Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheers London, It's been brilliant.

Here I am, the end of my semester in London and the end of my junior year. Words like "senior," and "last year," are beginning to float into my vernacular, but before they become commonplace, I'm going to write one last London Blog.

I started off this journey coming up with a list of the top ten things I wanted to do/see while in London. And I can successfully say that out of all of them, the only ones which I did not accomplish were finding a star of Harry Potter (although I did see Alan Rickman at the Alice in Wonderland red carpet) and finding a duke to marry. But besides that, I think I was pretty successful. I walked the same paths that countless kings and queens have trod, I visited some of my favorite cinematic and literary landmarks, and I became much more adventurous with my food choices. All in all, it was simply the time of my life. Here is a little bit of a breakdown of the semester by the numbers:

3 1/2: months I was away from home
8: number of countries I visited including the UK
2: trips to Paris
2: the number of cameras I went through
17: times I pretended to be a wizard
7: West End shows attended
3: times I saw Legally Blonde
3: times I visited the Tower of London
3: times I visited Platform 9 3/4
10: total number of family and friends who visited
??: pints of Strongbow consumed
20+: Hummingbird cupcakes eaten
20+: museums visited
3: international bylines
5: times during Macbeth Hillary and I almost has a conniption because of Macbeth's attractiveness
1: ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano that disrupted our travel plans
1: time a man in a purple velvet cloak and a full face of makeup spit on me at Portobello Market
100: tube rides on the Picadilly to Cockfosters
1: pair of tube boxers purchased
15: times I attempted to skype with my dog and she ignored me
2650: photos taken
40: number of times I made the KD sign with another traveling sister
4: fantastic flatmates without whom the semester would not have been the same
1: priceless semester in London

I'd also like to send some thanks out:

First to my family, without whom I would not have been able to take part in this fantastic opportunity. I have appreciated every minute of it and I am so glad that you supported me in this endeavor.

Secondly to Megan Ogar and Marissa Venturella for flying all the way across the ocean to visit me on their spring break. It was probably one of the nicest and most wonderful acts of friendship that anyone has ever done for me.

Next to all the other friends who came to visit and let me visit in other European countries. Seeing your familiar faces in this foreign land made being away from home all the easier.

I'd also like to thank my flatmates for being such great living buddies, and for always allowing me to justify my food and clothing purchases.

My brilliant co-worker Emily Becker who never lost her patience with me when I was running late for work because I lack the ability to wake up to an alarm or decide what to wear.

And lastly, I would like to thank my blue scarf from Express for being in countless photos with me, and for always being there when I needed to add some pizazz to an otherwise boring neutral coloured outfit.

I hope that whoever has been reading this blog besides my mother has enjoyed hearing about my adventures. I was quite skeptical about the blogging world before this semester, but I have to say, I have quite enjoyed chronicling my time in London in this fashion. I'm actually considering continuing it once I get back to real life, but we shall just have to wait and see on that one.

Studying Abroad has honestly been the greatest experience of my life, and I strongly encourage anyone who has the chance to take advantage of it. Leaving your family and friends can be scary, but it is a leap of faith I took, and hope to encourage others to do so as well. Even if studying abroad isn't an option, simply traveling to Europe has the ability to change the perception of how people see the world. In a time when it is so easy to get caught up in our red, white, and blue tinted bubble, it is even more vital that people experience other cultures, and once again I cannot put into words how grateful I am to have had that chance. And so, for the last time,


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