I’ve been living in England for the past three months, that’s twice as long as I’d ever been away from home before. For spring break I travelled to Italy for a ten-day whirlwind adventure with a few friends. I rode through the canals of Venice in a gondola, walked through the ancient runes of Rome, marvelled at Michelangelo’s David in Florence, took goofy pictures with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and ate mass amounts of pizza and gelato. It was something I never thought I would ever be able to do and it was absolutely spectacular.
Today we took two busses, an airplane, and a train to get back to our university in England and it felt fantastic to be home. I may be over 5,000 miles away from my family and the town where I spent eighteen years of my life, but I am home nonetheless. My bed is hard and lumpy, the fridge was growing something disgusting, and it is freezing outside and inside, but everything is familiar. Excitement is great for a while, but familiarity is just lovely.
Of all the things I expected to gain from my study abroad experience, a sense of being at home in England was not one of them. There are still many things that confuse me (what exactly does ‘cheers’ mean?) and I’m sure that I will leave before all of my questions are answered, but I’m starting to notice all of the little things that I will miss when I have to leave (like coins that are actually worth something and Tesco brand cereal).
Italy was warm and sunny, full of exotic accents and fabulous food, but there really is no place like home – whether it’s California or England.