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Letters From Abroad: Ticket For One

Photo By Kelsey Morgan

To my Tigers, 

I just got back from a week-and-a-half break where I got to do some traveling. It was an adventure — and an emotional rollercoaster — to say the least. 

Everything from getting lost to an emotional meltdown over being homesick to feeling accomplished for figuring out a new country’s metro system to facing unexpected expenses to feeling on top of the world because I was just happy.

My meltdown in Brussels went something like this: After being up since 5 a.m. to travel from Paris to Brussels, touring and sitting through lectures all day and almost crying at dinner for no reason other than just missing home, we got Belgian waffles and went to the Delirium — a famous bar that offers over 2,000 craft beers and happens to be a bucket list destination of mine. Needless to say, we were exhausted, and the beers I had had did not help my patience, and the smallest things were upsetting me. 

A group of us decided we were ready for sleep so we left to walk back to our apartment which was about a seven-minute walk away. An hour and a half later, in 34 degree weather and rain, after I broke down and turned on my data to try to get us directions to the hotel, we were still lost. 

Finally, after running into an awesome British guy, who has seen more of the U.S. than I have, gave us the directions that finally got us back. I walked into the hotel room and set my bag on a small table where it fell less than two feet and broke the Delirium glasses I was trying to keep as souvenirs for another girl and myself. 

I just sat down and full on Kim K. ugly cried. All I could think was “I can’t wait to go home. I just want to be home.”

Fast forward to the end of the trip: London. I’ve been once before, and it’s probably tied with Warsaw for my favorite city in the world. First, I got to see “The Lion King” in theater, which is something I’d been very excited about. 

Needless to say, it was amazing. The music, the set, the costumes, the props, and the incredible amount of detail—it was honestly jaw dropping. The next morning I got to do the number-one thing I HAD to do in London: The Warner Brother Studio’s Harry Potter Tour. Forgive me for being dramatic, but it was probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. Seriously though, the amount of time and detail that went into each scene and set is unbelievable. 

During the days, the girls and I spent some time exploring, and I got the chance to do some solo exploring where I found some great markets, bookstores, street performers, musicians (a personal favorite of mine) and, of course, Starbucks. 

On our last night, the rest of the group I was with had tickets to a fashion show, and after finally deciding I didn’t know what to do by myself for most of a day and the evening, I gave in and went to the theater and got the cheapest tickets available for “Wicked” — also an absolutely incredible show.

I don’t know a lot about classical music or opera or theater, but my mom was a musician when I was growing up, so hearing songs from musicals or pieces by Mozart and Beethoven always remind me her. 

Sitting in those shows made me happy, not just because they were great shows, but because of how they reminded me of my mom and how happy music and these shows make her. It reminds me of being younger and eating Chinese take out while watching “Phantom of the Opera” or “Fiddler on the Roof” on DVD with my mom and sister and hearing my mom quietly sing along, or listening to the sound of her flute filling the house while she practiced for an upcoming performance. 

While it did make me miss home, it simultaneously made me feel close to home even though I’m 4,000 miles away.

There is a part of me that is excited to go home every single day. I don’t think it means that I am unhappy; I think it just means I have something really incredible to go back to—and for that I couldn’t be any luckier.

Enjoy the sunshine and blue skies you’re getting, Tigers. I promise you’re getting more of it than I am. It’s something I can’t wait to come home to.

Till next time.


– Kelsey

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