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“Sometimes you have to roam to find there’s no place like home.” –Dr. Suess August 10, 2012

Posted by kmorrisey3 in Travel Log.
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I absolutely loved Dr. Suess growing up. I even found inspiration in the timeless “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” for my graduation speech in my senior year of high school, which now seems so long ago. It was only natural, then, for me to relate to yet another one of his simple, yet powerful quotes. Now that I’m finally home and getting back into the crazy busy, but crazy fun life of an overinvolved Georgia Tech student, I’ve realized that I am appreciating the little things about America so much more than I ever was before my summer abroad. It’s true, sometimes you have to roam to finally realize there’s no place like home.

Let’s quickly recap my final weeks in Oxford…

Oxford, England

My two favorite memories of my last few weeks in Oxford could not be more different; one was attending a seminar hosted by a Nobel Prize winner regarding Advances in Sustainable Energy, and the other was attending a European dupstep concert with my friends. Both events were unlike any other I had ever been too. The seminar was surprisingly easy to follow-I thought for sure I would not understand the majority of the conversation. I found myself recognizing the vocabulary of the speaker and actually comprehending the arguments and explanations regarding the issue of Alternative Energy. I was surprised at the shades of grey concerning the issue. While I was not completely unaware of the dangers and hazards surrounding development of such alternative energy, I never thought of the potential for negative implications with much consideration, so the discussion definitely opened my mind. It was interesting to learn about the different issues about development, to say the least. The concert was also incredibly interesting. Like I said, I had never been to events similar to these. Turns out the Justin Timberlake concert I went to back in the day wasn’t like this concert at all (who would’ve thought). I’m pretty positive my friends and I were the only people out of all 62,000 people in attendance not wearing rain boots. Everyone else must have gotten the memo that the concert venue was muddy…but us. Nonetheless, the concert was a lot of fun, and was certainly a night to be remembered.

London, England

I visited London two different weekends: once to visit the city and see all the sights without the Olympics crowds, and a second time to attend the Games. During my first weekend, my friends and I experienced London like true tourists and went to the London Eye, BigBen, Harrods, and a musical. It started raining (shocker) while we were on the Eye, but it made the view even more beautiful. The raindrops on the windows and grey skies added to the landscape and made for some exceptional pictures. My favorite part about London was by far seeing the musical, The Lion King. I had never seen a musical before that, so it was a whole new experience. Although I already knew the story like the back of my hand (The Lion King is one of my all time favorite movies), the musical kept me guessing and was surprising. Instead of wondering about the plot development, I was wondering how the producers would be able to demonstrate the plot development. Needless to say, I loved it. Definitely one of the best memories of the trip as a whole. One things for sure-I’ll be making many a trip to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in the fall!

My second trip to London was for the sole purpose of attending the Olympics. Going to London to see the Olympics was the perfect way to end my Oxford experience. The atmosphere of the Games was indescribable. The competitive but friendly environment was cool; I expected much more animosity than I actually encountered, especially during events. I attended the morning matches of beach volleyball and was surprised by all the different flags I saw spectators sporting in the arena. There were spectators from many countries, but that didn’t stop them from cheering for teams from countries that were not their own. Not only were the actual competitions of the games fun, but the other aspects surrounding the games were enjoyable as well. The underground metro maintained its efficiency, even with all the people trying to utilize it, and restaurants were quick to get customers in and out. London did a great job acting as host to the Games!

 

While it’s true I missed things about America like free refills, the availability of ketchup and ice cubes, Chick Fil A, and easy access to WiFi, there was one thing I missed substantially more: my family. Now that I’m back at home, I’ve come to the understanding that home isn’t just where you were born or where you grew up or even where you currently live, it’s where your family and loved ones are. No amount of free refills, ketchup, ice cubes, Chick Fil A, or even Wifi availability would have made Europe feel more like home; only my family could have filled that void. Europe did more than teach me about ancient art and architecture, different cultures, and how to travel and be independent-it taught me to appreciate what I used to take for granted and considered ‘a little thing’: my family and loved ones. Indeed, sometimes you have to roam to find there’s no place like home.

 

All the best,

Kelliann Morrisey

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