For a while now, I’ve had this itch. It’s one of those itches that no matter how much you scratch, you never feel relief. Scratching only gives you the urge to keep scratching.
During my junior year of College, I got the opportunity to do something amazing. I got the chance to study abroad in London. Sure, a lot of college students study abroad nowadays, but for me it was even more epic because I never even considered the possibility of going to another country for six months (alone). The summer before was actually my first time abroad. My aunt, cousin, and I went on vacation in Montreal. It was absolutely amazing, to say the least, and quite an adventure.
I think going there (and the fact that my cousin studied abroad in London the year before me) gave me the courage to even consider going abroad. And when I said that I was alone, I was LITERALLY alone. No one from my school went with me to London. I was the only one to represent College of Notre Dame of MD [I always found the acronym for my College both ironic and comical for a Catholic school (if you include the “of”s as part of the acronym). Too bad the name is changed now].
I was alone getting on the plane.
I was alone finding my way through Heathrow airport to the meeting area. It wasn’t like the movies where some guy was holding a sign that said, “St. Mary’s University College.”
I was alone when I finally found the meeting area.
And sat alone as students coming from all over the United States (and Australia) talked with friends they had come with.
At that point I was starting to regret going abroad. All of my anxieties started coming out full force. What if I didn’t make any friends? Who would I sit with in the dining hall? Could I truly enjoy all the touristy things on my bucket list alone?
Luckily, my anxieties quickly dissipated later that day at our orientation when I met Dayna and Ashley. And soon after we started making friends with some of the British students (and people from different parts of the U.S. too), one after another. I didn’t stay friends with Ashley because of some drama, but my bond with Dayna stayed strong.
Almost daily, random memories flash through my mind about my adventures in London. I miss it so much!
Now that I’ve graduated and started working full-time, these memories hit me even harder.
And this itch, this itch to travel, is even more unbearable as I sit idle. In the last, two years (besides London and Montreal) I’ve been to Paris, Amsterdam, and Cabo. And each time I go somewhere, I come back yearning for the next adventure and reminiscing the last.
I can only hope that wherever I end up in the near future will give me the opportunity to get relief from my itch for travel.
Have any of you ever come down with the travel bug?