WOW! I cannot believe I am actually saying that – I go back to New York tomorrow. My head is filled with thousands of happy and sad thoughts, memories of my last four months here, and questions of how it all went by so fast. I’m mostly packed, with just the essentials remaining (toothbrush, etc).
It is truly a bittersweet feeling. For this past week, all I’ve thought about is going home – getting back to my family and friends and my boyfriend, getting to sleep in my own bed and have my own bathroom again. Also, I was offered an internship in the city, so that’s another thing to look forward to. But now that it’s crunch time and I have literally one last day here, I’m starting to get a little sad. When I first got here and started meeting all my friends, I hardly thought about having to say goodbye. Now that I am, I can tell it’s going to be a lot harder than I imagined.
People study abroad and have all sorts of different goals – some want to learn to live on their own, others want to learn about another country/lifestyle. Me? I’ve learned a lot about myself here. Sure, I’ve mastered London transport system and I have gotten lost enough times to learn how to find your way, but I’ve also grown a lot more than that. I’ve learned how to be myself, by myself – to be a person on my own – which I couldn’t always do because of certain people at home. People here got to know me as ME, and not as someone else’s friend. Becoming educated about another country and their way of life has made me aware of how little I actually know about my own country. While my time of exploring London may be coming to an end, I plan to start seeing the parts of my own country that I’ve never seen. With that, I also want to try a whole bunch of new things this summer, along with old things that I used to do and want to take up again – like painting. I miss it. I guess my adventurous side has been unleashed here!
My last week in London has been full of ups and downs. Between getting in some last minute London time, I also had to say goodbye to two of my friends, Josh and Melissa, who left a few days before me, which was pretty hard to do. Tonight, as my little sendoff, we’re all getting together one last time in Gubbay to watch a movie. Josh had everyone go to the local pub and get breakfast the morning he left, and we all went out to dinner for Cinco de Mayo/Melissa’s last night. I personally have an earrrrrrly day tomorrow (leaving my room at 6am) so I wanted to do something relaxing (and cheap!).
On Monday, I went to the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum with Laura. There was a Grace Kelly exhibit in the fashion section, but we decided not to do that especially since we hadn’t pre-booked the tickets. But even so, the museum was amazing! British Museum is still my favorite, but the V&A runs a close second. There was so much to see, all different kinds of things! One of my favorites was the section on movies: they had several original costumes from various different movies made in the UK, and there were also a bunch of dioramas of set designs for movies like Sweeney Todd and plays like Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Then, right next door, there was a whole exhibit on British Rock with photographs of many, many stars from the 60s and 70s from Harry Goodwin.
Although we loved this museum, we had started losing energy and getting hungry pretty early in the day. By the time we had seen just about everything, we were both on the verge of passing out. We left and instead of retracing our steps back to the tube station (which we later realized would be quicker and much more beneficial to our hunger pangs), we walked the opposite way to try and find food. Well, apparently the V&A museum is located adjacent to a very ritzy residential area with no restaurants in sight. We stumbled upon the Pakistani Nationalist Party, but no restaurants. Finally, after literally walking around in a circle, we found this little side street with several French cafes, grocery stores, etc. and went into the cafe. Finally, food! And delicious food at that! It was such a cute, little place with really nice owners. After being satisfied, and both leaving with Nutella crepes to go, we headed back to the tube station where we found a plethora of cafes and places to eat. OH WELL.
Yesterday, I went to my last museum, The Natural History Museum. Although I’m never big on science, I did enjoy this museum. It was very hands on, probably because a lot of children go there on school trips and with their families. Sadly, I spent so much time in the museum that I didn’t get to go to Hyde Park like I planned. Oh well. Then when I got back I literally passed out and took a 6 hour nap! Not good for my sleep schedule, but I totally needed it after being exhausted these last few days.
Now, I’m off to donate all of my books and kitchenware to Oxfam, a second-hand store that also does a lot of charity work. I figured it would be better than throwing all of it out, since I couldn’t sell back my books anyway. Then I’m hanging out with Ashley before I come back and finish packing and having the last movie night in Gubbay.
Well, it’s been lovely here. Next time you hear from me, I’ll be in New York!!!! 🙂