Hi friends! If you’ve read my past entries than welcome back! If you’re just starting off then hello- my name is Samantha Wilkerson and it is bittersweet to be writing this final post from my home in Florida. My final week in London was truly memorable and I made memories that I know will last me forever. This week was about spending times with friends and trying to squeeze out as many good times as I was able to. My first day included a trip to the U.S. Embassy with my Britishness; this experience was interesting to anyone who is interested in foreign relations and politics as we were able to meet people whose job it is to travel the world and work with different countries. On the other end of the spectrum, my Criminal Minds class went on a cultural food tour; we got to try one of the best fish and chips shops, ice cream, and other foods from local culturally diverse shops. The next day was one of my biggest highlights…we saw Wicked! If you don’t know much about musicals it is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz and how the backstory of the characters from the original movie. I went with two of my friends and it was so incredible to share that experience with them. The next day was full of buying last minute gifts for my family (Primark is a go to-you can buy higher quality tourist items at lower prices). The next day was full of tourist attractions, including going to Buckingham Palace and taking some amazing group pictures! Another interesting attraction that we visited was actually just built a couple days earlier; if you are a Jurassic Park fan than you’ll know Jeff Goldblum…well there was a giant statue of him in the center of a little park next to Tower Bridge. (By the way if you want a good picture of the sunset Tower Bridge is the place to go). And of course, our last day in London included the Afternoon Tea with everyone else in the program. It was cool to see everyone and of course to enjoy the amazing little pastries that were provided with it.
Well today’s the day that I go back home. I am sad to leave but I am beyond excited to see my family again. I am a little nervous about the weight of my suitcase but to be honest I am willing to pay as long as I get on the flight home. (I was a kg over but the attendant was amazing and didn’t charge me) The flight felt like it took forever, not including the hour it took for me to go through customs and find my luggage after I landed, I was finally back home. As I was walking towards the exit I saw my parents and my niece and I have never felt as loved and happy as I did in that moment of seeing them again.
I am so grateful for my time on this trip and I will forever treasure all of the memories that I made and all of the things that I have learned. I now have a better perspective on how important it is for the world to work together in order to create a better place for everyone. One of the biggest concerns that I noticed while I was in London would be how many homeless people there were; there would be couples camped out in doorways and they didn’t even try to ask for money because they knew that everyone was too busy to stop and help them. In my mind we are all human beings and I agree with the UN that something needs to be changed. We need to work together to ensure that the whole world prospers, not only our own countries. Although I went to a country that is rather similar to the U.S., it was still life-changing to go to another country and get another outlook on life and the importance of working together to ensure that the UN’s goals are met.