A lovely weekend
This past weekend I flew to Oxford, England with my friend to visit her friend who attends Oxford University. And I have to admit, I was semi-dreading it... only because our travel plans turned out to be a bit ridiculous. Leave at 3am Friday morning to get on a plane at 7am; arrive in London Stanstead Airport and take a bus that would arrive in Oxford around 1pm. Then we would leave Sunday morning at 2am, wait in the frigid cold for 2 hours (at 3 in the morning) at Heathrow Airport until the bus left again for Stanstead Airport and arrive back in Florence at 3pm Sunday afternoon. Anticipating the uncomfortable journey, the short stay, and sleepless nights, I was thinking to myself, "What have I done?"
What I didn't anticipate was one of the best weekends of my abroad experience.
Nothing particularly significant made it so great... But a combination of traveling with a friend I met here in Florence and who I feel incredibly close to now, meeting her friend who has the most lovely British accent and the cutest personality, and exploring a city teeming with university students who aren't American. It was probably one of the most educational weekends I've had... Sure, we didn't really visit any historical hotspots (apart from Christ Church where Harry Potter was filmed... yes, I will admit it now, we pretended we were Harry Potter with our wands in the Great Hall. Embarrassing, but so worth it.) but it was so refreshing not being a tourist for once and simply enjoying ourselves... Sipping tea with scones, eating Japanese for lunch, having the BEST cookie ever followed by the BEST milkshake ever. Eating more chocolates. Watching a fireworks display in commemoration of Guy Fawkes and talking with some Oxford students about their lives in England.
It reminded me also of the short time I have here in Florence... But how I still have time to make the most of my experiences here. That I don't need to keep checking things off my list of things to do, but that by simply letting go and soaking in each day, I can come away from this semester feeling truly fuller and richer. So onward to more good times!