It has officially been a week since I have arrived back from England.
A week since I’ve enjoyed some proper Yorkshire tea.
A week since I said adieu to some of the most amazing people.
And let me tell you, it feels weird.
After getting back from my European adventure, I almost immediately gallivanted back to Brighton to spend some much needed time by the sea. It seemed appropriate to spend my last overnight trip where I spent my first. The sun might have made its escape and I was short one lovely German girl, but overall it was exactly what I needed.
I stayed with ‘my mom’s ex-coworker’s husband’s mom’, and she was so lovely. She even made sure that I did not leave England without tasting an authentic pie.
I stayed in Brighton three nights, and on my last full day I walked along the Seven Sisters cliffs after eating some of the best fish and chips by the coast. Both were spectacular (even amidst the gray sky).
After telling Brighton “goodbye for now”(it is a dream to one day live there) it was back to Sheffield where I found myself moving in with four very British, very football enthused lads for the next ten days. All I will say about this is that they are all dead nice and I am so grateful they let me crash their party after I could no longer stand to pay my landlady any further. Cheers to you mates (especially my dear Calum).
The last trip I went on was a short one, about an hour away, to the city of York. Known for once being a major viking town, this place was chalk full of history and beautiful landscapes. I went on Ash Wednesday, so I attended one last service in a beautiful church and then spent the majority of my time reading and basking in the rare sun.
I bought a wonderful book called ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ and proceeded to read said book out on a bench, in a tea shop, and later in a pub (the book was finished the next day).
Spending a day aimlessly wandering through York’s streets proved to be the perfect day trip. And when I decided that I had consumed enough cider, I caught the train back to Sheffield.
My last few days were spent seeing the last few sights of my glorious city that I had yet to see. Basically, this included eating flapjacks and drinking coffee in various venues. I had one last drink in the local pub where I spent my first few nights in Sheffield thinking it would become MY pub (but in actuality I never returned for months) and was approached the very same people (fancy seeing you all after all this time-goodbye forever).
On that fateful day, February 15th, aka my last full day in England, I spent my time cramming in as many people as possible to spend some last-minute quality time. I was also trying to find the biggest, cheapest bag in order to fit the rest of my sh*t in. Shout out to Jack for bringing me into the oh-so lavish Sports Direct where I found the biggest monstrosity-of-a-bag that I could have hoped for.
That night, we had what I called ‘The Last Supper’. It was held at El Paso (the ‘Mexican-Italian’ restaurant I had taken the mic out of for months). It was every bit as contradicting as I hoped it would be. They even served paella (a Spanish dish) and had Cuban art work on the walls.
It was wonderful to have one last dinner with good friends- internationals and Brits alike.
It was then that I said ‘see you later’ and gave all the sappy hugs. Saying goodbye has never been my forte. I am so beyond blessed that I made so many wonderful connections during my time abroad, but with that also comes the sadness of leaving. At least I know that I will always have a place to stay when I venture back over to the other side of the world (hopefully soon). And in return, they will always have a home with me here in the states as well as in my heart. Not everyone could make it to my dinner, but you are all also much loved and appreciated!
To all those who played me in pool,
To everyone with whom I shared a pint,
To those who went on random walks with me to discover the city,
To those who fed me and let me into their home,
And to everyone with whom I shared immense laughter with,
I will miss you dearly.
Traveling for me is no longer just about the place. Yes the sights are beautiful and yes the food may be exquisite, but really it is the people who make the place. And I have met so many great people.
It is beyond strange to be back in the States. My best friend Jessi who just got back from studying abroad in Spain couldn’t have said it better, “It’s like it didn’t even happen, but it did.”.
It was almost too easy to step back into my life in the U.S. But maybe that is because I spent two days at home in Charlotte, NC before I left for Atlanta, GA to see friends and apply for jobs. Turns out I will now be moving to Georgia to live with a sorority sister and continue the adventure during this semester off. There is a lot I NEED to be doing (mainly including transfer applications that are not-so-patiently waiting for me), but I find myself instead reveling in catching up with friends and making concert plans.
I discovered in England just how fun spending money is (what a curse and a blessing for my penny-pinching heart).
Now, my lovely friends and readers, I say goodbye. To England at least. I have caught the travel bug, and as it is a pretty severe case I do not see myself quitting the lifestyle. Instead of Europe I want to see more of America. Go to all the cities I long to. Expect to hear from me in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco to name just a few. I’m opening up my home with my sorority sister to Couchsurfing. And I will obnoxiously share my stories with anyone who comes within a 5-foot radius of me.
So with a heavy heart, I shall say ‘see you later’ as I try to readjust back into life. Those random twinges of sadness may be there, but overall my heart is happy for having such an experience. And I needn’t worry about forgetting my travels anytime soon (as I have a tattoo now permanently inked on my back).
So here’s to everyone overseas and to all the amazing times I have spent discovering the world along with myself!