Who thinks 7 weeks is a long time? For me, it felt like I blinked and it was all over. My last few days in Europe visiting Travis went by so quickly, and it felt like I was completely ambushed by the fact that it was all over. I left London on Tuesday, and so now I am back in Atlanta, heading back to Athens in the morning. It is hard to comprehend that I am here, that now I actually have to find a job and that I have the daunting task of deciding where I can live when my lease ends in 25 days. No place to live, no job, and having a deep desire to go back to Europe- not the greatest combination.Besides all of these emotions and tasks that are being put in front of me at the moment, I learned so much while abroad. It has been an amazing experience for me, and one that has truly changed my perspective on life and how I should approach it. One of the greatest lessons I learned is that you should not put yourself into a situation where you will struggle. That doesn't mean to not take chances. The point I am making is that you need to enjoy the actual life that is put in front of you. Not the one on the TV screen or in front of the computer. Get out, do things, meet people, and soak in every moment you can. Take the time to learn about others, different cultures, and what you want for yourself. I know that I may be getting a little deep, but I really found out that I was being lazy with my life and not exposing myself to what personally affects me. I am completely guilty of sitting around my apartment all day. If I should sit anywhere, go to a park, read, and people watch. It is amazing how sitting out in the sun and grass can brighten your day and relax you in whole.
I did exactly that the Friday I got to London. Travis was at work, so after a failed attempt to find the park nearby, I sat along the Thames River while the tide was low. I sat out there for hours, with the breeze blowing and boats lined up against the bank. It was one of the most relaxing times I had. I didn't have to think or stress about my day, but just enjoy the place I was in. When Travis got back later that day, he cooked tuna filets for us and we listened to each others music choices all night. It was a great night in. We were planning on going to Windsor palace in the morning, so we didn't want to get too crazy. We headed out Saturday in the late morning. After a train ride, we started walking around the castle and grabbed some pictures. The entry to get into the Palace was pretty steep, so we decided to walk around the town and see what it offered. This included me finding a book store where I was directed to the children's section so I could buy the last 2 books of the Hunger Games trilogy. We ate at this great restaurant on the river, having calamari with fish and chips, and a few beers, before heading back to Putney. That night was my London club experience. We were out dancing till probably 4 am, and I was having such a great time! The dance and clothing choices were completely different for me, but the drunk girls around me got on my nerves just the same as any other place. Most of them cleared out earlier though, thank goodness. But they weren't even close to spoiling my night.
You know how I talked about learning to relax and just enjoy? Sunday was just that, and I guess so was Monday. Sunday we grabbed some food and took the Vespa to Richmond Park for a picnic and lazy Sunday. We found the perfect tree half way up a hill next to the horse trail and spent all day "resting our eyes", eating, and talking. I also kept gawking over all of the dogs that would walk by, especially the huge yellow lab with a tennis ball. That night we watched movies on his computer, including "The Prestige" and part of "Into the Wild". Monday I again was left to find entertainment for myself, and I did by finding the park I had previously missed in the area. I read most of the book "Into the Wild", which helped me understand the movie so much better when we finished watching it that night. It was hard knowing that in the morning I would be leaving, and no 8 hour bus ride was going to be able to bring me back easily. Coming back to London would involve a whole lot more.
A long day of travel was not made any easier by saying our goodbyes and knowing that I was leaving Europe, which I had somewhat considered my home for almost a full two months. The tasks ahead of me will be great, but I know everything will work in the way it is supposed to. I just hope that what I want now will be available to me in the future. Europe was nothing short of amazing, and I encourage anyone still reading this to take advantage of every travel opportunity they can. I hope that I will be able to write about more experiences like this one in the future, but for now I think this is a chapter at its end.