The definition of bittersweet

A journey through the past 3.5 months. Hover over the pictures for captions and click if the words are cut off. This is all chronological, and it’s funny how closely everything followed the culture shock curve that they prepared us for. Venice feels like a lifetime ago because we were so new to this whole travel thing. I hadn’t yet become friends with the people in some of the early pictures, and now we’re all so close! Geneva and Milan feel like completely separate experiences from the rest of this trip because I got to experience such local, normal life with Polly and Rebecca’s families, but I was so homesick for London by the end of that week. I remember laughing aloud with joy when I landed in Heathrow–I wanted to hug my border agent. (I thought better of it.) Kara came 2 days later (and I cried with joy) and we had so much fun. I know we’ll be talking about Paris for years. That was right in the middle of the program, and landing in London was such a different experience. I was exhausted, and I wanted to be on Kara’s plane right back to the US so badly. After going from Venice to Scotland to Geneva to Milan to Paris, I pledged I would never travel again. [One week later I rescinded my rash pledge and booked flights to Ireland.] A week after that, I was over the rougher patch of the culture shock curve and fully embracing the “integration into host country” stage. I was a Londoner! It was perfect timing to act as a tour guide for my parents’ arrival. One month later, here I am…getting all reflective and sad…but can I just say, in light of ALL THE NEWS this week: HOME OF THE BRAVE, I love you. See you in a day!

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