I immediately chose London.
In October I was told I was going. In November, I changed my plane ticket so that I would not come back until June. I was definitely going backpacking.
On January 1, 2011 I didn't make any resolutions. Instead I just ran full speed into the Atlantic Ocean at midnight. That is how this year began, and it really set the pace.
On January 8th I said good bye to my family and headed to JFK in NYC. That is the day that I met all of my new London friends for the first time. It sure does feel like yesterday. I remember all of the fears and all of the anticipation sort of went away once I met them. I was excited to get to know these people!
When I arrived in London, the experiences began: I wrote about them, so here are just a few pictures to jog your memories.
|You know how much I talked about candy. Thank you to the Rosebery Bros who made London so much "sweeter"|
|Remember Castle Tuesday....Forever.|
|Ah, London Citizens!|
|Greenwich, Dennis promised to teach me how to be smooth, I promised to teach him how to drive.|
|Felt like the center of the world...sort of is.|
|Remember when I destroyed those fish and chips...and then attempted to eat the world's largest doughnut in Brighton?|
|Dennis' Birthday was such a great day. That stood out to me for some reason. I think its the first time I felt settled into London.|
|Went to Wimbledon!|
|Our first trip outside of London. We went to Edinburgh. It was my first hostel too! Here we are in The Elephant House Cafe where JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter! That was a really amazing weekend.|
|Going into Frankenstein's on the Pub Crawl!|
|Wont forget this club in Edinburgh.|
|All of a sudden I'm on spring break. Brussels was interesting, but had Delirium!|
|Dennis and I in Brugges.|
|On a walk around Brussels, so cold that day, hopped on my first European bus this day to Paris!|
|The Eiffel Tower at night!|
|Team Rosebery knows how to act out paintings.|
|We also rioted. Most Parisians do that.|
|Left Paris...headed to Amsterdam....then Back to London...then to Cardiff!|
|Saw some clowns....|
|Became some clowns|
|Back in London, my family came...|
|This was an awesome dinner party! Hanging spoons!|
|Of course you all remember this...I'm so happy that I climbed this mountain. That really rejuvenated me.|
|Always on the way to a Pub.|
|Back in Paris...in the spring with my friend Laura!|
|Oh yeah...almost forgot...Martini Night..."Dirty Onion" Don't loose.|
|Got chased by Geese in Oxford|
|Hastings with UIL. Bangers and Mash Party in style|
|Of course there was prom.|
|Last night out at a Pub!|
|Last ride around Hyde Park|
|All of a sudden I saw my friends go off and I was on the second stage of my journey. It started in Dorset.|
|Then went on to Dublin, Wicklow Mts, Kilkenny, everywhere on the N11, Cork, Blarney, Newgrange and even Swords in Ireland.|
|Warsaw with my friend Emily!|
|Frieberg, visiting my friend Susie!|
|Helsinki...these stairs were so steep!|
|Prague! So beautiful!|
|Krakow, Poland. The old palace.|
|Suddenly I found myself back in England...I felt home.|
|Last night in Europe. Went to a party in Crawford House. Really full circle.|
|Me and Konstantin the night before I left.|
Endings are also a time to evaluate whether you achieved the goals you set for yourself. Honestly I didn't have too many concrete goals besides staying alive (yay! Made it!) and having fun! The good thing is that I also gained so much confidence from this trip. It feels so good to wake up in the morning, even when I'm not in London and know I'm me and that I've done the things I've done...made the best of the good things and the bad things, done everything I can to make others happy and make my life fun and hopefully the lives of those around me just as fun. Naturally we think a lot about how we effect the lives of the people we meet on our journeys. I like to think that my decision to come to London back in June 2010 not only changed my life but in some ways the lives of other people in a positive way.
I know for sure that other people's decisions changed my life. I'm really thankful for that.
You know as well as I do that life isn't about how successful we are or how we look, its about opening our lives to people who will love us and who we can love right back. Sometimes I don't express that to everyone who deserves it, but really you all mean so much to me.
So, here we come, to the end of the last blog post.
I have to thank a lot of people so I'm not going to try and say names but I know you all know who you are. Honestly I am the person I am because I come from an amazing family, an exceptional group of friends and because I have an amazing dog (WAGGERS!). We can never live our dreams without support, never, so thank you.
I really don't have anything to ask of anyone except for one thing: if you get a chance please email me or post a final comment on the blog! Just say hi, say anything really...let me know you are there so I can say thank you to you personally! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
One other thing, just wanted to say that living your dreams actually is worth it...I'm happy I can't describe it because that is how I'm going to force you to go live yours. Feel this feeling!
Well, after I finish typing the last words to this blog, I really have no idea where this world will take me, or for that matter where I will take this world. I know that as long as I have you all by my side and stay the person I am, I'm going to make this life and this world something pretty spectacular. I already have done exactly that so far...so you just all wait and see what is next...