It’s been two months since I uprooted my life to York, England this past fall for arguably one of the most unique opportunities I will ever experience. While I still acknowledge that my heart remains in Philadelphia, for the first time in my life, I now understand that home to me is not where the heart is, but rather the places I have lived with the people I have loved.
I was born and raised in the Greater Philadelphia Area, and have always felt that no place on earth could compare to the beauties of Philadelphia. For me, I have always associated home with the city itself- from the sports complexes that proudly stand together in South Philly, to William Penn mounted on City Hall in Center City, to the FMC building in West Philly that sits as an outlier in the skyline. And of course, I have bonded even closer with the city through the people who fill it alongside me, namely my family and friends.
Study abroad has opened my eyes to many life lessons, but perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is how to feel at home in the world beyond the small confines of Philadelphia. Before I left for England, I feared that I would miss the subtle mispronunciation of the word, “water,” that I would not click with students at my university in the same way that I do at Drexel, and that I would crave a Dalessandro’s cheesesteak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Just as I had feared, I do miss these aspects of my home in Philadelphia, but what I failed to recognize was that I would learn to love with the mispronunciation of the word, “banter” in England, I would meet new best friends (pictured below) at University of York, and soon I would begin to crave a Yorkshire pudding for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In one short month, I will be back in Philadelphia to continue life as I once knew it, but that does not mean that I must give up my new home here at York. I look forward to beginning the next chapter of my life, where my heart will remain in two places at once.