Having to Say Goodbye to the Place That Has Become Home

Hannah Leibowitz Arcadia in London


November 4, 2022

Today was the day of my move out following the conclusion of my program, and in my heart I am not ready to say goodbye. Coming to London, I was nervous that I wouldn’t fit in with the other members of my program and would feel out of my depth, but this place has begun to feel like home in six weeks and the people I am surrounded by have become some of my best friends during this short time. 

I already knew I would love London, but I did not know that a place so foreign to me could transform me as a person and be a place I’ll always feel at home in. I come from a city, but not one that is large like London and that relies on so much public transport. Riding the tube or taking a bus became second nature quickly and I found myself loving how accessible the city was by transport. I feel at home using the tube to get to and from my research position at St. Thomas'. I feel at home walking back from a night of dancing with my flatmates and all agreeing we should stop in the McDonald's to get a late night soda or McFlurry. I feel at home traveling around the city alone, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone for once, and not worrying about what those around me are thinking about me. 

The memory of studying abroad is something I will always look back on fondly. Lifelong bonds have been formed during my time here, as well as irreplaceable memories that I wouldn’t give up in a second. A place becomes a home not because it is where you are staying for a while or even permanently, but because of the emotional connection you have with it. Without making any memories and meeting new people in London, I would not feel so deeply in my heart that this place might be meant to be my home. 

Realistically, I knew that six weeks would never feel like enough time in this amazing city, but this feeling of not having enough time is so strong after having said goodbye to all of my flatmates and moving out. It’s disorienting to not know exactly what comes next, and to know that even if you return to this city someday and it still feels like home, it’ll likely never feel the way it did during these six weeks. I am so grateful for the memories and friendships I have formed during my time in London even as it feels like time is slipping through my fingers and that there will never be enough of it. The only way to say goodbye to London is to remember it can and will always feel like home and to remind myself this does not have to be goodbye forever, just goodbye for now. 


Summer England