The summer after graduating high school, I moved (temporarily) to a new country. I was 17. That sounds kind of insane to many people– but it wasn’t. When I decided to complete my first semester in London England with the Arcadia FYSAE (first-year study abroad experience), I was ready. I was ready for a change. I was ready to completely immerse myself in a new world. I wanted to experience new foods, people, sights and more. And this is exactly what I did.
It is often difficult to relay my FYSAE experience to others. Most of the time I say, “it was incredible” or “I loved every minute”. But this is not satisfying enough for some. They want to hear the juicy details and epic stories of my time in the UK. But there are just so many to share. I could tell the aunts and uncles about the time I lost my Oyster card and searched the city for it never to be found. Or, I could tell the friends of friends about the time I spent my 18th birthday collecting rocks on Brighton beach. Or, I could chat about the time I got food poisoning in Paris or credit card fraud in Rome (both important learning experiences). Although, it is much easier to tell them “I had an amazing time”. Sharing those secret stories makes me yearn for the time when I felt like a local in London. A feeling that I am seeking again.
So instead of sharing my personal experiences with others after, I am hoping this blog can keep a diary of the stories along the way. That way when I get home, I can say, “I had a great time, read my blog for more”. Then I won’t have to relive and miss London, but rather my friends and family can live it with me. Oh, I guess I should have mentioned this earlier- I am going back to London, today! (Well, not when your reading this, but while I’m writing it.) I am sitting in the JFK airport watching the frantic holiday travelers return home and spying on the obvious other study abroad students about to leave the U.S. Tomorrow, I begin my second semester in the UK. I will be completing the Arcadia London Internship Program. My internship will be at the London Bureau- the CBS branch in Europe. I am so excited to experience London in this new way. I can’t wait to learn from CBS and live an adult work life (as much as a 19-year-old can). I am living in Princess Elizabeth House again, and I know as soon as I get there that “London feeling” will instantly return.
Anyway, I’ve always kind of thought of myself as a journalist. Even when I’m just observing and not writing, I like to analyze my surroundings to remember them. I am hoping that this blog can show how exciting returning to a country can be. With a new perspective and new opportunities, the same country can be just as exciting. Arcadia is such an amazing place for study abroad and many students try out different countries every year. I was actually able to go to Vietnam for $300 last spring.
But I am returning to London because I loved it that much. I am going to go to new places and try even more things because London can offer that. I am so excited. I’ve compiled a new list of things to do and see. But I am also excited to walk down the street, go grocery shopping, take classes and feel at home. :)
I feel like the airport is the perfect place to write about travel. I feel inspired by the other adventurers, and I want to start the next chapter in my travel journey ASAP. My writing can often bounce around, but imagine it as my stream of consciousness. I am listening to John Mayer, trying to drown out the screaming babies, and writing about my exciting upcoming four months in London. And I’m ready, again.