A birthday celebration in foggy London town

Spending my birthday across an ocean, in a city where I have no family and no friends, was something I wasn’t looking forward to. I expected to be sad and homesick, missing all my loved ones on that special day. But I realize now that planning to be in London for my 22nd birthday was actually an excellent choice.

The girls I’ve met while here have become like family. Being away from home in such a different place has been an intense experience that has only made the bonds we’ve made stronger and more durable. I remember feeling the fear in the weeks before leaving that I would be alone and lonely because I wouldn’t find many people with whom to be friends. Little did I know then that I would find some of the most interesting, real and caring people in this far away place.

These three girls and I have become each other’s source of comfort and fun. We are planning trips to Florence, Barcelona and Paris together. We reach to each other when we’ve got nothing to do and when we’ve got loads of plans. We experience similar growing pains, like not knowing how to cook or exactly what to do with newly-stained laundry from the washing machines.

So on my birthday, these girls were there and made sure that it was unforgettable. The celebrations began two days beforehand with a big dinner at a local chain restaurant called Pizza Express in Covent Garden. Almost 20 people made it and we ate and drank and laughed and talked. All of a sudden, my birthday wasn’t merely a celebration of the day I was born, but a celebration of all the great things you can do in London…explore, drink, dance and learn.

On the actual day, I got to go back to my childhood and experience one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen on stage, making a dream come to life before my eyes with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious magic and extraordinary sights. Watching ‘Mary Poppins