After having spent the past four-and-a-half months traveling around the UK and Europe, one could definitely come to the conclusion that I have been living a life of dreams. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have traveled so extensively and calling London my home has been such a pleasure in itself. With all of this in mind, I am definitely anxious about the planned transition from this semester of travel and leisure to the routine of life in the US.
I know, for the most part, exactly what to expect upon my return home, I know that I will be greeted by my family at the airport – a reunion that I am very much looking forward to. I have not seen my family since they dropped me off at the airport in January. With the exception of the occasional Skype conversation, the majority of our conversations have been limited to WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. I cannot wait to hug my siblings and reconnect with my parents. Beyond that, I know that I will have a few short days at home – to unpack from a semester abroad and to repack for a summer in Ann Arbor. I will then return back to Ann Arbor where I have two jobs and an internship waiting for me.
I will be living with one friend – one out of my four roommates from last semester who will also be in Ann Arbor for the summer. Gone are the days of having my own room and my own bathroom. I will have to get used to sharing a small space once again.
To be honest, I am both saddened and excited by the idea of knowing what to expect. For many of my days in London, I did not know what an afternoon would hold. There is something very invigorating about living outside of your comfort zone for such an extended period of time – but that can also become exhausting after a while. I must turn my attention from adventure and pleasure to obtaining a routine of work, internship, and spending time with old friends.
Something that is very important to me is carrying over my newfound love of travel and experiencing new things into my normal life of routine in Michigan. But how is this possible? How can one cultivate adventure into normalcy? I believe the answer comes in the form of attitude – being able to create spontaneity in the simplest of circumstances and capitalize on that.
Sure, I will not have the opportunity (nor the time, nor the money!) to gallivant off to faraway countries each weekend as living in London gave me the opportunity to do. However, trying new things is something that will never get old. By taking my attitude of adventure, I can visit different towns in Michigan. I can try a new hiking trail or a new coffee shop or a new brand of cereal! Whatever it is, by continuing to venture outside of my comfort zone – my spirit of adventure will not draw to a close.
Here’s to a summer of trying new things, in the environment of a familiar city!