Despite the current disruptions and short staffing, not to mention rail and transit strikes, I made it as close to home as possible. The weather was not in the mood to cooperate, so I was stranded in Atlanta for a bit, that’s after the plane was diverted to Nashville for a few hours and sent back to Atlanta. Needless to say, I did not get a connecting flight to Birmingham. But, family was beyond ready for me to be back so I had a ride waiting on me in Atlanta! My dog was ecstatic to have me back. He and the cat have not left my side for a minute!
Reflecting on my experience abroad, I will say overall it was nice. The weather was great, the food not so much. I loved the history and the culture was awesome and somehow very familiar. My instructors and lecturers were great, and the course was very informative and enlightening. If I had to do it all over again, I would do almost the same things- but pack better shoes and stick to less tourist type areas. Oh, and buy seasoning! The food was awfully bland! Of course, the UK is not known for their culinary achievements.
There wasn’t much culture shock there or back home, so I was very fortunate. I pretty much rolled with everything, so it worked out great. I didn’t have to learn a new language, but I did pick up on some fun sayings and used them regularly by the end of the trip. The program was great, the staff wonderful. I would absolutely repeat the process, minus the airline headaches and that time I was fresh off the plane, hungry, and got myself lost. That was not something I’d like to repeat. I made new friends and have great contacts in academia half a world away. This was well worth the time, effort, and cost!