What I Miss About Being Abroad

Author: Eureka Embodo

I went to the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, England for a semester.

As much as I love talking about the struggles I overcame there and how it’s helped shape me into a better person, it has dawned on me that I’ve never really focused on what I loved and really miss about being abroad, so here it is.

First: my flatmates – I was the only Canadian, there was one British girl, one Spanish girl, two French girls, two Aussies, two German girls from and two Americans. We hosted parties, had a cute international Thanksgiving (I was outnumbered on Canadian Thanksgiving day, so we had it during American Thanksgiving), Christmas dinner, and movie nights. I love those girls and I’m so thankful we were in Flat 36 together!

Second: London. While Hatfield was okay (I miss ‘spoons!), being able to take a train 20 minutes to the hustle-and-bustle that is London whenever I wanted for so cheap (around 7-8 pounds return) was amazing. I’m from a small town, so no matter how many times I went to that beautiful city, I could never really comprehend it.

I miss how freeing it is – it’s so big that no one cares. So you can literally do whatever you want, dress however you wanna dress, eat what you want to eat. And it’s such a diverse city – as a person of colour, I was a little nervous about this aspect of being in the UK. But Hatfield and especially London are just so full of different cultures that I felt right at home.

I miss the markets that had cool food. I miss Chinatown. I miss the Tube – I got to know that thing very well – and the train stations. They had everything in them – cupcake stands, cafes, little convenience stores that always had the best sandwiches (my favourite combo was a ham and cheddar sandwich with a side of apple slices at M&S).

I miss going on trains. I LOVE trains and it’s so sad we don’t have many here. I’m someone who loves the journey as much as the destination, so trains are the best of both worlds for me – I can turn my head and just watch cities, towns, people, countrysides, and buildings pass by. Exploring that way was the best. My routine before going on the train anywhere was to go to the little convenience store at the Hatfield Rail Station, get a Volvic Juicy Orange (the best brand of bottled water there) and a Twirl bar – by the way, Cadbury is so much tastier there.

Finally, I miss being able to travel a lot affordably. A trip to Europe cost the same price as a haul from the grocery store, and if you went to the cheaper countries, then you were really getting the most bang for your buck! I was able to see so many new places, meet new people, and hear their stories. And that is one of the best ways to learn about the world, if you ask me.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that I loved about being abroad. There’s so many more I could list, but I would run out of room (and also probably start crying). However, as much I really cherish my time abroad, it is good to be home. But don’t think that I would hesitate for even one second if I was given another opportunity to leave!


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