Study Abroad: I Am Leaving for England Tonight

A trip that has been nine months in the making is finally here – finally about to begin. Sitting in my bed right now at 7 a.m. in my parents’ house for the last time in three months, I thought I would feel more scared than this. But, I’m not so scared anymore.

Maybe it won’t really hit me until I am sitting on that airplane, or when my parents drop me off, or when the hugs goodbye will be the last from my friends and family for the next three months. I don’t know.


I was hanging out with my best friend on Thursday night, and she told me, “I can’t really wrap my head around the fact that you are going to the UK.” Me neither. It seems like I have been planning this trip forever, that I have been talking about it forever.

I have told people over and over again about my study abroad trip, “in the fall,” then “in a few months,” then “in a few weeks,” then “next week, then “in a few days,” then “tomorrow.” I doesn’t seem real that today is the actual day I am going to England.

When I was a freshman in college, I was the most unadventurous person on the planet. I didn’t want to rock the boat. I didn’t want to leave my safety net. I just wanted to go back to my parents’ house and be a kid forever. But, things changed, slowly.

I started pushing boundaries, and now, it’s hard not to look back at the girl I once was and find her unrecognizable. Soon, my senior year of college will begin in a foreign country. My life is still just beginning, but even now, sitting in my childhood bed, waiting to leave for the airport, I know this moment and these next three months, are going to change me forever.


There is a quote I once read, in my favorite book, Mile Markers, in a chapter about fear that says, “She applies the rocking chair test to life’s most compelling questions. She explains, ‘When you are old and sitting in a rocking chair, talking to your grandchildren, how would you want to tell the story.”

I don’t know what’s ahead of me the next three months. I don’t know if I will love it or hate it, if I will wish I could stay forever or leave the next day.

But, what I do know is that when I tell the story of the time I lived in England to my grandchildren, it will be a story of adventure and finding myself. I know that things will change – I will change. I know I am strong enough to succeed. I know I will miss the sound of my family, running paths, my bed, the way the light hits my bedroom window in the morning. But in the end, I know that the only one who can really determine my study abroad experience, is myself, my attitude, and my ambitions.

I wrote once, your happiness is your responsibility, and maybe that’s truer than ever here. No one, not one person on this Earth, can determine my happiness the next three months but me.



30 thoughts on “Study Abroad: I Am Leaving for England Tonight

  1. Debbie September 14, 2013 / 9:27 am

    You have exactly the attitude and sensibility about life that you need for this trip! You’re making me remember the first moments I spent in England and you are truly going to have a wonderful time! I still maintain that studying abroad in London was the best decision I ever made. Good luck and have fun :) x

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:04 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. I’ve arrived now, and I can already see why you fell in love with England. It’s beautiful!

  2. EyeOfTheBeholder September 14, 2013 / 9:30 am

    Good luck with everything! You will do great! If you decide to visit Antwerp during your stay, let me know, I’ll show you around ;) Have a safe trip.

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:04 pm

      Thanks – will do :)

  3. daisyjanine September 14, 2013 / 9:32 am

    Good luck! England is great, let me know if you have any questions :)

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:04 pm

      Thank you so much :)

  4. MB September 14, 2013 / 9:57 am

    Have a wonderful and safe trip! Can’t wait to hear about your amazing adventures! :-)

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:04 pm


    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you :)

  5. myclosetnbeautyfinds90 September 14, 2013 / 10:46 am

    Have a great trip! I’m sure it will be amazing! I like how you closed with “cherrio.” lol That was cute! I always look forward to reading you blog! :)

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:05 pm

      Haha. It felt appropriate. Thank you :)

  6. Jenn September 14, 2013 / 12:41 pm

    Good Luck! I am so excited for you!!!

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:05 pm

      Thanks, Jenn!

      • Jenn September 16, 2013 / 4:12 am

        Hope your having a great first day. Sometimes I wish there was email on this site to leave messages lol

  7. Karen September 14, 2013 / 12:44 pm

    You are the bravest person I know!! I know you will have a great time and and it will be over before you know it.

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you, Karen. :)

  8. nyrmirez September 14, 2013 / 1:32 pm

    Sam I don’t really know you that well, but I just really want to say that I am so proud of you. I live by the rocking chair question/test and so far it has not steered me wrong. When you allow yourself to be adventurous you will never be bored and you will grow as a person. I have learned so much about myself because I try and do things most people would be too scared of trying (ie: skydiving). I am really hoping this experience is an amazing one for you!

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:07 pm

      That’s nice of you to say. :) Just being here now, I definitely feel like it’s going to be an experience of a lifetime – even if I am scared as anything!

  9. Whimsical&Quirky September 14, 2013 / 5:49 pm

    I always check your blog – I made a beauty blog a couple months ago and you were one of the first people I found and followed. I always make sure to read your posts, silently reading them and loving them. You are one of my favorite bloggers.
    I really hope you have a wonderful time and that you are blessed the whole time. I have never been to another country – but the UK is somewhere I have always wanted to go. Good luck with your studies, good luck with the new friendships you will have. Good luck with everything and I can’t wait to read about it later. xoxo

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:08 pm

      Wow – I really appreciate it. :) Thank you so much for your support. You definitely brightened my day.

  10. lolanded September 15, 2013 / 6:13 am

    I am from the UK and I can assure you that you’ll love every minute of it! :)

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:08 pm

      Thanks! I am here now, and it is a beautiful place!

  11. ASuperiorMe September 15, 2013 / 10:13 am

    That sounds so exciting! All the best

    • Sam September 15, 2013 / 10:08 pm

      :) Thank you!

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