Travel Log 10 “Encountering Globalization” by Doug Beebe; London, UK

When I first chose to study abroad in London I naively thought that I was going to be surrounded by a sea of english accents and english accents only. But as I started to talk to more people about things I should expect when I get there they all mentioned that London is an extremely diverse and globalized city. Upon arrival, I quickly understood what all of these people were talking about. If you were to walk down any street in London you would come across many different people from various ethnic backgrounds as well as restaurants and stores displaying food and goods from many different regions of the world. I guess you could say that this has become part of Londons charm. On one single street you can get an American style sandwich from Pret-A-Manger (a McDonalds chain), get vietnamese street food, have pad thai at a thai restaurant, curry at an indian restaurant, a burger from a pub, and finish it off at a wine bar for happy hour. This is all part of globalization and the incorporation of so many different cultures into one city. When I now think of London I think of it as a huge melting pot of different people and cultures. Globalization is the concept of cultures, people and ideas traveling across borders and of many different countries and then incorporating into the local society.

There are many times that I think about how diverse London is and how there are so many different people and cultures that have made London their home. I do believe that globalization is a good thing because it makes people more aware of the world and the way people live. The one downside that I see with it though is the fact that when you do travel, its not as excited. You find McDonalds and Starbucks in Italy and all of these European countries and it almost takes away from the excitement that you are in a brand new country. Although in London, I feel that the fact that it is so globalized is almost a plus. It hasn’t given me the experience of living in a really modern and diverse city and being able to live and learn among people from all different walks of life. Part of the appeal about London to me is the fact that I have the opportunity to try out and learn about so many different cultures simultaneously.

Along with restaurants and people and cultures rushing into London, London has become a huge hub for foreign companies and banks of all kinds. This can kind of be related to the video we had to watch this week which discussed a lot of foreign investment and loans. London is growing like crazy with the amount of people from across the world and many of the new flats and buildings that are being built are being bought immediately by foreign investors and not being used, just left empty in hopes to make a profit. This is starting to cause a strain on the economy, representing how globalization, in a sense can be dangerous.

In class we came up with a definition to what we thought a “global community” was. We though that a global community is comprised of all living things who make up smaller communities that are conjoin by thee desire to achieve human rights. I still think that this definition holds true now that I have really living in a globalized community. One of the things that I have noticed the most while I have studied abroad is how tolerant people are of globalization and its affects. A huge role of having a global community is the ability for the people who are originally from there to accept and be tolerant of the people and cultures that are flooding into their cities. 

I chose this picture because the only way to see how diverse and globalized London is is by walking down one of its streets. Like I was explaining before, when you walk down a street you see so many different people, restaurants and stores. For example, you in this picture there is an american clothing store, a large english theater, a McDonalds, Thai and Indian restaurants, and Italian cafes.


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