Two continents, six countries, two planes, three trains and three taxis — all in 24 hours.
That's one heck of a journey, and it has led me to where I am: spending the remainder of my summer abroad in London.
I went from Vietnam motorbikes to black cabbies, and puddles of sweat to chilly breezes in a blink of an eye.
On the Fourth of July, I hopped into a black cab.
I said, "Happy Fourth of July," and Harry, a cab driver we've come to know pretty well, laughed and said, "Yeah, just celebrate kicking the Brits out of your country in my cab. That's just fine with me."
My international radar hadn't reset, obviously. The weather has also posed a challenge. I am a whimp when it comes to cold weather, so I bundle up the moment the gauge hits 62 degrees. I'm hoping my internal thermometer gets a bit more adventurous soon.
I have learned to love filling up on scones with clotted creme and jam (cue British accent). Don't knock it until you try it.
Since being in the United Kingdom, I have grown to appreciate the history that overflows from each building and street corner. London is full of adventure and culture.
Oh, and pigeons. They've got loads of those little boogers.
Lachlan and I toured St. Paul's Cathedral on July 14. We walked around, heads pointed straight up at the intricate murals displaying religious tales of defeat, victory, faith and rejection.
I sat and stared at the painting "The Light of the World" for 15 minutes, and every minute I saw a new detail and meaning. People would come, light a candle and do the same. They would just sit and gaze.
While visiting some of the kids' friends, we toured the Tate Modern in Central London and Royal Academy of Arts in Greenwich. I have never much been one for art galleries, but after attending such diverse exhibitions, my mind has swayed.
I found that people-watching in galleries is the perfect pass time. London is a world hub for tourists, so there was no shortage of people to watch.
London is a bustling city with loads of little 'villages' making up the criss-crossed roads and mind-boggling maps. Everywhere you look, you see people dressed for success, hurrying off with a look that says, "I'm dedicated and have somewhere very important to be," just like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.
I feel a bit like Alice here, honestly. Little towns is what I know from Alabama, but these big cities fit the frame of my eyes. There's always something new to learn or someone to whom you can introduce yourself.
I walk down the streets, tripping and falling all over myself, because I can't seem to look in front rather than up and around.
I was sitting around a group of men, and a conversation hatched about the United States versus the places I had gone this summer. Having been to the US and most of my summer destinations, all of us were equally contributing.
I raved about Asia and Europe, about the big cities and my dreams of living anywhere but the United States. They looked at me with blank stares, and one started upon a monologue describing the 'fantasy-like' attractions that America has to offer.
They were amazed at the fact that I didn't consider the United States of America the best place to live in the world. I was amazed at the fact that they were so enthralled.
My point being, as an American I have realized that I take my country for granted. All I see sometimes, along with others, are the negative aspects. Sometimes it is nice to sit with someone that fangirls over your home.