Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
Before traveling to London, I remember reading this quote by Cesare Pavese and thinking I had some sort of notion to what it all meant, now I can say I truly do. There is so much truth hidden with the quote, not just the obvious truth but ones that are hidden so much deeper. There are truths that you will never understand, unless you’ve studied abroad. Being in an unfamiliar place forces you to be 100% true to who you are, and to the people you come in contact with. Because once you’re in a foreign country, in a city where you know absolutely no one, every person you meet could potentially be your new friend and your new support system. Having been in London for some time now, I’ve formed by own family here. We like to call ourselves “The Millers”, we come from all backgrounds, from all across the country and have somehow managed to form this tight family. We support, joke, laugh, cry, travel and are there for one another. I can honestly say without them, my journey here would not be the same.
I’ve also learned that it is true that life is constantly off balance. Whether it’s getting lost in Paris and not knowing a single word of French, or not having enough change to get on the last tube home and having to walk for 2 hours, or even realizing you forgot your passport while trying to travel outside of the UK, I’ve learned to roll with the punches, to go with the flow and to understand that life abroad is never in balance. That’s exactly how it should be! Studying abroad forces you to challenge everything you’ve ever known, to leave behind the ones you love the most and to embrace everything it has to offer. From the people you come in contact with, the amazing and sometimes strange food you will try, getting lost, learning to navigate without your phone’s GPS, staying in a hostel with total strangers and having the time of your life, it’s all worth the journey.
Before I came to London, I remember day dreaming about what it was going to be like, the people I was going to meet and the experiences I was going to have. I can say now, that my imagination had no clue, not even a small glimmer of what it was really going to be like. My time here in London so far has surpassed anything I’ve ever dreamed of. This whole journey is life changing and i cannot wait to see what punch I’ll have to roll with next.
Until next time…cheers from London!