Anyone who knows me, and knows me well, knows that I possess somewhat of an unhealthy interest in the UK. I have, sometimes to a fault, considered England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland as some sort of romantic ideal-- pastoral landscapes, deep history, the roots of some kind of personal sublimity. And so now that I find myself here, I don't know how to react.
I've settled in. Having been here nearly two weeks, my life has started to take on a natural rhythm. I've met new people-- friends I felt like I've known for much longer than I have-- and begun to understand and adjust to the culture here in York. Through these adjustment I have noticed many differences between my experience here and my experience in the States. In some ways, my being here has lived up to the expectations I had for it, and in others it has felt somewhat underwhelming. Turns out, England is a real place, with real people who really live their lives. It's not Harry Potter or some Dickensian dream. It's not perhaps what I anticipated. But it is wonderful. And I don't think that my six months here will be enough; I won't be surprised when, come July, I don't really want to leave. Make no mistake, I love America, and have actually become prouder of my American identity as a result of being here. Yet this is a place I could be happy living for the rest of my life. It just feels... right.