Until Next Time, Europe

*Before you read below, be warned that there are feels, and that you MUST listen to this song while reading:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgKAFK5djSk   Ok, now you are ready for the words ahead*

To be quite honest, I’ve been dreading writing this post, because with it my abroad experience comes to an end.

Have you ever gotten so into a book (or movie for those of you so inclined) that you look up from your comfy corner of your nook, three hours later only to realize that the world continued without you, but you couldn’t think of a better way to have spent those few hours? Like a sort of refuge from reality, but creating your own little present?

That has been my last four months.

Not to be clichè or overly poetic (not that I’m a poet, el oh el), but these last few months have been some of the best of my 21 years. I’ve met some of the coolest locals, best friends on and outside of my program, and found a new way of looking at the world. Okay, that’s a tad dramatic. Perhaps not a new way of looking at the world, but rather a more open view, more accepting and tapping into a more carefree, exciting part of myself that I barely knew existed before, or more honestly, was a little bit suppressed.

As I spent 20 hours in London before my return home, I couldn’t help the smile spreading across my face, mixed with the tinge of remorse for leaving such a beautiful place and all of the memories my friends and I made along the way.

My twister and I spent the last 10 days traveling France and Italy, and loved every second of our adventures. That being said, I think we both knew it was time to go home. Transversing borders and time zones, as well as languages and cultures not only instills a level of exhaustion, but also takes a toll on the psyche. Boom I just said psyche. Wow this post makes me serious… feeling some sort of way.

…And the cheese continues:

Those of you reading this that I met in London, local or fellow foreigner, thanks for being a part of this journey. Each of you contributed (in one way or another) to the London experience. That should be the name of a book- coming to a Barnes and Noble (or Waterstones) near you.

Jokes aside, it’s hard to convey in words what these last four months mean to me. Other than the great friends, the mere experience of seeing Loch Lomand without the clouds, standing at the top of the Duomo, walking up Arthur’s Seat (not as impressive… but hey, the name sounds like it is), going to Monaco, exploring Copenhagen, and countless mundane activities made awesome by the fact that I left my friends and family, and went to foreign places (diabetes and all) where I didn’t speak the language, some poor guy ruined my 3 month supply of insulin leftover by putting it in the freezer, (that’s a long, Italian story), and made it back to the good old U.S. of A unscathed. What more could a girl want?

I could sit here and go on and on about my amazing abroad experience (ok, I know, I already have haha) but I think instead of wallowing in the reverse culture shock, I’m going to spend the next two weeks with the family that I love, in a pretty quiet place, until I head to NYC for the next adventure.

As I am now officially a senior in College (projectile vomits) and am realizing that my free days are numbered, I know that I’ll hold these last few months close to me like a life-raft, especially when I feel the pressure of work and the stress of school closing in. I’ve found multiple new happy places, and a new place to think of home.

This will be the last of my abroad posts, but obviously not the end of the blog. So, before I seal that subject, I’ll leave you with something I learned while traveling: no matter how far from home you are, the people you love will always seem close by.

So, thanks for listening to me drone on about my adventures, and stay tuned for more posts this week and next, as there is nothing to do in Jacksonville Florida when your friends are still in school. Le sigh.

Stay golden and in that A.C. peeps.

XX

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