LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 5

LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 5

Featured image: Old Street, where I take the underground to UCL. I’m starting to get to the point in my year abroad when I’m realizing just how little time I have left in London. I’m doing my best to not let my brain—which loves doing this—start any sort of official internal countdown. But a nagging thought does surface unbidden every now and then: Enjoy it while it lasts, you don’t have much longer here. Judging by my last few posts,…

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LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 4

LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 4

Featured image: The view of Marrakech’s Medina (old city) from the roof of the riad where I stayed. Riads, many of which have been turned into hotels, are traditional Moroccan houses centered around an interior courtyard. I know you just clicked on a post tagged, “London, England,” but sorry, this is a dispatch from Morocco. I promise that I am living in London, do have classes to attend there, and don’t spend all of my time traveling. I will be…

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LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 3

LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 3

Featured image: The courtyard of Istanbul’s Süleymaniye Mosque. Istanbul is gorgeous. And fascinating. And overwhelming. My mom (who is visiting me in London) and I recently spent four days in Turkey’s cultural capital, which we soon realized was not nearly enough time. Somehow, despite wanting to visit for most of my life, it had escaped my notice that Istanbul is the fourth largest city in the world, with a population of more than 15 million—not including the millions more who…

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LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 2

LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 2

Featured image: A street in North London I’ve never been happier that I decided to spend an entire year abroad than I am right now, in the middle of writing final essays, with two days left before I fly 6,000 miles home to California for winter break. I arrived in London exactly three months ago today, and while I can’t wait to spend a few weeks with my family and our pets, I’m nowhere near ready to leave London for…

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LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 1

LAUREL HENNEN VIGIL | LONDON, ENGLAND | POST 1

Featured image: A map on my bedroom wall at home of my dream travel destinations. I meant to write this post about London, my new sort-of home for the next year—well, eight months—but I just got back from a week traveling elsewhere in England and in Ireland, so it felt more appropriate at the moment to write about travel. On the trips I’ve taken so far this year (to Brighton, Cambridge, Kent, Edinburgh, Dublin, and Galway), I can’t stop thinking…

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Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 4

Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 4

 Featured image: Iconic view of London’s skyline taken from the London Eye All these months later, what have I brought back with me from my journey abroad? For one, I have gotten more sleep this semester than I have in the two and half years I’ve spent at Vassar. Having class for two days a week meant that I could sleep in until 2 or 3 p.m. several days a week. It also meant having a lot of free time…

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Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 3

Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 3

Featured image: The London Eye I can’t say when I made the switch from counting the number of days and weeks I had been in London to counting down the number of weeks and days I had left, but last week, I woke up March 14 to the realisation that the one-month countdown had already started. Honestly, the thought didn’t sit well with me. How long had I been taking for granted living in one of the most remarkable cities…

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Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 2

Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 2

Featured image: St James’ Park A few weeks ago, I realized I could save time using the transit app on my phone if I just saved my dorm address instead of manually inputting it every time. Storing that address as my “home address” however, gave me pause. It spurred me to consider this idea of “home.” How permanent does a home have to be to be considered a home? Is duration of stay the determining factor, or are there other…

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Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 1

Wenjie Xie | London, England | Post 1

Featured image: View of the river taken from the Tate Modern I’ll let you in on a little secret. While seemingly everyone else was head over heels in love with the prospect of studying in a new city, I… wasn’t. I felt guilty, like I didn’t deserve to go abroad if I wasn’t positively over the moon about the privilege of embarking on this fantastical journey. It had nothing to do with where I was going—because I’d known for years…

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Matt Stein | London, England | Post 4

Matt Stein | London, England | Post 4

Election night hurt. I’m sorry that that’s the first thing I’m writing about, but it’s consuming the world I live in, both here in London and back home. Because of the time differences, it wasn’t until 5 a.m. that I fully knew the results. I pulled an all-nighter because originally I’d anticipated celebrating Clinton’s win, only to slowly watch it whither away in a tumult of fear and dread. Being a straight white male, there’s little I have to be afraid…

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