Pretty soon, I’ll be back in the States. I’ll get funny looks when I ask for hot tea with milk. I’ll have to stop spelling words with extra “u”s, and change all of my “s”s back into “z”s. Pence will be cents again. Everyone will drive on the wrong side of the road, that is to say, on the right. The dry wit will disappear. The Indian food won’t taste right and the fish and chips won’t even come close.
No longer will I play sardines in a Victorian manor on boring nights. No longer will I take spontaneous weekend trips to the continent. My christmas tree at home will be less than half the size of Harlaxton's. The streets won’t be cozy but wide, and parking will actually exist. So will indoor heating that works, but I won’t wake up to a view of the English countryside.
I am leaving England, and it’s more surreal than arriving was.
It’s hard to measure how far I’ve come this semester, but writing a farewell blog, it seems appropriate to try. I can quote all kinds of European history that I never knew before, and I’ve read more literature than I care to even think about. I’ve made some amazing friends. I feel stronger. I guess surviving the gauntlet of moving to a foreign country, having travel fiascos all semester, school work, homesickness, drama, and going hungry in the refectory can do that. This semester has proven to me how much more I am capable of.
Well, I’m happy to be going home soon (visiting Paris first!) but I wouldn’t trade this for anything. In trying to keep the trite yearbook-ish sayings to a minimum, I’ll be short. There is little I have done for myself in this lifetime more worthwhile than these past four months. I will miss everything about this place, and carry it with me throughout my life. As Dr. Kinglsey has famously made us sing this semester, “Someone bless these seeds I sow…til the rains come tumbling down.”
Well, England weather has started in earnest now, so I guess our time has come.
May you see many future generations.