Well that happened fast. Two weeks of classes, a trip to Chicago, finals, a farewell to my home away from home, New York City and my final flight back to England. Everything creeped up on me and now all seems like a blur.
I cannot believe my time in the US came to an end so quickly. At the beginning it seemed such a long time away but now I find myself in a state of confusion. Living here has become my life. It seems so normal now. Like this is just where I live now. That doesn’t mean the shocks and surprises have stopped, not by a long shot. But it does mean I feel as if it is too soon to leave.
On the other hand I have missed my friends and family so much. Familiar faces, places and voices is what I am longing for right now. Walking around New York city I have heard so many different accents, so many different British ones. It really threw me off at first. Living in Ohio I don’t think I met any British people off campus. Even on campus there was only myself, another Keele student and couple of members of staff that I knew of. I never realized how strong I felt about my British identity until I was told so by my roommate. It’s true, you don’t notice these things until you’re away from home and living in another culture.
Reflecting on my time abroad I just feel so fulfilled. It was a challenge that I pushed myself to take. I’ve grown so much as a person and I know what I want from my life now. It’s like a movie reel playing in my head with each moment flashing by. From day one where Ellie and I cried together, when we travelled throughout California, walked along beaches, celebrated my birthday in Vegas, stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon, swam in the ocean in Wilmington, North Carolina, starting my time at BGSU, meeting people from all over the world, learning so much about this country, making smores over a fire at sunset, watching football games, meeting my mum’s pen pal of 50 years, being welcomed into a family for Thanksgiving, eating deep dish pizza in Chicago, and standing on the Top of the Rock with tears rolling down my face at the sheer beauty of Manhattan at night and the fact that this crazy journey has come to an end.
It has been everything I dreamed and more. I never thought I would see all of the things I have so soon in my life. I’ve made friends for life and memories I can cherish forever. The hard work paid off and now I get to return home in time for Christmas, to family and friends who have supported me every single day. No words can express how grateful I am.
I started the next decade of my life in Las Vegas and I said “start as you mean to go on.” I want my twenties to be filled with travelling, music, laughter and to be spent with the people I love the most. This journey has changed my life for the better. 2015 is on it’s way, it’ll be hard to top this year, but I’ll give it a bloody good go.
Goodbye 2014, thank you for the memories, here’s to 2015.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. Be safe and be loved.
Until next year,