Well, in case you haven’t already figured it out from my not posting in over a month, I’m back home in the good old USA. I’ve been home for a month and a day already and yet I am still finding it so strange to be back home.
But first things first: My last two days in London.
11 June was spent hanging out with Louise and Elise and in honour of the end of my London Life we decided to go on an Elephant Hunt. That might sound strange considering we were in London, but in the past few months there have been these statues of Elephants placed all over the city to help raise money for the preservation of the African Elephants. We literally spent 13 hours going all over London trying to find as many of the Elephants as we could and take pictures with them. It was such a perfect way to see the city of London one last time because not only did I see parts of London that I know like the back of my hand but I also got to see parts of London I never even knew existed and all while in searching for painted Elephants! The three os us set out from Oakwood around noon and we didn’t find our last Elephant till nearly 1:30 in the morning! We walked so much and by the end of the day our feet were killing us and we could hardly stand up but it was all worth it when we realised we’d found 148 elephants! Here, check out some photos of the ones we found:
After our day of Elephant Hunting it felt so great to get back to Gubbay and sleep.
The next morning rolled around and it was 12 June, my last day in London. But there wasn’t time for me to be sad, or to even think about leaving because of a little think I like to call the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Now the official start of the World Cup was the day before, but for the English it began with the first England match, which just happen to be against the USA. It would be the first year I’m actually a football fan that both my mother country (USA) and my stepmother country (England) would face each other off.
The day began early with Elise, Louise and I meeting up for breakfast and to get our team gear ready. We all had our England jerseys and got a lot of red and white so we were all decked out and ready for the big match. Just look at us:
The match kicked off at 19:30 so the three of us spent the afternoon just wondering through London along with the rest of the city that was decked out in red and white. I have never seen so many St. George’s Crosses in my entire life. When it was match time I saw even more. Now I’ve heard it said that English footie fans are the best in the world, and it is SO true! Even before the match kicked off it was a mad house and people were screaming and singing.
The match itself was really good, ending with a 1-1 tie. In a way I’m kind of glad the match ended in a tie because as much as I love England it turns out I can’t will the US to lose. I was all set to cheer on England but as soon as the American players took to the field and the “Star Spangled Banner” played I couldn’t help myself. I guess thats what it means to have two countries you call home, you can’t find which one is better.
Watching a football match on a massive screen with thousands of people screaming “COME ON ENGLAND” was by far the most perfect way to spend my last night in England. I couldn’t think of anything more English to do then cheer on England. After the math ended Louise, Elise and I found a pub and had dinner and a pint and that was my last night in London.
The morning of the 13 June I woke up with mixed feelings. I was totally gutted to be be leaving London, yet also excited to be heading back home, and also nervous. That morning I packed the last of my things into my three bags and then checked out of Gubbay Hall and left w117 once and for all.
I met up with Elise and Louise and the three of us went o Cafe Roma where I had my last English Breakfast. When we walked in the owner asked if I was leaving and then I had to tell him I wasn’t coming back because I was done with Middlesex University. When i told him that he showed the three of us a photo he had taken at Romme’s going away party. It was so strange seeing how only two months early our group was so large we literally took up the entire cafe and now there was just the three of us.
After eating my last English Breakfast Louise, Elise and I managed to get my three bags on the tube and we were off. The whole tube ride was spent with the three of us talking about all the amazing things we had done over the past few months and how much had happen. Eventually our ride had to end and before I knew it was standing at the Virgin Atlantic check in desk asking some lady if she was on the queue. To my shock she was American and had no idea queueing up was! That’s when it hit me, I was going back home where you don’t queue up and it’s not a loo, it’s a bathroom, and theres am/pm. I was going back to my old life and I didn’t want to leave my new life in London.
I said my goodbyes to Louise and Elise and needless to say it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do since I said goodbye to my family when I left for London back in January. I don’t know when I will see them again, but at least we can stay in touch so easily thanks to Facebook, Skype and good old snail mail. And with one last group hug I was off.
Seven and a half hours later, but only two and a half hours with the time change I was walking through the gates of JFK airport in New York City where I met my grandparents who took me home to my house, my dog, and my family. And of course a New York Pizza
And now it’s been a month since I arrived back in the United States and yet there still isn’t a day that goes by without me craving an English Breakfast or looking out my window and expecting to see the Trent Park Campus. Readjusting back to life in the US has been an adventure, I guess you could say. For the first week I was home I could sleep past 5:00 thanks to my jet lag, and after a week of eating the unhealthy food we Americans live off of I found myself incredibly ill. I have hard time crossing the street because I still expect cars to be on the left side of the street, and once and a while I’ll say something like “queue up” or “Turn off the tele” or “where’s the rubbish bin?” I also had a hard time referring to the World Cup (which I watched the last match of the other day while on Skype with Elise the whole time) as anything other then football, because I’ve only ever heard it called the Football World Cup, not the the Soccer World Cup.
And so ends the story of my study abroad in London. So much has happen in the past few months and I have seen and done so much. My life has been changed forever by this experience and I have changed so much. I have grown as a person and done so much. When I left home in January I was the shy type who you never would have picked for a programme in a foreign country and now I’m an outgoing adult who has experienced life in another country. I learned to live in a new culture and see the world in a whole new perspective. I have done things and seen things I would never have dreamed of doing in my whole life and there is nothing I would change about my whole experience.
And now I want to thank all of you who have read my blog and heard stories about my life in Europe. Thank you all so much for fallowing me on my travels and for your comments. I hope you enjoyed reading about my life abroad. And also a huge thank you to all the people who I met while studying in London. You may not know it but you have all changed my life and helped me to become the person I am today, so thank you.
So this is the end of my study abroad in London, but it is only the beginning of life travels. Who knows maybe someday I’ll be writing about how I’ve seen the world.
And so ends my life in London
For anyone who is still interested in fallowing me as I attempt to travel the globe check out my new blog: