As the trip is winding down, I am forced to reflect back on the past few weeks and think about everything the group has done and accomplished as well as my personal triumphs and downfalls. It is very crazy to me to think time has flown by so quickly, as it seems like just yesterday we were traveling around Scotland.
I depicted many of my favorite memories in one of the last couple of blogs I posted, and now I can add the Tower of London to the list of my adventures and memories that I will always have from this island. We had a choice where we spent our afternoon today between Westminster Abbey and the Tower, and I chose the tower because I have always wanted to visit there since I first heard about how Anne Boleyn came to lose her head and became the first queen to do so. Though, I will say that I hope to be able to return some day soon to see Westminister Abbey. That too is on my bucket list of places to see.
When thinking about what I am taking away from this course, the list feels as if it is becoming more and more extensive as I think about it. Academically, I know more about how the Romans utilized technology, how an old clock inside a church tower works, how to tell where possible building additons were made on medieval buildings, and more. Socially, I learned a little more about how to open up and talk to people I do not know that well quicker than I am used to. I learned I am not much of a fan of England’s chicken nuggets while also learning I have a soft spot for their ice cream and Rosé wine. Personally, I may have found the limit to how much I can tolerate from other people and large crowds before I need a short break from the world.
However, I think the biggest thing I believe I am taking away from this trip is appreciation, especially for things I have a habit of taking for granted back home. Things like the ability to get in the car and drive somewhere as opposed to walking or taking public transportation sound pretty good to me right now in all honesty. But, if I were being completely truthful, I feel I am walking away from this trip with a better understanding of the need and importance of patience, flexibility, and understanding. There were quite a bit of things in the beginning that did not go according to plan (the whole needing to find a new flight and lost luggage fiascos, not being able to see a site due to it being temporairly closed, or switching days around). All these events required the three values listed, especially patience. Even though I do not consider myself a patient person, I feel like this trip has helped me grow significantly in that area as we figured things out day by day, hour by hour when something about our trip needed to be tweaked, altered, or changed.
I am definitely goinf to miss the United Kingdom, traveling around and seeing and experiencing new things every day, but it is time to fly home, graduate, and enter the post-college adult world.