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I leave England in a week, and I return with mixed feelings. I have missed so many people, and I have missed out on so many things, but there is still something that makes me hate leaving...It is a something that cannot be replaced. It is a part of me that I will leave here in England, and take a different part of England back home with me. It is something for which I have no name.

I traveled through Conway, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Vienna with people I barely knew, and as a result, I bonded with them very quickly. We got groovy in salsa clubs, and we got educational in castles. We ate haggis and sampled Turkish delight. We missed a flight, hopped a train, and took a ferry into the late hours of the night, across the Irish Sea. We got lost. We spent hours upon hours trying to navigate Dutch streets and trying to have conversations with waitresses who only spoke German. We got frustrated with one another, and we fought. We made up, and we got over it. We were challenging ourselves, and thus we grew.

As I have traveled, I have learned how much I love the world. I have also learned how globalization has made us very similar to other countries, spite our differences. We all do the same things; we just do them in slightly different ways. For example, we all wash our hands. Every time the English wash their hands, though, they make a decision between either burning their hands through the scalding hot water spout that potentially can melt flesh, or they wash their hands with mildly cold water spout that might not adequately kill all of the pathogens that they carry. I am mostly joking. I still have no idea how the EnConclusionphoto.jpgglish wash their hands. I can only content myself with the fact that they must be hygienic, because they use twice the amount of water spouts of anywhere else I have been.

But on a more serious note...

Everyone said that I would come back as an entirely different person. Though I have changed, and I believe for the better, I am still Ivy Rose Bergstrom. I am just a more potent version: I am more confident in myself and my abilities, I am abler to admit when I am wrong, and I am less apologetic about the things that make me great. I am comfortable in my strengths. I take initiative, and I take care of myself. This is all because I was in a position where I had to apply everything I knew, and make educated (and sometimes snap) decisions. As a result, I know more of what I am capable: I can go far. Maybe next time I will go even farther.

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

My plan for when I return to Bismarck is to stay with my wonderful family until the next opportunity arrives. I will be applying for jobs the instant I get back and will be doing another semester at Bismarck State College to finish my Associate's. Then, I hope to obtain an internship with which I will gain firsthand experience somewhere in the umbrella of Sustainability Studies. After that, I will finish my Bachelor's degree and enter the employment market, and see where else I am taken by life. I like to keep an open mind.

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