Well I've managed to wrestle shut my overstuffed, overweight suitcase. I had my last serving of fish and chips at my favorite pub and I said goodbye to all of my friends as they have filtered away one by one over the past three weeks. All signs point to the bittersweet fact that it is time to go home.
To label my time here as "incredible" would be an understatement. It was extraordinary, life changing even. I have learned so much here that I could never have read in books or watched in films. Take these pictures for instance:
The people in these two pictures represent 10 different countries. That is 10 different worldly views, 10 different sets of politics, 10 different upbringings, and 10 different experiences that I have had the great fortune of being apart of. The people I have met here have given me so much and have taught me even more. I cannot thank them enough for everything they have shared with me and I am eternally grateful that our paths have crossed and I am able to call them my friends.
There is no better experience than traveling. I look back at myself five months ago before leaving for this adventure, I was terrified, I couldn't stop crying, and I couldn't believe I was leaving home for 5 WHOLE MONTHS! Geeze, now here I am on the other side of this journey, a somewhat changed person, and I think to myself "Where the hell did the last 5 months go?" Time truly does fly. Its so funny to think that this place I was so scared to come to has become my home. I will truly miss every aspect of my day-to-day life here, from public transportation to the homeless man with new shoes who has become a permanent fixture in my landscape. Recycling, composting, using a clothesline instead of a dryer, farmers markets, museums every weekend, fine art everywhere, no high fructose corn syrup, all of these seemingly small details have made my time here such a pleasure, they are small differences that make up the larger picture of my life in London.
This has been a growing experience for me as well. I have learned so much about myself that I don't think I would have ever realized otherwise. For instance, I prefer trains to any other form of travel. I can read maps. I am able to navigate major cities, and fairly well! If I never have to drive again I would be happy. I know that I want to ultimately settle down in a place outside of a city with public transportation. I know that life is what you make it, and I am capable of being happy anywhere. I love rhubarb. I love my family and friends, and I never realized how much they meant to me until I left. Overall, I've come out of this with a stronger sense of self. I am so much more confident in myself, more than ever before.
As happy as I am to go home to my life in New York, I am just as sad that my time here has ended. However, I cannot be sad, I can only be thankful for this experience and opportunity. I know this isn't my last adventure, how could it be? I've been infected with the travel bug. Changing your life even just for a short amount of time can teach you so much and give you opportunities you never knew existed. Please friends, go travel, go see the world, go meet other people, don't be afraid, just go. Thank you for following my journey.