London

We learn most about ourselves when we are in constant movement:

I wrote (probably too much) about my months in London on a separate blog — for travelers, the stars are guides

But you don’t want to go through all of that? Here are the highlights:

My sophomore year of college, I was ready for an adventure. So I applied to spend a semester in London. And, thankfully, I was accepted.

I probably grew more from August 31, 2010 to December 6, 2010, then any prior time in my life. I had the ability to feel alone. I was capable of not just picking my own path, but creating it. There was no pre-approved curriculum, no ladder to climb. The classes I was taking — art history and literature — were amazing, but had nothing to do with my career path. The streets I walked were new, and I truly had no idea where they led.

Plus I had an amazing internship that at SR Media that taught me I could make it in the publishing field, and that digital media could be just as rewarding as print magazines. During my time there I helped create and edit content for its eight magazines and several online publications. But, most importantly, it was the first time in my life where I got up to make breakfast, commute to work, spent a full day working hard, laughed with co-workers, and then went home to spend a few hours of leisure before starting over. Basically, for the first time I felt like an adult.

What was the most amazing part of studying abroad? My automatic response is all the of the traveling opportunities. Spending my fall break on the coast of Naples — eating pizza, laughing, and reading Lolita on the rocky beach. Trying to remember my high school french while ordering breakfast in Paris. That moment of awe when I saw the Eiffel Tower light up for the first time. Finding myself in the middle of a Bachelor’s Party in Edinburgh. Driving through the Scottish highlands and never wanting to leave. The looks that we got while “summoning” Nessie at Loch Ness (yes, we were sober, yes, we were nuts). Spraining my ankle my first night in Italy, but climbing St. Peter’s Basilica anyways. Getting lost on a mountain in Austria, and trying to figure out where to find a “damn Mexican food that I NEED right NOW” in basically every country. Europe is a place that cultivates dreams, helps people find themselves, opens doors, and reminds you how beautiful this world is.

But, I was wrong. The most amazing part of studying abroad was the friends that I made — the group of girls that I lived with. The girls who got lost with me, made tacos and queso with me when we gave up on finding a Mexican restaurant, the girls who helped me survive my first heartbreak, who sang (bad) karaoke with me, and were willing to skate at every ice skating rink and ride every carousel with me all across a continent.

Plus, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the theatre. We got to see live productions of Hamlet, Legally Blonde, Wicked, Blood Brothers, Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV, The Railway Children, War Horse, and Master Builder (I love Ibsen), so that was pretty amazing too.

It really is true what they say:
for travelers, the stars are guides

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