Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad!

I think that each time we leave home for a good period of time, we learn something new about ourselves and about the people around us. A month may not seem like a long time but it is a good chuck, especially if you are in another country with a group of people you only met on the airplane before you got here. So I have decided to take a few minutes to talk about some of the things I learned about myself while I have been here. 
I am pretty independent as is. I don't mind doing things alone or being the only one in the group not doing something. It turns out, I am even more independent then I thought. And that has actually been a very good thing for me on this trip. 

I knew coming on this trip that England has a different drinking age. In fact, in England, you can drink at 18. I also knew that my feelings about alcohol and drinking were going to be different then the majority of the groups. What I didn't know was that they would be different then absolutely everyone else's. The group likes to go to the pub and drink on the weekends here. I tagged along the first time and got an overpriced cappuccino and it was weird...for everyone. So I haven't spent a lot of time with a lot of the group who spends their weekends at the pub. I am glad they are all enjoying themselves and have no hard feelings about it, but I am very thankful to be so independent in this situation. 
I have also learned that when you do things alone here, more locals talk to you. Every single time I go walking on the cliffs or the beach alone I talk to new people. Everyone is so curious about where I am from and how I am liking England. The two girls I am living with have made some local "guy" friends and they all seem to have a really good time. They are all between 19-21 and love having American girls around. I have hung out with them on occasion but I just seem to like the connections and interactions I have with "older" natives better. 
I have learned that I absolutely hate messy spaces. Our house is rather small (We like to use the word Quaint) and it is obvious that things are messy when there isn't a lot of space. We don't have a dishwasher so I decided to lead by example and wash my dishes and put them in the drying rack. I was shocked when my roommates not only didn't put their dishes away, but simply stuck them in the sink. I don't know how parents put up with us! The same goes for things around the house, games are left out as well as clothing and shoes. It makes me CRAZY. But I have learned that I probably do those things at home in Flagstaff and should probably make sure I am not being hypocritical in the future by saying I hate messes and leaving my own. 
Lastly I have learned/reminded myself daily, that I have the power to make this trip whatever I want it to be. Everything doesn't always go the way I think it is going to and I have had to adjust a lot of my expectations for this trip, but I have done so and still had such an amazing time! I am so lucky to be doing this and I know it is something I will remember and cherish for my whole life. Coming here to study was a once in a lifetime experience. Each day I wake up not sure what exactly to expect but I have yet to be disappointed. 

So on an entirely different note, last weekend was Father's Day and today is my Dad's Birthday. I wish I could be home to celebrate with him and my family! It makes me miss them even more when I miss things like this! So I am wishing my Dad a very Happy Birthday from WestBay! I can't wait to see you in 10 days! 

Thanks for giving me this opportunity to come here! And thanks for raising me to be who I am today and for helping me to develop some of these characteristics I mentioned above! I love you! I hope you have a wonderful day and do something fun to celebrate! 

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