honors student studying Managment. She interned this past summer at Aetna, and has since accepted a full-time position with the company to begin post-graduation in the Spring. As a freshman, she lived in the Business Connections Learning Community (BCLC) and went on to become an RA. Auna is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, and an ambassador for UConn’s School of Business. A fun fact about Auna is she loves to watch movies. In looking ahead to her upcoming study abroad experience, Auna is most excited to try the different foods from other countries. In particular, she really hopes to try all kinds of baked goods.