FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Week Six

by James Kenvin

Oct 15, 2014

© Chris Sargent | Dreamstime

Study Abroad
© James Kenvin

© James Kenvin

James Kenvin checks in weekly from his study abroad semester in London; catch up with him every Wednesday on Trazee Travel.


This week, one of my class assignments was to see a rendition of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. The theatre was in an area of London that did not fit my image thus far of the nice, clean city, filled with proper, well-dressed people. It was an “A ha!” moment. So, this is what people mean when they refer to the Chelsea Bubble.


Living in a particularly nice, convenient area of London, it’s easy to find yourself never leaving. That bubble popped (more like exploded) the second I walked out onto the littered streets of Peckham Rye. Although this experience may sound negative, it actually wasn’t. The area reminded me of Philadelphia — at least the part where Temple is located — so I had an odd feeling of being home. This town helped me see a different London. Since I am living here for an extended period of time, I forget that I am not just a student, but a tourist who should be exploring the city as much as possible. By the time we got back to the train station, the last train to Chelsea had left. We had to find another way back to the “bubble,” so my classmates and I hopped on a different train and navigated the rest of the way from there. I wasn’t nervous about being lost. It gave me the opportunity to discover more of London, altering my original image of the city to reflect more of the truth. Exploring the nuances of the city made me feel more like a Londoner rather than a foreign student.


So, there I was, laughing with the friends I had met only weeks before, trying to find our way home — a word that seemed weird as used to describe my small flat in London, but at that moment … fit perfectly.



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