How did we get to the end already?

As with all my posts, here my latest belated installment that I meant to post before hopping on my plane back to the States. Take a gander below.

(3 days ago): Dear London, must I bid you adieu already? It is actually paining me to write this, not just because I somehow managed to get a mild stomach bug on literally the last full day I have in London, but because I have also fallen so completely in love with this city and country that saying goodbye is torture. When it comes to packing up and saying goodbye I am, without a doubt, the WORST, and so to keep myself from crying too much and making this post too sappy, here is my attempt at reflecting back on these last few months abroad.

As Shakespeare once wrote (in As You Like It):

                                        “All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;”

And how eerily true that has been for me. The world has been my stage strangely enough for the past year, from India to London. For these journeys, I must extend my greatest gratitude and thanks to those who’ve made it possible and all the more worthwhile.

I am forever indebted to my family for encouraging me and supporting me in my adventures abroad, and for always letting me believe that I am capable of doing what I set my mind to. I am excited to come home and to be reunited after so many months away – and I can’t wait to share my stories with you all… and to also finally get to eat some home-cooked meals.

Thank you to my friends (both new and old) for all the crazy times, late night talks (cheeky banter?), loads of laughter, postcards, Snapchat updates, and escapades – you made my time in London even better than I could have anticipated. To my new friends: I will miss you all, but this is not goodbye forever – I hope we all can keep in touch and I hope that we all see each other soon again! To the old: thank you to those who made time to visit me and thank you to my staunchest of fans who kept up with my poorly updated blog and social media to follow along on my adventures.

Shout out to LSE for checking all the boxes when it came to challenging me academically – I know I came in pursuit of such intensity and rigour, but I am proud to have survived it. Thank you for exposing me to the British education system and for allowing me to see the pros and cons of both that and the American system. Thank you for the extensive number of societies, events, and activities that showcased how diverse the student body is and opened my eyes to the many opinions that each individual holds.

I must also thank London for allowing me to grow as a person, as I would be remiss without doing so. The past few months have been challenging and motivating in ways that helped me develop as an individual who is stronger, more independent, and more in charge of what she wants. I’ve been blessed with the great friends that I have made here, lucky enough to be able to travel to places I’ve never been before, and honoured to have lived in the heart of such a historic, energetic, and robust city. In a sense, London gave me everything and more that I was looking for in my university experience. I never knew how much I enjoyed the fast-paced lifestyle until now. While DC (where my home university is) could never quite compare to London, I am still grateful to be able to say that I’ve lived in both. DC provided me with a glimpse and touch of confidence of being able to manage a city lifestyle, and London allowed me to truly learn to capitalise and enjoy such. Is it strange that London now holds the title for my favourite city?

From the intense classes to the last minute runs to movie premieres, from the adventures within London to those outside and around the UK/Europe, from living next door to the Queen to actually wishing her a happy 90th birthday, and from all the rainy days to the blessed sunshiny ones, my life has changed in ways I could only have dreamt of before. London, you have welcomed me with open arms since day one, showed me the diversity of a city that is thriving and celebrated, confirmed that even the British are capable of butchering the English language, provided me with the finest of fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, ruined me forever with tastiest of craft beers/ales on tap, and taught me ultimately that a small kid can make it (or at least manage somewhat) in a big city. So while I sit here in the midst of tears (for the third or fourth time today), I salute you and thank you for everything you’ve given me. Cheers to you, and may our paths cross again soon. For now America beckons, and I must take my leave. God bless, godspeed, and God save the Queen!