It’s been a whirlwind of a week with classes coming to an end and the transfer out of denial that my time abroad is coming to a close. As you can imagine, I’ve been running around trying to balance final papers while also enjoying what I can of London. I’ve also been sort of M.I.A. because I’ve been on a pretty wild emotional rollercoaster, but I’ve found a way to re-center myself and enjoy life from this point forward. This week, we had a lot of “lasts” with the program including our last play and our farewell dinner. We also went on a walking tour of Notting Hill with one of my professors as our last time together. Although we were saying goodbye, it just didn’t feel like goodbye. Not because we still have a whole week left, but I just feel that I’m never going to truly say goodbye to the professors and program advisers I’ve become so attached to. As I write this, I do feel incredibly emotional and tears are forming in my eyes, but it’s because I am so happy and fortunate to have had this experience. But let’s get to the details, shall we?
On Wednesday, we went to Shakespeare’s Globe to see Romeo and Juliet. When I saw that we would be standing for the duration of the play, I immediately planned to leave at intermission. Standing for two to two and a half hours straight? You’ve got to be kidding me. I was completely wrong though. This was the best rendition of Romeo and Juliet I have ever seen. A friend of mine said that it seemed as though they realized how boring Romeo and Juliet are as characters and they played up everyone else and I have to agree. I loved how they kept other characters present onstage and drove toward a comedic appeal. I also loved how every character was adorned with tattoos, but that was left completely unexplained. Even though I was pretty cold by the end and wanted them to hurry up and die, I am so glad I went and stayed. It was probably my favorite play we went to as a program.
On Thursday, we had our final day with ACCENT. For my Interpreting Popular Culture class, there was an optional walking tour of Notting Hill where my professor lives. He took us to see where parts of where Notting Hill was filmed, where Jimi Hendrix died, where members of The Rolling Stones lived, and cool little shops and sights along the way. I’ve always loved the Notting Hill/Portobello Road area and regret I hadn’t gone there more times in the semester. We then stopped at The Tabernacle to chat and hang out before the farewell dinner where we met his wife and reunited with his son whom we all love. We eventually arrived to the farewell dinner which was honestly the same experience as when we arrived here together: completely chaotic and unorganized. (I mean this in the best way, of course) It seemed appropriate as we were scavenging for places to sit and shouting out to the waitress who ordered what while trying to maintain conversation. I think my favorite part was not only having our favorite tour guide, Ruth, join us, but also seeing all of my professors together. I honestly thought I was going to be more sad and I have to admit that parts of my conscience were elsewhere, but I thought it was just nice overall.
This weekend itself, I’ve really been focusing on my own desires within London. It’s odd because I thought I would feel more urgency about things I either haven’t done or things I want to return to, but I’ve actually found myself moving a much slower pace about things. I’m sure it will pick back up, but I’ve really just been trying to take everything in without rushing. I’ve found that when I traveled to other places in Europe, I was able to see all of the sights, but they were more like snapshots than memories because we were cramming so much stuff in. London will forever be imprinted in my brain and I think I always have a psygeographic memory of the city, but I want to make sure that if I’m not as fortunate to return when I plan to that I have something to hold onto. One week left…I can’t believe it.
Rough Trade in Notting Hill
The Trafalgar Hotel Rooftop Bar
One thought on “Week Sixteen: Leaving The Nest”
Great 4 months you’ve had. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. It is ok to shed some tears when you leave but the tears when you return home will be happy tears. Thanks for your blog.