reflections on a year abroad
As my departure from this beautiful city dawns upon me, I reflect on this wonderful year. I would definitely say that my biggest accomplishment in this past year has been to become an adoptive Londoner. I think when I finally leave a piece of me will stay here in my Marylebone flat. I have completely adapted to the way of life here, and have enjoyed every minute of it. However, I leave without regret. I can comfortably say I have thoroughly explored this massive city. I have gotten lost between identical rows of brick housing in many boroughs. I have gotten pushed by drunken Londoners trying to get in a fight. I have ran, biked, skated, taken the bus, metro, taxi, uber and regional train. I have visited and revisited the majority of attractions and museums. I have spent afternoons in most of the parks. I have been to the theatre in the Strand, I have explored the 'hipstery' streets of Shoreditch. I have eaten at restaurants of every available nationality. I even ventured with my friends to a Colombian bar in the sketchy south London area to watch the game that got us in the world cup. I have seized my time abroad and for that I am extremely content.
I leave with no regrets. However, the fact that I don't know when I will be back here scares me for some reason that I can't seem to define. I don't really have any further reasons to come back to London and I think if I do it won't be the same. This year abroad has been incredibly fun and fulfilling but it hasn't been only because of the city. The fact that I was here with my best friends, my girlfriend, and a pretty closely-knit community in NYU London really solidified my experience. Additionally to this perfect scenario, I really had no real worries other than the menial academic ones. This situation is something I will never be able to re-create, which as I write I realize is perhaps the root of my fear to leave. This year marks what seems like a pivotal moment in my life. In a week I will have been done with the first half of my college career, arguably the less serious one. Junior year will bring both challenges and opportunities, and puts me one year closer to entering the real world.
I genuinely appreciate what this class leads its students to do. Unfortunately, freely writing is hard to do in Stern unless one minors in English or subjects of the sort. Through writing my weekly memos, I have been forced to reflect on both myself and my life in Londontown. This is turn has made me really appreciate the little things that make life enjoyable, like a good walk, a good book, a good meal and good company. I look forward to revisiting this blog to remind me exactly what made me love this city and my time here. Once I have seen London for the last time, from my airplane window, I know an overwhelming sense of melancholy will come over me but I think that is okay because I will never get tired of London. I think Samuel Adam’s best illustrated my feelings with his quote:
"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
Farewell dear reader(s), and farewell dear London.