I wanted to say thank you to a few people. Thank you to Jess Blank (my brother's GF) for giving me a lot of advice, and helping me make my decision. I really appreciate it. I want to thank Bob Cowser and Jeannine Wyman, our program directors, for making life in London very easy to adjust to, and a lot of fun. I want to thank my host family, the Daley's, for being welcoming and easy-going while Julia and I lived with you. You are all great. Thanks to everyone in the program, I've had a lot of fun getting to know you all, see you back on campus in January! And lastly, I want to thank my parents for allowing me to go. It was a bit of a struggle to get you both on board with this, and I want to say thanks for trusting me enough to let me go. You are the best.
Now, as some of you may know, I am a very organized person, and I love making lists, so I have made a few lists for you all to enjoy. I've also written down the 15 most important things I have learned while being abroad, in the hopes that maybe some of you will read these and apply them to your own travels. Here goes nothing:
Favourite Cities/Destinations (other than London):
- Edinburgh (did this surprise anyone?)
- tie between Dublin and Oxford
- Fish n' Chips
- Reindeer (yup)
- The Full English Breakfast
Favourite places in London:
- Hyde Park/Buckingham palace (Lizzie II is my best buddy, we jam hardcore)
- Waterloo area
- Imperial War Museum
- Churchill War Rooms
- Portobello Market
- Ice Wharf
- Tiger Tiger
- Dandelion (in Dublin)
- Ice Bar
- Kopparberg Pear Cider
- Bulmer's Cider
- Pimm's Lemonade
- Carlsberg Beer
- Yorkshire Tea (hehe)
And now, for the 15 most important things I learned while abroad:
15. Never be afraid to break out your Mufty's.
14. Don't worry, Jeannine will fix it.
13. When in doubt, go to Primark. It will solve all of your problems
Coming from me, this next one will surprise some of you
12. Try not to be afraid of doing new things
11. Sarcasm is one of the best forms of humor, and the Brit's have it down to an art form.
10. Always, no matter what, MIND THE GAP.
9. Never have a bag that is bigger than you on EasyJet or RyanAir.
8. Always go to a hostel where a very large man named Toni knows your names.
7. When at a club, always expect the unexpected.
6. Wherever you go in London, know how to weave through a crowd.
5. Go to the Tate Modern, and feel really stupid for not understanding any of it.
4. Don't be afraid to find every important Harry Potter destination, because you are not the only one doing that. Everyone is. Magic is everywhere in London.
3. When your day is the worst, have a bratwurst.
2. Sometimes, it's better to enjoy a moment rather than to take a picture of it.
1. If you are ever feeling homesick, or tired, or sick, or whatever else, remember that you have an opportunity that many people will never have in their lives. Appreciate the gift of travel.
That's all folks. I really appreciate the fact that you have stuck with me, and bared with me while I make you all jealous of one of the best semesters I have ever had. I hope you have enjoyed this adventure as much as I have. Thanks for reading.
My last quote is from the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
And in that moment, I swear, we were infinite.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! Thanks for sticking with me on my London Adventure!
You stay classy, planet Earth.