Goodbye Abroad

As I sit in my Airbnb, an hour outside of London during my last night in Europe, praying that I am able to make it home to the United States tomorrow I can’t help but be a bit emotional. Over the past two and a half months I have learned a lot about myself and about the world in general. From being forced to make new friends that I will now cherish for a lifetime, to witnessing the various reactions in different countries towards Americans, my abroad experience has been unique in every way. While the abrupt ending was punctuated by the mass anxiety surrounding the coronavirus, I have attempted to take it in stride and remain unfazed even though I am not sure what the future holds. My heart goes out to those who have not had the support that my family and friends have given me and I can only hope the best for those in worse situations than I am. I have been incredibly blessed over the past 2 months with the opportunities I have had and in retrospect I regret not seeing all of the hidden surprises that made my journey so special. From being able to cook meals for my friends when we traveled, the genuine sincerity of many of my teachers, and even some of the hosts of Airbnbs I have met have all contributed to this incredible time (the current family I am staying with in London has 3 boys about my age and I have felt like an adopted son even for the short time I’ve been here). I wish I had followed my mother’s advice and kept a daily diary of sorts. I know it would be an interesting read in the coming years, but I am grateful to have been able to live in the moment as much as possible. The stories I will be able to tell when I return home will surely be some that I cherish for the rest of my life, from skiing in Andorra and riding an ATV through Mallorca, to eating dinner on the French Riviera and watching a soccer game at Camp Nou. I hope that the other abroad students have had as an unbelievable semester as I have and hopefully I can make a trip across the pond again in the future.
Be sure to wash your hands ,

Chase