Today I come to you from my kitchen table, at home, in the United States. After a little over a week at home, I feel that I have FINALLY beat the jet lag. It took many nights of waking up at 3 am to get readjusted, but sleeping through the night has been a blessing. However, it has only been just barely a week at home, and I’m already missing everything London has to offer. Here is a (incomplete) list that just barely touches on everything I miss. In no intentional order it includes:
- The tube
- Being able to travel by train, or by plane, for cheap.
- Having national monuments and museums right outside my doorstep
- My family
- The food
- My coworkers
- Basically everything about London.
However, trying to look at the positive side of leaving (if there is one) I’ve also made a list of all the good things about being home (again, in no particular order)
- My family here
- My dog
- My friends from home/ at school
- The food I missed while in England
- No pigeons
- I got to meet Liam Payne from One Direction
It turns out, the lists are pretty similar. It seems to me that no matter where I am in the world, there’s never going to be anything quite like being back at my childhood home. At the same time, it has been incredibly difficult to readjust back to life here. Like I said, there’s nothing quite like being at home, expect now, London is my home. Only problem is, home is now on opposite sides of the Atlantic. I grew so much as a person while in London. I’m more independent and adventurous, and it’s hard to come back to a place where there isn’t much more to explore. And, if I did want to visit somewhere new, I would have to drive a while to get there. That’s another new thing: driving again. While I did drive on the wrong side of the road once (Luckily it was only in my cul-de-sac, and only for a couple seconds) public transportation in London was just so much more convenient than driving (and I didn’t have to pay for gas)!
Since I don’t want to drive for hours every day, it turns out I have a lot of free time now. While a lot has been spent with friends who are slowly returning from college, a lot has also been spent reliving my time in London. It’s strange because while I have so much to talk about in regards to London, whenever someone asks me about it, I feel like I have nothing to say. There is no right way to describe how this foreign country suddenly is a second home. It was an indescribable experience, and yet all I want to do is scream from the rooftops about my time there. It’s a catch-22 that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to properly navigate. For now, pictures and short stories will have to suffice.
Finally, as I’m sure some of you are curious from the last point on my list, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that even after you spend four months in London, and visit family in someone’s hometown, you might have to fly back to the US in order to meet them. (ok, maybe not the biggest lesson, but it’s up there). Yes, since being back, the highlight of my week was meeting Liam Payne. I told him that I have family in the Wolverhampton area, so if any of you guys have a surprise visitor, let me know! 😉 Essentially my radio station, at 6am, announced a place to meet and the first 101 people got to meet Liam. Naturally, we were up at 4 am to get ready, and were already in downtown ready for when they announced where to go. I have absolutely no regrets, and it makes being home just a little bit easier! Also his single comes out in a week, and it’s a bop, so check it out then!
I know that not even this blog post could do justice to my explanation of reverse culture shock, or my time in London. All I can say is that if you have the chance to study abroad, do it! As cheesy and cliché as it sounds, the experience will change your life. I wouldn’t change anything about my decision to study abroad, the adventures I went on will always be close to my heart, and I am already eager to plan my next trip to London.
With that being said, it is now time for me to officially wrap up my final post. For those of you who have kept up with me, thank you so much for coming on this adventure with me. I hope you all get the chance to travel the world. Sending love to my English family, and to London.
For the last time, Cheers!