I’ve been back in Philadelphia for over a week now. Since the start of June, I had been counting down the days until I would return home–not because I didn’t love England, but because I missed Philly so much. Being all across England gave me a new appreciation for my hometown, because there’s really no other place like it!
Still, despite my joy of being home, there is the sadness that always comes with returning back to reality. Of course, my experiences in England were as real as anything that has happened to me in the U.S.; there were plenty of challenges that I had to overcome. It was the nature of those challenges however that made my 5 months in England enchanting. Being on the edge of the famous, 300 ft. White Cliffs of Dover… traveling across a foreign country by myself with only the company of the strangers I crossed paths with… these were literally the opportunities of a lifetime!
There are many things that only Philadelphia can offer me, but by the same token, there are many things that only England will be able to offer me. Not just in terms of the unique places I visited, but also the people and the spirits that I encountered along my many journeys. I’ve heard a saying before that once you travel, you leave a piece of yourself in the places you’ve visited. It’s a feeling I only know for the first time in my life after my past five months abroad.
Thankfully I will always be able to relive my fond memories from this experience through my documentation of my trip through these entries and my photography, but the best way to retrieve those pieces of myself will be to return to the place I’m so proud to consider a second home. Thank you Norwich and UEA for embracing me, and I hope to see you again someday!