I’ve been home for about a week now, and I’m still adjusting. I didn’t experience any culture shock when I moved to England, but I’m having reverse culture shock now that I’m back in America after more than eight months. There aren’t huge differences between here and England, but there are so many small changes that I just can’t get used to. I miss England so much already, but I have some really exciting plans for the summer, and I know I’ll stay busy.
This weekend, I’ll go to Cincinnati and stay there for just over a week. I’ll be talking to my academic advisors about exchanging my credit from abroad, volunteering at the butterfly conservatory and the public library, viewing the apartment I’ll be living in during the school year (I picked it out from England, so hopefully it matches the pictures on the website!), and then I’ll spend the rest of that week catching up with all of my friends that I haven’t seen for almost a year. I’m so excited to get back to the University of Cincinnati’s beautiful campus:
From there, I’ll be joining the UC Democrats for a trip to Washington, DC. The UC Dems was the activity that I was most involved in, and I can’t wait to dive back in and see all of my wonderful friends there. I went to DC last year with some of them for an environmental conference, and it was such a blast.
Next up is a trip to Chicago with family. I’m excited to spend time in this city with the family members that I don’t often get to see because they’re spread across the country. I’ve been to Chicago a few times before, but when I was younger my main focus was the American Girl Place, and the last two times I went there, it was just for conferences that didn’t allow enough time to explore. I’m hoping this time, I’ll have a chance to see more than just the Sears Tower and that big shiny bean thing.
From Chicago, I’ll be flying back to Alabama, where I’ll be staying with my family for about a month. When I’m not babysitting, I’m hoping to explore more of Alabama. Hopefully I’ll get to see some history and culture in visits to cities like Birmingham and Montgomery, but I’m most interested in seeing all of the natural beauty that Alabama has to offer. Between mountains, forests, lakes, and other wonders, it’s not too hard to find a stunning view like this one my siblings and I discovered today on a picnic:
Around mid-July, I’ll head back north and join my dad, sister, and brother for a trip out west. I’ve never been further west than Oklahoma, so spending ten days in Las Vegas and California will be a dream come true.
After that, I’ll head back to Cincinnati. I move into my own studio early August, and I’ll have a few weeks to settle down, get a job, find some volunteer opportunities, explore my beautiful city, and spend time with friends before the semester starts later that month.
This summer, my blog will probably be a mixture of new posts about whatever I happen to be doing at that moment and posts about England/Europe. I still have so many photos and stories from the past few months, and I can’t wait to share them!