The sun slowly peeked its head above the horizon and kissed the periwinkle sky, inspiring it to blush pink and orange. I drank in the crisp air as I listened to birds chirping to fill in the silence and greet the morning. My eyes traced a quote carved into the ground: “I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill.” This seems like a romantic scene, and in a lot of ways, it is. Living in London is like falling in love, which makes saying goodbye all the more heartbreaking.

But I bid London farewell on Primrose Hill during the sunrise rather than the sunset. This would be a new day, a new beginning, and a new adventure. After living in London for two months, I was prepared to take what I learned and experienced back with me to Texas. I boarded my flight with the comforting promise to myself that I would return again someday.

Houston welcomed me home with 95-degree heat and humidity dense enough to swim through. It was strange riding on the highway in a car again after so long a break; even below the speed limit felt a little too fast. It was even weirder driving myself.

I celebrated my homecoming with proper Tex-Mex and reunited with queso (even a tolerable substitute is incredibly difficult to find overseas). More importantly, I reunited with my friends and family. I missed them immensely and realized that if I ever want to work abroad long-term, I would have to take them along with me!

Living and working in London after graduation for a few years would be such a great opportunity, but thankfully, I don’t have to decide right now. Just thinking about how much I would love seeing London again has brought about nostalgic feelings and memories of this summer.

I already miss the friends I made, the atmosphere and culture of the city, my regular food spots, and everything London has to offer. I miss walking through Harrods, admiring the view of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, and the flowers at Regent’s Park. I miss getting rewards on my Nandos card, enjoying unbelievably delicious barbeque at Bodean’s, and savoring every bite of a cinnamon bun from Nordic Bakery. I miss talking to interesting locals at a pub, discovering new things to do throughout London, and even riding the Tube every day.

I keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t be sad that it’s over but, rather, glad that it happened. London was all I hoped it would be and more. I made lifelong friends and lasting memories. I learned about myself and passions I hope to integrate into my career. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and still can’t believe I lived one of my dreams!

My final words of wisdom: don’t go to London unless you’re ready to fall completely in love with it.

Thanks and gig’em!

Aug 13, 2014
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