As of today I officially only have one month left living in the United Kingdom. Although I've gone home fairly often it will be an interesting experience to return to my own country and no longer be a "stranger in a strange land" as I have been for the last four years (almost exactly -- I arrived in the UK on 26 September, 2006). My relationship with the UK has been love/hate at best, and during my time here I've become a completely different person than the naive 22 year old I was when I first stepped off the plane at LHR with my dreams and a cardigan.
It's been an incredible, almost indescribable four years, in which I've seen some amazing places, been let in on some amazing secrets, and, most importantly, developed some amazing relationships with fascinating people -- both here and at home. And, for all that, I know that it's time to move back to Colorado.
I always knew I'd go home again -- I'm too in love with where I'm from to not do that -- but only very recently has that become something solid and real, an endpoint that I can envision down to its finest detail. I bought a plane ticket last Thursday. Now I know the duration of the flight, the airline, even the seat assignment -- I can picture where I'll wait in Heathrow and what it will smell like when I get off the plane and walk up the gangway in Denver. I can also envision packing up all my possessions once again, as I have done so often for the past eight years , and stuffing them into the requisite two suitcases and two carry-ons. If only baggage limits had stayed the same over that time period...
Anyway, this isn't meant to be a retrospective or some big "This Is What I Learned" or even an ode to my Gap Yahs. I have one month left in this country and this is what I want to do:
1. Bike to Epping Forest (plans are afoot!)
2. Bike to Uffington Castle/Uffington White Horse
3. Visit Kew Gardens
4. Do something bad in the shadow of the Rad Cam and then sing "BNC 'til I die"*
*JK, JK, JK