When I started this series, I knew this the post that I wanted to write. The thing I love(d) most about being in England was being in England. This experience wasn’t easy for me. It was freaking hard as hell some days, and I have so many journal pages speculating why I decided to come here. But, despite it all, I never desperately wanted to go home, not really.
Yes, I was homesick at times, but it was never to the degree that I wanted to pack up my bags and just leave. I have made a home in my tiny little room in Leicester, England. I have made friends who feel like family. I have rowed in a boat and listened to Big Ben chime. I saw the Eiffel Tower and, I got on a plane on my own and came to a place I knew nothing about.
The person that I am now isn’t the person that I was when I came here. Maybe I am growing up or maybe all it takes is an ocean between you and your home to make you reevaluate who you are.
I am sad writing this. I am sad because I know this leg of my journey is ending. I am sad to leave behind this place that has, in so many ways, come to define me and the person I will become.
When I leave here tomorrow, I am leaving so much baggage behind. Stupid things that mattered for so long…just don’t anymore. It’s like living here, on my own, has taught me, in some degrees, to let go.
So, yes. I am sad to leave behind this place, but I am also so incredibly, over-the-moon happy that I got to come. I have seen so much and learned so much. I got to live my dream to live in Europe. How many people get to live their dream at 20 years old?
I don’t know what is ahead of me. I’m graduating college in six months. My future is uncertain. I don’t know where I’ll end up, and that’s okay. I would have never pictured myself here a year and a half ago. Life has a tendency of leading me places I didn’t think I would ever go.
There’s a quote I’ve been thinking about lately – “Nothing is worth more than this day.” Translation: Don’t waste your present by looking back at your past. I won’t spend the next few weeks crying over England. I’ll be sad, maybe even homesick, but I won’t let myself lament over what could have been, what is behind me.
If being here has taught me anything it’s that, I have to keep moving forward. There is so much to see if you look for it. There are strangers that will become friends, family, romantic interests. Only we can stop ourselves from standing still. Go out and see the world, even if it is just your slice of it. Life cannot be lived from the comfort of your own bedroom. But most importantly, believe in yourself. You are capable of just about anything.
Tomorrow, I will say goodbye to England. There will probably be tears, just like when I left the US, but it’s different this time. Goodbye is unavoidable. It reminds us that change is imminent. It removes us from our comfort zone. But as I say my goodbyes, I can’t help but smile in a way.
My journey isn’t ending just because I leave England. On the contrary, it is just beginning.