When One Door Closes…

In an attempt to break a world procrastination record, I’ve been doing everything I can to not work on my enormous journalism project, my essay or packing up my suitcase for the trip home, including reliving the past few months via my very own posts on this nice little blog I created.

It’s kind of amazing to look back on everything. There’s a surprising amount of things I forgot that I did and even more things that I didn’t write about on here! But unfortunately, my procrastination had the unforeseen side effect of making me really sentimental about my London life coming to a close tomorrow.

Yes, in just a few short hours I will make the 11 hour 30 minute trek back across the pond to the land of the free bread at restaurants and home of the unlimited cell phone data.

*Sidenote: I will be in Los Angeles for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Last chance to see me before fall, L.A. friends! Lol jk, it will take me that full amount of time to lug my bag the size of a 10-year-old from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 for the final leg of my journey because true to form, I have not allowed myself enough time between flights.

Anyway, as I was reminiscing about the early days of this program, I remembered how nervous I was about leaving the good ol’ USA. How I really wasn’t sure this whole thing would be worth skipping a whole semester at USC, and how I would just feel like I was missing out. I also remember people telling me how this would be the best thing ever/time of my life and that I had nothing to be nervous about.

And guess what, sometimes I did feel like I was missing out, I did miss America and I’m not sure if I had the time of my life because to me, it just felt like life. But I also did something different, and I had fun doing it.

Study abroad isn’t like a Facebook album. In between all the cool sightseeing shots, there are normal days where nothing photo-worthy happens, and I’ve come to realize that those normal days are kind of the best part. I can take on a big new city — nay, country — and live to tell about it! This is a big accomplishment, people.

I do have to admit that I’m pretty excited to get back home, but that excitement is combined with feelings of sadness at this chapter ending and a little bit of guilt for not accomplishing everything on my long list of London to-dos. I guess I’m just full of epiphanies this week because I realized something about that, too. I could probably live in London for the next 20 years and not see everything I should see. Study abroad isn’t about squeezing a million attractions into a few months. It’s about going from tourist to local. It’s about going to a new school (somewhat). It’s about meeting new people and seeing new things. All of those things happen without a conscious effort at all. Plus, I now have a great reason to come back and visit one day soon.

By the way, I have done some pretty kick-ass things, even if I didn’t do all of them. I made some seriously great friends, ate some interesting food, walked around A LOT, visited more countries in 4 months than I had in my life, maybe learned a little bit at school and definitely learned a lot about independence. So I can truly say that I’m coming back to America a changed woman with a new view of the world and life.

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Even though this journey is ending, I’m also excited that a new one will be beginning in just a few weeks. After spending some time in Vegas, I’m off to New York City to intern at Reader’s Digest for the summer as part of the American Society of Magazine Editors internship program (Note the new Traveling Chelsea banner at the top of the page). Maybe I have a few blogs posts left in me after all.

Until then, I guess all that’s left to say is…

Cheers!

One thought on “When One Door Closes…

  1. Chelsea! This post elicited some serious emotion in me, maybe even a tear or two. I’m awed at your writing skills. Anyways, can’t believe a) you’re going to New York for the summer and b) interning at Reader’s Digest (actually my favorite magazine). I’m so excited for you!!! Hopefully, we’ll see each other in Vegas before though. Take care!

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