The next morning we took a taxi to Heathrow and checked our bags in. We found out once we got there that our flight was delayed 2 hours.... we decided this was a sign that London didn't want us to leave. I quickly messaged my parents to tell them about the delay in case we missed our connecting flight to Saginaw. We waited around some more and then found out our flight was delayed another 20 minutes. We knew there was no way we would make our connecting flight so I asked my mom if she could just pick us up in Detroit. I didn't have much time left on the free wifi so I had to get off and just assumed I would see my mom in Detroit.
We finally got on our plane and we both watched movies the whole way back. Once we landed I called my mom on Ellyn's phone to see if she was there. She thought we would be able to go on another connecting flight at 5, but knowing we still had to get our luggage, go through customs and go through security again I didn't think we would make it. We later found out that flight was booked, and our original connecting flight was delayed until 9:30 that night! My mom picked us up in Detroit, and my dad, Erik and friend Maggie were with her! They even had signs for us.... it was pretty adorable!
We met Ellyn's family in Frankenmuth since they live far from Detroit. Ellyn's mom had Welcome Home balloons for us! It was so strange to say bye to Ellyn because we traveled so much together.
|We're home! (Our sings have the Eiffel Tower on them because there was no London cut-out... plus we went to Paris with our mom's!)|
Adam came home for a bit that night and I handed out souvenirs for them. I think they all liked the Bueno Bars!
I saw more family and friends over the weekend. People will jokingly ask if I saw The Queen and when I say yeah they get excited. When I tell them I saw the whole Royal Family their jaw drops. This always reminds me how lucky I was to see them!
I experienced more culture shock coming home than I did going to London. I'm used to being around people with English (and Australian!) accents, hanging out with my friends at the pub, and going to a big city all the time. Now I'm surrounded by Americans (my family does say "bloody hell" as a joke now...), going to Starbucks to see my friends and going to Walmart is probably the most exciting thing to do.
|My final bracelet... America, England, Germany, France, Scotland, Ireland and my 20th birthday|
London was the best decision I ever made. I don't really know how I can beat the experience I had while there! Not only did I get to travel to so many places I only dreamed about going, but I also gained a lot of self confidence, friends I know I will stay in contact with (and visit someday!) and memories that I will never forget.
People always ask me if I liked London and if I ever plan on going back. My answer is always yes. 100% yes. Some people also ask if I want to live there someday and seemed shocked when I tell them that I would love that. I guess going from the shy person I was to now wanting to go live in a different country would be shocking to hear. I just wish I could show everyone how beautiful London is and how amazing the city is. I've tried to put my experience in words through this blog, but I still don't think I gave the city justice. I just hope if anyone gets the opportunity to go to London that they take it. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, you will always be on the go because there is so much to see, but that is one of the greatest parts of London... there was always something to do! Even after living there for 5 months I still feel like there is so much I could have seen!
Everyday my mind wanders off to think of London. I don't think I will ever not be able to think of it! To anyone who is looking for a sign about if they should study abroad, this is it. Go abroad! Study, travel, create amazing memories. I wouldn't change anything about my time in London.