Cheers, England!

That bittersweet moment has arrived…

After spending 6 weeks in Europe and getting a few more stamps on my passport, I can honestly say that this summer has been absolutely incredible. As cliche as it sounds, this has been one of the best experiences of my life.

I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. I was able to spend time with my aunt in Paris, London, and Bedford. I got to study abroad at the University of Cambridge, live like the English, and meet some incredible new people. We traveled to London several times, Ely, Dorset, and Scotland. I crossed a few things off of my bucket list, like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, studying at a foreign university, seeing castle ruins, and visiting Scotland. I learned how to navigate the trains in England and underground system in London.

At the top of my journal page a few days ago, I saw this quote and I think it applies perfectly to my experience in Europe:

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” -Samuel Johnson

I think that sometimes, in our minds, we build places, things, and people up to be as we want them to be in our imaginations. However, it’s nice to actually visit these places and see them as they really are, and not as we want them to be in our minds. I think this happened several times as I was traveling, because I expected a city or culture to be one way, but in reality, it was quite different. I’d say that seeing things as they are is much better than seeing them as you’ve imagined.

Well, I can’t believe that our time here in Cambridge is coming to an end in less than a few hours. We’ll be dispersing on various buses, taxis, and trains, heading to the airport for our flights home. I think I’m definitely excited to go home to America, but there are things I will miss about this place. I’m so thankful to have made some incredible new friends, travel to beautiful places, and learn a lot along the way.

Cheers, England! Thanks for making this an unforgettable summer.

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