Apologies for not posting in a very long time! Since my last post, I have finished with all of my papers and projects (I lucked out and didn’t have any final exams like all of my other friends here), and have traveled to 4 more countries! Myself, Amanda and Abby went to Morocco and Milan, and from there Amanda & I met our other friend Wayne in Cinque Terre! All of those places were absolutely amazing and unique in their own way. About 2 weeks ago, Mary, Amanda and I took a day trip to Bangor, Wales-which I’m really glad we were able to do. I really wanted to see Wales before leaving because it was so close to us and I had heard so many great things about it; and people were so right! Bangor was absolutely beautiful and so green. We lucked out with really good weather which just made the experience so much better. Finally, Amanda & I just returned from a 4 day trip to Barcelona! Coming into my study abroad experience, Spain was my #1 country I wanted to visit. It just looked so beautiful, the weather looks amazing and I had heard so many great things from my friends that have been. I must say that this trip was definitely one of my favorites (probably tied with Prague). It was a very relaxing and hot 4 days, and very bittersweet since it was my last trip with Amanda- and we checked off our 12th country in 4 months! I found the people in Barcelona to be very friendly & helpful, and I even got to practice a little Spanish!
It’s crazy to think that it is now the beginning of June and I arrived here at the end of January. This experience has flown by so fast, and I have experienced so many different things and changed so much as a person. I feel so much more cultured, open-minded and grateful for things in life. Being able to have the opportunity to travel as much as I have is an absolute blessing. At the same time, being able to experience the town of Manchester has been incredible. I couldn’t imagine doing my study abroad in any other city. Manchester is a perfect mix of everything I could’ve asked for. It’s a wonderful college town, but also a good mix of city, with very friendly people. I feel as though it’s a very accepting city, and there’s always something going on! Whether it’s heading into city center to try out a new restaurant, visiting a new museum, going to a Manchester United game, trying out new pubs, or visiting Trafford Centre to go shopping. Manchester has been my home for these past 5 months and it’s so weird thinking I have to leave it so soon.
My family arrives in Manchester this Saturday-which I’m so excited about! I havn’t seen any of them since January, so it will be a very nice to finally see them. I’m excited to be able to show them around Manchester as well (even though I still get lost myself after 5 months. I think I’m just directionally-challenged). Thinking about going back home stirs up a mix of emotions. Like I said before, I feel as though I’ve changed so much, but everything/everyone back home is going to be the same. Granted, my family did move while I was away so I am excited to be able to start working back at a new Chick-fil-A and experience that. But I definitely think I will go through a culture shock going back to America-especially the South. I am very thankful I have so many memories & friendships to look back on for the tough days. I am so grateful to have met everyone I did, because they played such a big role in this experience. I wouldn’t be this happy and in love with these past 5 months if it wasn’t for everyone I met, so thank you for that.
Until then, it is time to start packing up everything and taking in my last few days in Manchester! When my family comes, we are going to be traveling to Ireland and Scotland-so I’m excited for that. Also I am hoping for good weather! I will be posting pictures very soon as well 🙂