As I’m writing this blog post, I’m sitting on campus outside on this beautiful day, sipping on my Dunkin Donuts caramel iced coffee and eating a breakfast sandwich. Life really isn’t bad. However, I can’t shake the nostalgic feeling I have to head back to London. While sitting in the sunshine with a Dunkin treat is probably one of my favorite things to do, I’d happily sacrifice all of it for a plane ticket back across the pond.
Today marks exactly one year since I landed at the London Heathrow airport to begin the most exciting three month journey of my life. As many of you know, this blog used to be dedicated to my study abroad experience and sharing my travel stories with family and friends. I’ve found myself occasionally clicking back and reminiscing on all the cool things I did last fall. I’ve recently had the strongest urge to just escape from my insanely busy life, ditch my commitments, and go travel the world. Today is definitely one of those days. I never really made a reflection post about how my study abroad experience has changed my life, so I’m using this as a mini-reflection piece.
While I had my ideas about what London would be like, I never expected to experience all the amazing things I ended up doing overseas. I joined the Roehampton basketball team, made a few best friends, travelled to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France and Italy (twice), and learned a whole lot of stuff about myself.
I know that if I went back to Roehampton today, things wouldn’t be the same. Some of my basketball friends have graduated, my flatmates would be gone, and the Newman 4 crew won’t be living in Newman anymore. Can someone get me a time machine please?
My semester abroad really introduced me to the idea of true independence. While I’m used to being relatively far away from home, three months in another country takes being “away from home” to another level. All I have to say is thank goodness for Skype. The experience of travelling on my own has also helped me grow. I can now take on foreign cities/places with determination and confidence. My sense of direction is so much stronger, and my “street smarts,” as my dad would call it, has improved too. I feel more cultured and drawn to foreign people since returning back to America. Travelling and seeing all the things I did is truly the opportunity of a lifetime (not to sound cliché).
I can’t wait until the day that I visit London again. I need a job that travels. A lot. Since all of this reminiscing is starting to make me sad, and because I have to get to class, this post will now come to an end. Maybe I’ll Skype some of the Newman 4 crew soon to put me in a better mood!