As I find myself in the final sprint to my departure from the UK after 12 years, I have spent some time in reflection on the adventures I had and the friends I made. How does one sum up over a decade of life into what feels like only a few short words?
I have met some amazing people, and plenty of equally not amazing people. I have been to wonderful places, and terrible places. Everywhere I went and everyone I met had something unique to offer to the book that is my life to this point. While this chapter is closing, the memories will stay with me. I often feel like I put a lot of who I was, no, am on hold to have this particular adventure, but I don’t have any regrets. I have sat where King’s sat, walked the paths of Emperors, sung on stages where great people once performed (and still do!), driven on the wrong side of the road, eaten gelato in a piazza in Rome on a baking hot summer day, nearly been hit by a car on a Parisian road, been lost in Sherwood Forest in the fog, communed with the Gods in Egypt, met and sung with some of the great operatic Divas of the Golden Age of Opera, studied with some brilliant minds in both archaeology and opera, and imbibed in a lot of good wine and ale. So while I now return with optimism and hope for the future to the life I left behind 12 years ago, I take with me these experiences, knowing they made me a better person even if sometimes it didn’t feel like it.
There are too many memories to try and reflect on everything all in one place. I will likely write about each place in great detail once I get where I’m going. For the moment, though, all I can say is thank you to everyone I met along this journey who changed my life – both good and bad. It’s been real. Keep the kettle on – I’ll be back.
I am an archaeologist, Oregon Zoo Guide, and wildlife biology student. Much of my time is spent at the zoo with the bears, or out on the nature trails of the Columbia Gorge.