Oh, the Places You’ll Go

It only seems fitting that my favorite childhood author would provide the words that encapsulate my first true adventure as an adult.  I know Theodor Seuss Geisel didn’t have my study abroad experience in mind when he wrote this famous tale.  However, his words do a remarkable job of conveying nearly every emotion and experience I had throughout the last eight and a half months.  As I  sit here and write this back in Wisconsin it seems unreal to me that my adventure on the other side of the world is over.  I know I’ve probably sounded like a broken record, but time has flown by quicker than I ever thought it could.  It seems like only yesterday that I was stepping off the plane at Heathrow with two full suitcases and a whole school year ahead of me.  Since that moment my life has been filled with some of the greatest places, people, and memories I will ever have the fortune of experiencing.  In the few short days since I’ve been back I’ve heard nearly all the questions regarding my time abroad.  However there’s one in particular that always amuses me.  “Was it worth it going for a whole year?”  My initial reaction is usually a tiny laugh, which is shortly followed by “worth every single second”.

Only part of the London family

 

I know it’s impossible to condense my life in London into a casual conversation, but I wish so badly that I could for everybody that I know.  I wish I could explain what it’s like to wander around Hyde Park for an entire afternoon or how the wonderful bagels on Brick Lane taste.  It even expands more so when I reference the numerous countries I visited around Europe.  There’s absolutely no way in which I could describe the atmosphere inside the Sistine Chapel or explain how powerful an experience it was to visit a former concentration camp.  Every single day over the past eight and a half months was filled with new challenges and remarkable opportunities.  I know it’ll take some time before I can truly appreciate everything that’s just happened, but I’ve already taken so much from it.  So for anybody out there that is even slightly considering studying abroad I have one recommendation for you.  Just do it.  Apologies to Nike for the copyright infringement, but it’s the simplest answer that I have.

A final glimpse of Buckingham Palace

 

I’m a person that usually picks my words very carefully, and I don’t hesitate at all when I say studying abroad is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.  It sounds cliché but it really has changed the way I look at certain things and conduct myself as a student and a citizen.  I found myself in situations I could have never imagined before and learned from every one of them.  However, the single best aspect of studying abroad is without question the people.  I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to meet so many incredible people from all over the world.  My experience wouldn’t have been half of what it was without all of my amazing friends in London.  Having to say goodbye to everyone was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in awhile, but I know that I’ll see all of them again somewhere down the road.  Again, I feel like I could ramble on about my experience for days on end.  The real message I want to relay in this final post is how unbelievable studying abroad is and I encourage anybody and everybody on campus to consider it during your time at UW.  I guarantee you won’t regret it.  Lastly, I want to thank everybody that has taken time out of their day to read a little about my experiences.  I know that I’m no Dickens or Tolstoy, but I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to share some of my adventures on this blog.  For all of the stories on here I’ve probably got hundreds more in my head so don’t ever be shy to ask because I’ll be more than happy to share.  So as I sign off for one last time I want to say thank you to everybody and let Dr. Seuss have the final words…

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…

be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!