It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a decade since I was studying abroad at Edge Hill in England. I still remember most of the experience pretty vividly, though the pictures I took and this blog also help me remember certain details.
What still stays with me is looking back on the person I was before my experience. Nearly a year before I left, in October 2011, I was going through a really hard time. My grandmother passed away while I was at college, something I had to find out through a phone call from my mother. I can’t describe the feeling I went through, just that it was a hopeless, sinking, devastating feeling that nearly sucked all of the light out of me. The events of 2011 definitely served as the catalyst for knowing that I had to do something out of the ordinary, to combat the anxious mess of a person I had become. So in early 2012, I reached out to my university’s study abroad office and began my journey that led to living at Edge Hill for three months, changing my life for the better.
Since then, I’ve stayed in touch with several people that I met there. Most of us are in our late 20s to early 30s now, college graduates who have built lives out in the real world, with some buying houses, getting married, starting families, or focusing on our careers. There’s been a couple of in-person reunions over the years, usually in smaller groups, since us living all over the country makes it hard to come together as a larger group. Fortunately, the Internet has made some larger virtual reunions possible over the past couple of years. There’s been some talk of a possible 10-year in-person reunion next summer in England.
As for me, I’ve been living in Washington, D.C. for the past seven years, having come here three months after college graduation, somewhat aimless and not knowing what my future held for me. I’ve built a great life for myself; landing a great job with great coworkers, finding an apartment to live in, and most recently becoming an aunt when my nephew was born last April.
When it comes to blogging, I’m still pretty active on my book review blog. I’ve documented a couple of travels on my “sequel” blog England Epilogues, including a cruise to the Bahamas in 2018 and a family trip to Los Angeles for New Year’s 2020. I have yet to actually return to England, as living in one of the most expensive cities in the country isn’t cheap, nor is international travel. But with travel restrictions getting less strict and with me saving up, my hope is to return next year after a decade away…