Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Studying Abroad in London: The End of London

It's finally here...my last study abroad post. I can't believe how fast this semester flew by. It was, honestly, the best semester of my life. I'll talk more at the end since I still have a few days to wrap up, but overall I'm just so grateful for this experience and everything that happened while I was here. 

December 16, 2019

On Monday, Isaac and I slept in very late. I was up late and neither of us had gotten much sleep through our naps so it was really nice to sleep in. After we woke up, we went and got groceries and food to eat for Monday and the next couple of days.

While we were eating, we just sat on the couch catching up on The Apprentice and cuddling. We finished off Psych, which was bittersweet since we'd been binging that together all semester. However, the second movie is coming out (hopefully) in 2020 so we'll hopefully be able to watch that together!

That night, I went and watch Isaac play football in a league thing (soccer for my American friends). It was fun to watch him play and I did get to see some other people I knew, so that was nice. It was pretty cold  by the end, though. Afterwards, after having been home for a while, we decided to go on a midnight trip to Tesco for snacks to eat while watching movies. 

December 17, 2019

We woke up pretty early on Tuesday so that I could be awake for my bag collection since I was shipping a second suitcase home rather than bringing two suitcases through the various airports. It ended up not getting collected until 2 pm, which was a bit unfortunate since I was pretty tired.

I did work on my last essay for a bit. I got it outlined and a little less than half of it written before I decided to be done for the day. Then Isaac and I just cuddled on the couch watching various TV shows before getting ready to go to dinner.

We went to dinner at a steak restaurant with his parents which was really enjoyable. It was a very laid back meal and I enjoyed everything I ate. The steak was to die for and I would definitely go back. The only issue of the night was when the card machine stopped working right as we were going to pay so we ended up being there for quite a bit longer. But it all added to the experience of an amazing night.

December 18, 2019

We slept in again on Wednesday before I worked on my essay for a little bit more. We had our last camembert session while watching the movie Yesterday. It was a pretty good movie, if a bit long. Afterwards, I finished up my essay and got that turned in so that I wasn't worrying about it while traveling through airports.

We ordered Chinese food that night so that we could eat that while watching the finale of The Apprentice (UK). It was a good episode and I'm happy with how it turned out. After that, we just packed up my stuff and got things organized for the next morning.

We tried to go to sleep early since we had to wake up and leave early, but I couldn't fall asleep. I didn't want to sleep because I didn't want morning to come where I was going to have to leave. We ended up staying up pretty late talking and, in my case, crying about leaving. 

December 19, 2019

We woke up pretty early and got on the road. I took a Dramamine, less than my usual dose, and I thought it would work. We stopped at McDonald's to grab some breakfast for the road on our way to Heathrow. The lower dose of Dramamine evidently didn't work as I started to really feel my motion sickness when we were getting on the busier road and actually ended up throwing up right as we got to the airport.

Sadly, Isaac couldn't park anywhere so we had to say a quick goodbye outside, which was really sad for me. It meant that I wasn't crying like a mess inside the airport, though, so at least there's that. I got through check in, bag drop, and security really easily. I was feeling better after throwing up, but I wanted to get some breakfast so that I could take Dramamine for the plane ride. I ended up just eating half a bowl of soup before heading to my gate--I was pretty lucky since, right as I got there, they  started calling my group early.

I got boarded very easily and ended up not having a seat partner for the entire flight. It was nice. I fell asleep right after take off and ended up sleeping through the lunch delivery--when I asked about it, they said they'd bring it but I guess they forgot so I didn't get any lunch. Luckily I was awake when they passed out snacks later. By the end of the flight I was pretty bored and glad to finally land in Chicago.

I got through passport control and customs easily. I had to take a shuttle over to my proper terminal and had to check back in through security which was fun. I was able to get over to my terminal easily after that and ended up going to Chili's for lunch. My first taste of "proper" chips, salsa, and guac since August. It was so yummy. I also picked up some Chex Mix, Cheetos, and proper Kit Kats since I was really missing those.

I found a place to sit on my computer after that and wrote a blog post and just messed around a bit for a few hours. Then it was the first of many gate changes. By the time I finally got on my flight, it was two hours delayed and we'd gone through five gate changes across two different terminals. When I was finally on my flight, there were two screaming toddlers behind me the entire way. I generally don't care about kids on flights but at that point I was so tired that I was ready to yeet them out the window.

By the time I landed in Peoria and got back to my house, I'd been traveling for 22 hours. It was a really long day. But I finally made it home. 

And I'm home! Well, I'm actually at my dad's right now getting ready for Christmas, but it still stands. It was a rough couple of first days trying to adjust, especially since my suitcase still hadn't shown up. I think it's going to continue being rough trying to adjust to a different way of life again and deal with missing Isaac. But I'm just glad to have gone in the first place. It was an amazing semester that I'm never going to forget. I may feel cliche saying this, but this semester in London changed me. I loved it and I can't wait to go back.

For past weekly diaries, check out my study abroad page here.

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