So I can’t believe my summer is over, and I’m back at Mary Washington for my final year (yes my senior year, I can’t believe it either). Even thought its been a few months since I’ve been back, I keep thinking I’m heading back to London in next week. I miss it so much. Well clearly that’s not happening, but I am very excited to be back at Mary Washington. And I have to say I have been putting off writing this post because part of me doesn’t want to end this chapter of my study abroad. But after hand writing a draft of this post, I realized that although it was the end of my chapter in London, this isn’t the end of my travels. In fact they are just beginning. And right now travelling might not consist of flying off to another country for the weekend but it does include travelling around the United States. It took me a little while but I realized that I haven’t stopped travelling since I got home. My family went to South Carolina in June for a family reunion and to New Hampshire and Vermont in August. The travelling doesn’t stop there either. I hope to have many more years of travelling ahead of me, whether that be by myself or with friends/family. Although I’m sad to be finished with an extended time abroad I’m excited to see where my future takes me!
So now that’s been said, lets get into the meat of the post! I first want to talk about my last few weeks in London, then the week with my parents, our week in Ireland, and finally, I’ll finished the post with a reflection on my time in London/abroad. I’ll also scatter some galleries throughout the post as well so take a look!
The last few weeks in London flew by so quickly! After my trip to Scotland I didn’t do any more travelling so I was in London for a good month and a half. That time was a blast! I went to Cambridge with my program for the day and really learned so much about that city’s rich history. Then my current roommate, Hannah (who was also abroad in Spain) came to visit me on what probably was the busiest weekend in London. You can read about that weekend here. I also made a video of that weekend too!
Then I was so fortunate enough to get to attend the Captain America: Civil War European Premiere! That was one of my favorite highlights from my entire time abroad. I got tons of signatures from people like, Jeremy Renner, Mark Hamill, Paul Bettany, Tom Holland, and the Russo Brothers who directed the movie. I went with a friend who even got signatures from Paul Rudd as well. It was such a fun night and to be able to rub elbows with these big celebrities even for a few seconds was incredible.
My parents flew over to meet me in London on the 1st of May. This was definitely a long awaited trip because it was the longest I’d been away from home. Even though I wasn’t going home quite yet, it was still very exciting to see my parents. My mom did an awesome job picking out where the hotel and flat was in relation to my school. They were only a couple of blocks away and a short walk between the two. It was such an awesome week as well! They did a few things on their own while I had my exam then my semester was complete! I took them all around London, to some tourist destinations of course, but I really wanted to just show them what I enjoyed the most in London. Those included the Sky Garden, Liverpool Street, Brighton, The Docklands and Greenwich. Granted Brighton isn’t in London but I wanted to show them how different the beach was in comparison to how Virginia Beach looks. In each place I took them we went to some of my favorite spots and we even went to some new ones as well! We packed so much into one week that it honestly felt like they had been here for a month!
Unfortunately the time in London had to come to an end. But not the trip! Our next stop was Ireland. My parents and I flew over to meet my sister for another incredible week. We flew into Dublin then headed west to the middle of Ireland where we had our home base. Then each day we drove to different places across Ireland like Kilkenny, Cashel, Dingle, Cliffs of Moher and plenty more. We even got to visit some family while we were over there as well! It was one of my favorite trips of the entire semester. Ireland is so pretty! After a short week, we had to end our crazy week of travel. It was time to head back to the United States. We said goodbye to my sister then headed back to London for one last night.
After arriving home, I oddly felt like nothing had changed since January. It was weird though because tons of things changed in my daily routine, one, because I wasn’t taking classes any more. I was starting my summer jobs at the end of May so I had some time to relax and really reflect on my time in London. In my reflection, I realized how much I had changed actually. I am very grateful for my experiences, navigating a city, learning a completely different culture, experienced plenty of different cultures as well. I travelled to new countries, visited some awesome friends and met some extended family. I expanded my personal skills and even gained some professional skills that I continue to use today. I also learned a lot about the country I was in.
So That’s it! My time abroad has now come to a close (for now)! I’m so glad you were able to join me as I shared my travels and experiences with you!