Here I am again, packing my bags on the eve of my next big journey, the one that will take me home. While I stress about buying last-minute souvenirs and which famous American Olympian will be on the plane ride back with me, I can’t help but smile thinking about returning to the things I’ve missed during the last month—jay-walking without fear of being run over, half and half, central air, a functioning hair dryer—the list goes on and on. It’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my time in the temporary center of the world; I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s that I know I’m not saying goodbye just yet.
I may never have to navigate the tube station or decipher my pounds from pence again, but I’m confident that the memories and friendships I’ve made, lessons I’ve learned and growth I’ve achieved during these three weeks will last far beyond my final hours in Heathrow Airport. I know I’m bringing home more than the ‘London Olympics’ t-shirts I jammed into my suitcase; I’m bringing home new lessons, ties, perspectives and insight that will last me a lifetime.
So, even if I can’t stay in the city forever, I like to think I will always have a piece of it with me. No matter where the next road takes me, I’m sure I’ll be able to find my way—nothing will ever be as confusing as the London Underground.