The time is right

25 years and my life is still trying to get up that great big hill of hope for a destination.

Primrose Hill, London

Primrose Hill, London

London, you have taken my breath away so many times and given me so much life. You have made me grow and made me laugh and you will always be such a big part of who I am.

When one important chapter of my life closes, all I know to do is to reminisce and smile at all the memories that were made, the new friendships that were formed and the struggles that were overcome. I also usually write about what happened and why it meant so much to me. But, when I tried last night, I just honestly did not know what to say. I am left speechless. Words seemed to diminish everything I was trying say. After spending a lot of time thinking about how to express what I feel, I think there are two main takeaways.

As I have told many of my family and friends who have asked, I am ready to leave London. The time is right. I will miss London and I am, in no means, tired of this place. Instead, it is time to keep chasing the next dreams, keep climbing and to experience the next adventures that lie ahead. It is time to pour my whole heart into what comes next. This is especially true given where I am in my life.

And London would not have been this special without all the love that people have shown around me. I honestly still have no words to express how thankful I am for and how welcomed I felt by everyone, including anyone on the GW England (QMUL) program and my flatmates, as well as others I met in classes and around Europe. We shared so much happiness and magic and I will always remember that. And, of course, to anyone who followed along in the journey on Snapchat, seriously, thank you so, so much for letting me do that and for watching.

There are so many people that shaped this experience, including many outside of London, like Brianna Farrell in Madrid or Christina Giordano and Rachel Davidson in Paris, more than could be listed, but the names in the groups I shared:

GW England:
Amanda Dilena, Ana Deros, Benjamin Gibbons, Caitlin Hendee, David Clemens, Emily Carlin, Emma Franklin, Jocelyn Jacoby, Katrina Damschroder, Kelvin Liang, Kirby Dzurny, Laura McKenna, Sofie Klotz

Conchur Woods, Conor Rounds, Ell Roberts, Emily Chamberlain, Heather McCrum, Kathy Moran, Maika Mendoza, Sophie Maehle

Alex Klapper, Cheyenne Marani, Dalal Al Hamad, Duncan Williams, Ellen Yuan, Ian Thomas, Melissa Aziz, Neil Davis, Romy Leung

The time is right. And I will be back. I am content knowing that I fully lived every second given to me here in Europe and I cannot be more satisfied at my Study Abroad experience. I am so, so happy and I think that is the best way to go onwards.

Capturing life's moments exactly as they happened

A couple months ago, I shared a Google+ and Twitter photo of an absolutely gorgeous and perfect DC day. Being able to take strolls on the National Mall, right in the middle of history, is just one of the advantages of being at +The George Washington University. Several weeks later, I learned (through the Center for Student Engagement Twitter) that the photo was chosen as their winner for February, something that came as a surprise to me. 

This week, GW had a Excellence in Student Life ceremony, where the overall #OnlyAtGW photo contest winner was announced as well. People had some really cool moments showing how awesome it is here, including a group selfie with Wolf Blitzer among many others.

I didn't expect much, but here's what happened, as shown through +Google Glass.

When I first shared that photo, I honestly expected nothing more than me sharing a moment that mattered in my life -- a moment of freedom, of relaxation. I am still in awe at what it has become, especially because it all came from two apps from a device the size of my hand. On my Samsung Galaxy S4, I used the camera and Google+'s powerful +Snapseed app and the final product was available in minutes. Of that moment, right at that moment. 

From Glass to Snapseed and everything in between, I'm taken aback by how technology has empowered everyone to be able to capture the moments that matter.

And then there was this tweet, I love it.

What a fun #OnlyAtGW moment last night.