Two weeks of class remain in London. This is stressful, as the end of the semester is always stressful, because I have four papers due and four finals as well.
More importantly, however, is that my time is running out in the city I have come to fall in love with. I knew before coming here that I would love this city and want to think about it being a place of future residence. Lucky for me, I participated in this study abroad program and realized that I do love this city and eventually would like to live here--or spend a large portion of my time here when I can.
Have I done everything I wanted to while being here? I couldn't tell you only because I didn't have any set plan whatsoever before coming here. I suppose now the only thing I can think of that I want to do is go on the London Eye on a nice day or evening and also see Oxford before leaving. But, I can't say I'll regret my time spent here if I don't get to do those things. I've learned so much and just enjoyed the experience of living here. I am so grateful I didn't live in a dorm and instead I live in a flat. Also, I met Sam, who has made this experience in London so exciting every time we hung out. She is my flatmate and an adventurer.
What do I love most about this city? I don't think I could sum it up to one thing. The people are fantastic-- for the most part they are caring when you make them stop and listen to you, they give you space and expect space, they have a good time and know how to drink. The people here really make the city exciting--most walk really fast and you wonder what could possibly be so important to knock off bags off of people's shoulders while passing down the street and it's so fascinating to observe different people's behaviors. The food is great. I don't care what anyone says. Give me a fish cake or a crumpet or a tea cake or a late-night-drunken-Kebab and I'm happy. The shopping. Yeah, I'm one of those. The markets here fascinate me so much. Most times it's hard for me to enjoy the capacity of the markets because of the vast amounts of people crowded on the street (my anxiety shines in these moments), but when I get some water and take a deep breath I can see the beauty in the markets. Most of what I love to see is when people actually make their own items and sell them, the vintage clothing is always fun, the sight of hipsters is thrilling and amusing, the food halls are delicious and filling, and the antiques make me jealous. If I lived here I would buy lots of antiques and fill my flat with all sorts of goodies. The transportation here fascinates me. I couldn't live without the Tube and I don't see how other cites (ahem, Phoenix) doesn't have something like this. Ok, sure, we have the light rail, which gets you from Mesa to the center of Phoenix. Good luck if you want to go further than that in either direction. The pubs are divine. Lots of good beers here (although, I do miss a good brew from Four Peaks), lots of good and diverse people and seating areas and vibes and prices and food.
I'm going to miss being here. A large part of my life will feel quite empty upon coming home. I'll get by and learn to go back to my ways of living, but London and my experiences and the people I have met will be in my mind making me feel lonesome and a bit sad. At least I'll know it will be here waiting for me when I return.