I could fill up an entire blog with my study abroad experience in London alone. I'll get there, I promise. Even though it was over 3 years ago, the pain of leaving is still pretty fresh. I'm lucky that I've stayed close with most of the girls I befriended while there, so a part of me gets to relive our fun times every few months. (These weekends normally involve movie marathons, excessive drinking and ridiculous hangovers. And food. Lots of food. And I wouldn't change any of it :-) )
ANYWAYS, before I get all teary-eyed and wistful, My flashback on this rainy tuesday is of a place about an hour south of London. Now, I know what you're thinking. It's raining, you are trying to bring some light into the situation, doesn't it rain more over there?
Not in my experience :-) I got lucky, and went fall 07, when England as a whole had unseasonably mild weather. Did it rain? Yes. But it was nice out more often than it rained. It was warm enough to go out in a sweater until the end of November. So to come home to a terrible snowstorm was disheartening to say the least. Either way, one of those gorgeous days was spent visiting the seaside town of Brighton.
If I remember correctly, this was about 3 weeks after we had arrived, so while I knew everyone, we weren't extremely close yet. My roommate was still on crutches (she attempted to jump a fence, and it did not work out in her favor. She ended up screwing up her knee), and we spent most of the day walking through the little shops of the town, trying to find our way to the beach. It was a really nice day, and everyone was in a good mood. It was the first trip I had taken with my new friends, so in my mind it is an incredibly meaningful memory. I'll always remember standing on the beach throwing rocks into the ocean, just looking out and feeling so different. For the first time in my life, I was more than 3 hours from my parents, my friends. I was in a situation where I had to be myself and not prove myself to anyone else. Everyone was there for the same reason (to enjoy their abroad experience), and I found so little judgement that it allowed me to really find myself, as cliched as that is. This was one of the first times that I really felt like I understood that feeling.
After exploring the beach, we sat at a bar where we met a group of guys who were in the English version of High School Musical (or so they said). It was awesome :-)
|A beach full of pebbles :-)|
|I'm infamous for these... a young 19 year old self!|