Twelve days left in Cardiff suddenly turned into three. It’s Friday afternoon, and on Monday at approximately 3 AM I will be leaving Cardiff to get to the airport to fly home. Instead of telling you all how incredibly sad that makes me, I’m going to reflect on some of my favorite things about Cardiff, Wales, and being abroad.
OH, Cardiff. Where do I begin?
Bute park, obviously. This park is just a few minutes walk from my flat, and has kept me sane all semester. It’s green, has trails all through it, has a river, is filled with flowers, and is just beautiful. It’s where I go on runs, where I walk through to get to the city center, and where I go to when I need a little bit of a break from my little room in my flat. In March it was covered in daffodils, and now the leaves are so full and green that it’s like an entirely new place. Oh, and there’s a castle that’s casually on the edge of it.
My second love of Cardiff is the city center. It’s walk able and always filled with people, and it has the city center market where you can buy fresh Welsh cakes. So yes, I like the city center a lot.
Finally, I love the people. Whether it’s the Drake girls that I knew coming here, the other abroad students that I’ve met, or my flat mates who have helped make Cardiff home, I’ve been surrounded by some pretty great people this semester.
Zooming out of Cardiff and looking at Wales as a whole, there are a few places that I’ve been to that I’ll probably remember forever. Three Cliffs Bay, Pembrokeshire, and Snowdonia National Park are some of my favorite places I’ve gotten to visit in Wales, and there’s no need for words to explain why; the pictures below say enough.
Finally, there are a few thoughts I have on being a student abroad. First, it’s not always a comfortable experience. You get pushed out of your comfort-zone bubble. A lot. And it’s so, so good. Second, you get a new appreciation for home, and why you love it so much. Lastly, you learn so much about living, taking risks, traveling, meeting new people, and being on your own. Looking back at my time abroad, it’s been one of the most educational times in my life. Academically, I may not have “studied” that much this semester. But holy cow did I learn a lot.