Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Flashback: Starting Over, in England

I get ridiculously nostalgic on January 29th. It was six years ago today that my nerves were out of control as I crammed the last of four months worth of junk into my suitcase and waited anxiously until it was time to drive to the SF International Airport.

I was about to meet the seventeen other students I would be traveling over to Bath, England with, for my college study abroad semester. I was freaking out. Would I like them? Would they like me? Would I love my classes? Would my classes consume all of my time? Would I travel as much as I wanted? Would I get homesick? Would I love or hate my host family? ...

I had no idea what to expect and I was a monstrous mix of scared and excited. I'm not a natural risk taker. I don't enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone for even a minute. Studying abroad was not on my list of things-to-do, as I never imagined I'd have the courage to get on a plane and live my life in a different country, even if it was only for a few months.

But, six years ago, I was one semester away from graduating university, I was in the process of ending a long relationship, and I was sitting bored, in one of my classes when the Study Abroad coordinator walked to the front of the room and said "I'm here to tell you ten reasons why you should study abroad in Bath, England in the Spring semester."

She listed her ten reasons and I sat there frozen as my life seemed to click into place.

I HAD to go to England. I had to study in Bath. I absolutely felt, with every fiber of my being, that packing my bags, getting on a plane and starting over, was completely necessary.

WOW has my life changed as a result.

Stonehenge

When I think back to my college days, though I was in school for years, its the friends I made during my study abroad that I think of with the fondest memories. There was something about the eighteen of us, thrown together in an unfamiliar culture, traveling around Europe together, making memories in a foreign country together, that changed me forever.

And, as I've blogged about before, it was three weeks into my trip, while in the Dublin airport after traveling around Ireland with some of my classmates-turned-friends, that I sat myself down next to the cutest guy in the airport... and met my husband, Will.

Watching Wales play France in the 6 Nations Rugby
with Will

I absolutely can not imagine how different my life would be now, if I had not taken a chance, hopped on a plane and said goodbye to life as I knew it.

Tea and scones with Ryan (Gracie's God-father) in Chepstow, Wales

Stourhead, England

Montacute House, England

January 29th, 2004 will always be one of the best days of my life.

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Do you have a flashback of your own that you want to share? Come on by Tia's blog, for the best meme in town.

Happy Friday!

xoxo,

8 comments:

Nen said...

That would definitely be an amazing experience!! I love the picture of you all peeking out from behind those trees/bushes!

AlyGatr said...

Everytime I read about your adventures in Bath, I kick myself for not going on the semester abroad to Stratford On Avon with the group from my school. The classes they were teaching as part of the program were all classes I'd taken. If I went, I'd have had to retake the same classes...for no credit...and come back a semester behind for graduation. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone. I really wish I did :( At least you had the guts to do it...and to change your life forever.

The Momma said...

I soooooo wish I had been able to do a study abroad! I tried to do an exchange student type thing in high school, but my parents just couldn't afford it. Some day though, I WILL travel to Europe!

DenaDaw said...

aww I met my husband and had my first kiss in London, England. He's originally from Alveley (outside of Birmingham). We go to England about once a year now to see the family.
Good times!

jean said...

you left out the part about Bath leading you to finding the best roommate EVER! :)

Melissa said...

I love those pictures, especially the one at Montacute! I'm not sure I'd ever have the courage to study abroad, so kudos to you!

Christopher And Tia said...

Oh yay I like this flashback. So much fun :)

I want to go overseas so bad.

Whimsical Creations said...

Amazing memories and what a wonderful experience.

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