Every once in awhile I get an overwhelming urge to go back to London, or any of the other countries I visited during my semester abroad. Today is definitely one of those days. If only I had an infinite amount of time… and more importantly an infinite supply of money! I definitely would book a trip ;). It sometimes feels like I never spent any time away, let alone over 3 months. I think I may have transitioned just a little too abruptly back to my life in the United States when I returned. I miss my friends that I made there who I saw every day for an entire semester, and now barely get a chance to Skype with once a month. I miss the sense of adventure in it all. Knowing that with a simple Oyster card for the Tube I could go anywhere in the city, and anything I could ever want could be found somewhere within the city limits. (Although not proper hairspray haha.)
(To back up just a little bit for those who are reading this who are unaware of my experience abroad, here’s a brief highlight. I spent 3 1/2 months in London from January to May of 2010 studying at Regent’s American College London. I flew over knowing absolutely no one, embarking on the most adventurous experience in my life. During my time there I met some of my best friends, traveled throughout many parts of the UK and Western Europe, and not only visited London but felt like I truly became a local.)
One thing I still do not truly appreciate is how amazing it is to have this experience in my life. Not many people can say they lived in another country for a period of time, and I think it does stand out. I don’t quite look at the world the same way as I did before I left. I’m not saying it is all due to studying abroad, it may have been the naturally maturing/growing up that I experienced as well, but I definitely think it made me change. I think many people get caught up in their own lives, and isolate themselves from all of the amazing things out there in the world because they are afraid. Afraid of the unknown.
Being confined to one place, one city for too long is now claustrophobic to me. I think most Americans, especially, are limited in what they see in the world. It is not extremely common for families to travel to Europe or Asia, it is much more common for families to visit Disney every year (not that there’s anything wrong with Disney) and only acquire the cultural knowledge and experiences that have been “created” in the World Showcase in Epcot… So for those of you who have not had the opportunity to experience the wonders other countries have to offer, here are a few pictures from three of the cities I visited.