5. I open at the close.

We’re heading home today. I’m feeling a mix of a lot of things, but mostly I’m bummed about it. These have been the best two weeks of my life, full of adventure, laughs, great theatre, exploration and growth. I really, really, really don’t want to go home. Saying goodbye to our flat was hard, and boarding the plane was even harder. I could never have prepared myself for the life changing experience that this beautiful city has had on me. The people, the places, the architecture, the food, and the overall vibe of London has been such a pleasure. It’s hard to say what I’ll miss the most, because there were so many wonderful things. But I know I’ll be back. I can’t imagine living my life without returning. In fact, my roommate and I were trying to figure out last night how much it could potentially cost to come back for a week or something and stay in a hotel. That’s how desperately we want to come back soon.

I can’t say for sure yet exactly how London has affected me. I don’t think I’ll know until I’m back in the States and back to my normal life. But I have been so amazed at how happy I’ve been. I deal with depression on and off and often find it very difficult to find the positives in life, but these two weeks have been bliss. Any time I found myself in a slightly negative mood, I’d look around me and think, “I’m alive. And I’m in London. And it’s beautiful, and everything is going to be just fine.” I hope I can find a similar train of thought when I’m back home.

I have no regrets. I accomplished everything I wanted to, and so much more. I met fascinating people, saw engaging and unique plays, saw fine art, had great food and beer, and lived to the fullest. I stayed safe, only made a few silly mistakes, didn’t get sick or injured, and didn’t spend too much over my budget…

What a marvelous opportunity this has been. I look forward to seeing my family and friends again, but I’ll be leaving a part of my heart in London.



My name is Amber Neilson, and I'm a senior Theatre Arts major. Traveling is my new favorite thing, as I've spent most of my life in the Hudson Valley. I love to sing, act, and direct, and I'm a Harry Potter fanatic!

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