There's No Place Like Home...

There's No Place Like Home...

I can't believe that as I write this post, there are only 7 more days until I am back in the states. At present, I am in the south of France, in a small town called Cagnes-Sur-Mer. The people are friendly, the food is amazing, my hotel room looks right out over the Mediterranean Sea, and it has been nothing but sunny and beautiful since I arrived. Yet, I still can't help thinking about how excited I am to return home.

 

These past two months have been extraordinary and unforgettable as I have studied with incredible professors, visited various places throughout England, Scotland and France, interned for a well-known and prestigious company, and had countless once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Even so, every so often, something will happen that just makes me miss the good old U-S-of-A and all my friends and family from home. Last week, Peter Stephens, one of the faculty members at The Washington Center that works closely with my program, came to visit us in London. He toured our internship sites, visited with our supervisors, and meet the CAPA staff to try and get an idea of what our daily lives have been like since we left D.C. to fly to the other side of the Atlantic. This dedication most certainly did not go unnoticed, and I know his presence in London was a comfort to each member of my group. He has become one of my favorite faculty members at TWC, and not unlike the others, he is kind, compassionate, and is genuinely interested in our experiences in London. His week-long visit to London is a true example of the dedication that TWC faculty has to their students and interns, whether they are abroad or not. As a student, especially one that is involved in their abroad program, it is comforting to know that they don't forget you as soon as your plane takes off from Dulles International Airport. Below is a picture of most of the members of my group with Peter, taken in Trafalgar Square after our last dinner together.

 

 

It was sad to see Peter leave, but my homesickness diminished during our weekend trip to Scotland, since there were so many new things to see and explore. Once I got back to London, however, it set in again, and then three days later I left for France. Although I promise I will post a detailed blog entry about my trip, which has been amazing thus far, last night there was a very unusual and special event that simultaneously reminded me of my homesickness but also gave me a push to really experience each and every moment of every day that I have left during this trip before I return home. Since today is Bastille Day, there was a large celebration last night along the ocean. I returned from dinner to find the streets blocked off around my hotel, and hundreds of people walking along the strip of cafes and shops, and admiring the ocean view. Early-on, a stage was erected directly across the street from my balcony with large speakers below it, and the first song the started to play was -- Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett! The town of Cagnes-Sur-Mer had hired an American country dance team to perform throughout the evening, and I (the last person who would consider themselves a fan of country) was thrilled to listen to it for hours. Around 11 p.m., fireworks went off on the beach, and signaled the end to the nights celebrations.

 

It was very difficult for me to be abroad over the July 4th holiday especially, since it is my favorite holiday. Summer most definitely doesn't feel complete without fireworks for me -- and this year, I was lucky enough to get them in France. While I can't wait to board the plane that will fly me home, last night really put my homesickness in perspective, and as a result of these past two months, I have no doubt I will return home a stronger, more determined, confident young woman than the one that stepped onto a plane headed for Heathrow Airport two months ago. Stay tuned for my full-length blog about my trip to France as soon as I return to London, you won't want to miss it! Cheers!

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