So it’s been three months since I left my study abroad home at the University of Roehampton. Things still feel weird here. Post-Study Abroad Depression is real. My friends in London have moved on from us leaving and have made friends with those who replaced us in our flat. As I sit here, in my deadly lecture at 8 am (evil), I began reminiscing on what I miss most from my stay abroad.
- the freedom to explore
in London, it was so easy to just take a day and go find something new, or even something old that I just really loved. I can’t tell you how many times I made the hour journey up to Camden Market. In the last week I was there, I went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park 3 times. Oxford Street, no matter how annoyingly crowded it was, and how much I really am not a shopper, still was a blast to me. But it’s not limited to exploring in London. The train to Brighton and back for a day was £10. We spent weekends traveling to new cities all around Europe, and there are so many left I have yet to see. plus I’m dying for some good food.
- british cheese
if you know me at all, you know that I love cheese. like, way too much. something about that white british cheddar made me so happy. I can’t find an equivalent in the United States. (if anyone has any, PLEASE help me). I’ve tried the fancy cheese at Trader Joe’s, wrong. This weekend I’ll be going to World Market to see if they have any. I made some of the best grilled cheese of my life while in England. all because of that white cheddar.
- good alcohol/being legal
so I’m a little one, at 20, but 3 months ago, I could go anywhere and not even be ID’ed when I ordered something to drink. there are so many things that I have checked to see if the US has. Reckorderlig strawberry lime cider – which isn’t even British – was the best thing I think I drank while in London. Snakebites, the blackcurrant, beer, and cider mix that our campus pub served was my go-to on pub quiz nights. and I’m not going to even talk about the “sexy wine” I had in Rome. Fragolino. I’ve done research on that stuff. It’s real serious.
a weird one, I know, but it’s true. okay, maybe European. but not in the US, that’s for sure. There’re so many strange things. STANDING on the left side of the escalator. WHAT kind of monster are you. I still stand on the right. The ground floor starting at 1. No, they have it right over there. It makes sense that it would be 0. And then they have negatives for any levels below ground. That just works. Less thinking involved. british words, like dodgy, lift, flat, etc. Cheeky Nando’s with the lads. You know, the usual. And don’t get me started on cheap flights across the continent. Step UP, America.
- the weather
god, i know that everyone complains about the weather over there. the stereotype of everyone talking about it isn’t far off. but i loved it. it was so beautifully mild. the humidity was nowhere. it’s march in iowa and the humidity already has me going crazy. The rain was cozy (when I wanted to stay inside, I suppose), and it only (kind of) snowed once. They talked about how it was abnormally warm for the first month we were there, but I loved it. Their abnormally warm was a high of 70. and also, the metric system just makes sense. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- the crazy stories
okay, these aren’t going away, but at the same time, i’m not going to have new ones. plus, no one that didn’t go with cares. you, reading this, probably don’t care about my stories. and they don’t matter to anyone but me and the people i shared them with. some may not even make sense to anyone else. the crazy stories that i have are just inside jokes and fun with my friends. and i suppose we can share those together.
- europe-exclusive stores
the two that come straight to mind: primark and tiger. i’m still trying to extend the life of my £3 primark leggings (it’s not going well. they were £3). the stores were a madhouse and never organized. but ffs, primark is the cheapest place i have ever bought clothes, and it was in london. i never thought i would say that. then, something about tiger just drew me in. i went to tiger in like 5 different cities around europe. (which is less than the amount of LUSH stores i went to)…
- my friends
they might not miss me like I miss them. okay, I know they don’t miss me like I miss them. I want to talk to them everyday, i want to Skype with them weekly, but it doesn’t happen. and it’s a sick reality of my study abroad. these are people that I spent a lot of my time with for 3 months. and we were just temporary to them, because we were the ones that left. and I feel bad for leaving, I do, but I didn’t have a choice. so I apologize to the friends I met and left in London, because I miss you all and I still love you, and I long for the day that I get to see you again.
all for now,