Now that there are less than 3 days separating me from me “touching down in London town” everything has begun to feel so real. I’ve gone the entire summer telling everyone I know that I will be studying abroad in London and how excited I was, but not actually feeling all of the excitement because it was so far away. Now that it is so close I have had a whirlwind of emotion, from excitement to sadness that I will be leaving everything I love behind. This feeling is what will help me to really separate from my family and friends because if I am able to “get it out of my system” before my flight and allow myself to worry about other things instead of leaving everything I’ve ever know.
My separation letter that I shared with my parents and sister was a pretty generic one; one that stated how we would communicate and that this journey was as much theirs as it was mine. I expressed that me leaving was a way for both of us to fined our true selves without each other, a way for us to recreate a piece of ourselves and then share that experience with each other once we were reunited in three months. While I shared this with them, I also shared a quote by Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do that by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” This provided them with an understanding of how I wanted to experience the world and say yes to this amazing, once in a life time experience. It also helped me to give them a challenge while I was away. I gave them the challenge to try new things and explore Long Island and the small town we live in to the fullest. While I am out gallivanting across Europe I wanted them to have a similar experience but not missing out on anything while they are still at home.
As I shared my letter I also told them, and shared with many of my close friends and relatives, that along with making these travelogues I would also try to make a blog that will keep everyone informed on what I am doing and how my travels are going. I felt that this will allow me to spend more time exploring and immersing myself in many different cultures that skype calling 15 people and telling the same stories over and over again.
The thought of having a successful study abroad comes with many different layers. I feel that there is no real way to not have a successful time abroad because you will learn so much about yourself just by being wherever you travel to. I feel that my success will come from my personal growth. I have lived in the same small town for my entire life, went to a smaller college with minimal diversity, and have been surrounded by people just like me for as long as I know. This abroad experience will be something that will open my eyes to the world and grow individually. I have always been a pretty independent person, but being abroad will help me learn how to tolerate other cultures while also living and being in charge of myself by myself.
The picture I chose to share is a picture of the most important people in my life, my mom and sister. They are the people who I will miss the most while I am gone and the hardest to say goodbye to when I leave.