A bittersweet farewell

Now that my Cambridge experience has come to an end, it’s time to reflect on my two months spent there. But first, a quick recap of my adventures of the last week.

Northern England

I spent Tuesday through Thursday morning way up north. Some future in-laws have been living up there for the last two years, and they welcomed me with open arms. I wasn’t sure what to expect—not being familiar with the towns and sights to see up there—but wanted to go up anyway to spend time with them. I was blown away by everything I got to see.

Right from the get-go we started driving to some of the places they thought I’d enjoy. We went to York that first day, where I climbed a fortress and an ancient city wall, walked through what is essentially a real-life Diagon Alley, enjoyed some classic fish-n-chips, and visited the incredible York Minster.

So . . . where do I get my wand?
The magnificent York Minster.
Atop Malham Cove.

The next day we visited Howarth (known for its association with the Brontë Sisters), some beautiful abbey ruins, and the spectacular dales. The dales made me feel like I was trekking through the Shire. All it was missing was a hobbit house built into a hill, and maybe a pipe-smoking wizard arriving in time for some fireworks.

My adventures in the north ended up being a great time to spend my last week in the UK. I loved getting to know both the area and my hosts a lot better.

Ancient rock walls on an ancient landscape.
Me with my amazing hosts.

Formal and Farewell

The Thursday I returned to Cambridge we had our last formal hall. We got together for some big group pictures beforehand, and then enjoyed a wonderful dinner with friends. All of that was followed by a night full of some surprisingly fun dancing.

Say whaaat?
Last chance to be fancy!

The next day was my last full day there, so I clearly had to take advantage of it. I got up early enough to see the sunrise, which was beautiful. Unfortunately, the clouds and rain hampered the scene a bit, and made it impossible to take the picture of King’s College Chapel I was hoping for. This was all despite my favorable position on a certain part of the college that is … well, let’s just say off-limits.

Our last night consisted of an unofficial party on the college grounds, where we ate lots of junk food, did a little bit of dancing, and played some games.

Our last game: catching whipped cream.

Thoughts on Cambridge

No doubt Cambridge has won a very special place in my heart. Before this summer, it seemed to me like one of those far-off places that only exists for impossibly brilliant scholars with ambitions to take over the world. Now it is a gathering-place for people from all around the globe who want nothing more than to make a difference and enjoy life while doing it.

I learned so much while here—about myself and about others. I made some amazing friends that I am excited to visit in the near future. I saw parts of the world that I have only dreamed of. I have grown through experiences that have already shaped me for the better (hopefully). I have found another place that I can now call home.

Though my time at Cambridge has now come to a close, my summer adventures go on for one more week. I am now in Switzerland, hiking and biking through the magnificent Alps. Next up: more pictures of England and then a report on my time in this land of knives, cheese, chocolate, and watches.