Without leaving the Pennsylvania state line, less than 24 hours before I make my way to gate A11 at the Philadelphia International Airport, everything is in abstracts and unnecessary weight. “Unnecessary,” is practically the theme of waiting for something that will actively change your life. So, I continue to look at my life like a movie.
Every moment spent becomes “the last time,”…for three and some months. Normal hangouts become ‘the last time,’ playing video games online becomes ‘the last time.’ It feels like the very last Phillies season at Veterans Stadium. Suddenly, the last night game ever becomes special. Because it’s the last time they’ll ever turn those lights on. But it’s really just another game in a run down stadium and…who won that game, again?
You can’t fight sentimental feelings. I’m not going to see my best friends for a semester, and as a senior, I’m thrown back into being a freshman – unaware of the boundaries and comforts of my new environment.
So, I’m throwing on the kind of music that’s supposed to change my life, making soundtracks for the airplane ride over, writing music, and getting all philosophical over myself. It really is like that tweener time between high school and college. Without the hopes that I’ll find some girl who will *really* like me for who I am.
This unnecessary preparation is a way of creating cautiously led ideals that will probably work as well as the dollar in London. About half as well. Those sentiments still feel wonderful, being completely inspired by something I have absolutely no first-hand experience with. And it’s the kind of thing each of us could only hope for. So, study abroad for the anticipation, if not the experience.
I’ve already begun my work as a journalist at Temple. But this is a chance to begin, to fail, see things with an innocent perspective, and put my life into journalism. I don’t know the music scene. I don’t know how to get around. I don’t know what the food is like. I don’t know what will inspire me.
But I will not be a tourist. I’m living in London, and intend to know the small things that make it so great. Once you start living somewhere, the extravagant things aren’t what make it great. They’re as good as a block of gold in the desert.
I promise you, I’m not like Zach Braff in Garden State all the time. I’m not nearly as cute.
Relocated Reporting is a new column in which Chris Zakorchemny recounts the differences, fears and excitement of his new life upon moving to London to study for a semester. He can be reached at email@example.com.