I’ve been back in the UK for a week now. I’m so happy that I’m back. Spending quality time with my family is lovely after the best part of a year in the United States. As much as I love Facetime and Whatsapp, communicating with my family when considering time difference and whether we actually had enough time to talk was getting a bit tedious. It’s a good feeling to just be able to give your mum a hug whenever you need it. Whether you’re 2 or 82, we all need a hug from our mum at some point.
Being in the US gave me a life boost. Everywhere I turned was going to be an adventure. Going into a coffee shop that was ‘new’ for the first time was fun. What would the range of drinks be like? Was it expensive in comparison? Was it delicious?
Going to places that were close to NAU was exciting. Go 2 hours north and you’re at Antelope Canyon, go a few hours west and you’re in Los Angeles. Even stepping foot in a new shop in a mall was fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love the United Kingdom. Prior to my year abroad, I thought that I could easily live anywhere in the United States, which I have now learned is not the case. As much as I love Flagstaff, I couldn’t live in a “small American town” where the nearest big cities are a couple of hours away. I thrive off of living so close to London, where it’s a short train journey and I’m in the hustle bustle of Oxford Circus and the City.
Yet, a week back from the United States and I’m craving the adventure more than ever. The living and loving life in the States has changed to longing and lusting for an American experience. Out there, I was with my pals 24/7, making memories and laughing for more hours than I would sleep. Every day, a new inside joke would be created and I couldn’t imagine being split from them. Now that I don’t live close enough to any of my NAU pals to just be a short walk away, I have to rely on other means of communication. It’s just not the same.
I long for the adventure and constant fun. I miss the fact that for so long, I was counting down my year abroad. I wondered what living in the States would be like, I thought about my classes, my teachers, the Flagstaff environment and effectively living life as a tourist for a year. I miss the people that I got close to that now live on the other side of the world.
I chose to do a year abroad (obviously) and I’m beyond thankful to past Sophie for deciding to do a year abroad. Yet, I miss the friendships I had previously. I miss how close I was to some of my friends at uni. I knew it was going to happen, but the feeling of being somewhat replaced still hurts to swallow. I don’t want it all to revolve around me, that’s not what I’m saying or even what I’d want. But, the realities that may have been presented prior to going abroad were an illusion, a facade into the actualities.
Dear anonymous friend, I understand that this was never the intention, but I can’t help it when I see you with your new friend. You didn’t know them at all before I left, heck you probably had presupposed ideas of them before you got close. Now, you’re spending all your time with them. I remember when that was us, we’d go everywhere together. We were unstoppable. We were regarded a unit, if you got one, you got the other. Some people didn’t even like that we were so close. I’m not gonna lie, I feel a bit jealous. When I try and talk to you, I get short answers. I get the impression that you’re replying for the sake of it, rather than genuinely caring. I know that’s not what you’re trying to do, and I get that. I’d put my back on the line for you. Absence can make the heart grow fonder, but when the absence isn’t reciprocal, then the fondness becomes cloudy.
I used to take it as normal that when I’d leave my apartment, I’d be greeted to a snow-topped mountain, whatever time of year. I miss how the mountains always led you in the right direction. I miss the relationships I had at the start of seeing the mountains. I miss the relationships that I’d formed as I said goodbye to the mountains. Don’t get me wrong, I’m bloody happy to be back. But, I can’t help myself when I say that I miss everything about my year abroad.
Apart from my roommates, I’ll never miss my roommates.