Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The trip that changed my life

Sometimes it seems like it was only just a dream.

But it wasn't simply a mediocre Nelly song. I really did live and work in London for almost four months. And yet, a year later, I can feel myself forgetting things about my time there. Ask my flatmate Emily P. Once every few weeks I send her a desperate text message, begging her to remind me the name of a certain tube stop or what chocolate croissants were called in France.

I remember a certain tube ride, not long after I arrived in London. There was an American family and the mother was talking to a British man next to her. She was telling him how she had studied abroad in London in college and this was her first time back since then. It had been over 10 years.

To me, this story is terrifying. How could she resist London for so long? I don't go a single day without being reminded of my time spent in London. Sometimes I'll close my eyes and picture Longridge Road and try to wish myself there.

Of course, I'm horribly afraid to go back. First of all, I don't know I could survive another seven hour plane trip over the ocean. And second of all, what if it doesn't live up to my expectations? What if I return to a place I've taken to calling "my city" and it isn't all that I remember?

I know I'm going to have to take that chance someday. After all, there is still so much to be seen. Until then, I'll just have to be content with looking at my 3000 pictures for the 1000th time, living vicariously through younger student's blogs and by following Hummingbird Cupcake and Heathrow Airport on Twitter.

And really, when you think about it, what's a seven hour plane trip compared to the chance to take 3000 more pictures?



  1. You'll go back. Don't worry. And when you do you'll still love. It might not mean the same thing... but it will be a new trip, new memories.

    Happy to see some blogging action!

  2. Hi Allison,
    It sounds like your experience in England was amazing. I definitely understand the fear of going back after being abroad for so long, but now you're to travel more in the future.

    I'd like to invite you to guest write for Pink Pangea (, the online community for women travelers.

    Pink Pangea's goal is to make travel easier, safer, and more fulfilling for women of all ages. We are looking for adventurous and eloquent women who have spent time abroad to document their experiences, while discussing issues that are relevant to women travelers. It would be great if you could write about your experience in England.

    Hope to hear from you soon,

  3. I did my study abroad in Paris, and while I've been to London half a dozen times since my study abroad concluded...I've only been to Paris twice. Mainly for the same reasons you mentioned--not wanting it to fail to meet my expectations. The two times I have gone, it has been exactly the same, and walking around was like having a live action scrapbook. You will go back! It'll be bittersweet, but you'll love it all the same.