Getting Away to Come Back

Monday, February 17, 2020

It's a feeling.

This is London.
It’s just a feeling you get. A lot of people who have traveled will tell you that the experience introduces you to an inexplicable feeling, a feeling that you can hardly name (which is why I will continue to just call it a feeling). You find it in between the subway seats or tossed along the sidewalks. You see it in a stranger’s eyes. On the cover of a book behind a shop window. The alleyways sometimes give you a peak, but where this feeling is most obvious is when you return home and you see everything from how it used to be in an awkward, overgrown lens. It’s a view of life you used to have that’s too big for tight broken down shoes. I know I make studying abroad sound so profound, so exclusive to those experiencing it and in a sense, it is. I won’t pretend like I don’t sit upon some amount of privilege that allows me to travel. But this feeling isn’t exclusive to the privileged class and neither is traveling. In fact, this feeling is most compatible with those who recognize their blessings and approach life with gratitude (which are skills many wealthy people do not have).
It's as gritty as it look

You can find this feeling anywhere, you can find this feeling in a person, in food, in yourself. I happened to confront this feeling in the little moments away from home. 

I studied abroad in London for my 2019 Fall semester. I went as a third-year English major and got an internship at You Press, an organization that focuses on uplifting and supporting young artists, specifically marginalized artists, who are practicing their craft. In between all the bullshit that was school (classes abroad are generally easier, at least for me they were because my professors were really focused on providing us with an “immersive” experience), I was traveling all over western Europe. I went to 9 different countries. 20 different cities. Met dozens of people. And fell in love an infinite amount of times with every new experience. 
It's more pleasant than you think.
I gained a lot of wisdom and confidence, along with an endless bag of funny stories.

I almost got pickpocketed twice in Barcelona and the second time I actually was playing tug-of-war over my friend’s bag (whom I met that day at the beach) with the pickpocketer at 5 a.m. drunk off a night out. 

In Venice, I met a hot Italian man who took me through every Venetian ally way to romantically make out as if I were in my very own Lizzie Mcguire movie. We could hardly understand each other, but that was the point.

In Amsterdam, I shroomed with a genuine set of friends and enjoyed the simplicity and beauty of life and nature. 

I felt welcomed everywhere I went.
In Amboise, I paid homage to a muse and idol of mine, Leonardo da Vinci, at his grave.

In Rome, I danced with the muses in their ruins. One of the most spiritual experiences.

The majority of my travels outside of London were done on my own and I don’t necessarily recommend that because being a young non-white fem presenting person (and an obvious tourist) can be a disadvantage. Still, I don’t regret it. Instead, I thank the gods that watched over me and kept me safe because that allowed me to grow stronger as an individual.

The places you'll go with yourself.
I recommend traveling to everyone (it doesn’t have to be elaborate, because even just getting away up into the mountains is an experience in itself), but especially to students who have feasible access to funds, scholarships and programs that campus life provides. Seriously, debt isn’t tangible (nor is it real in my opinion), but memories and development are and they stick with you forever. 

If you are interested in studying abroad, please check out the study abroad office, they have tons of information. Understandably so, if that seems too big of a task to tackle, reach out to me and I can help direct you. My email is

And then comes the time to let it all go.

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