Exactly ten days from today I get on a plane heading back to the life I knew for 20 years before I came to the new life I’ve known for the past six months. I am scared, sad, excited, nervous,and anxious all at once. It feels very familiar as these are the emotions I had before coming here not so long ago. I have no idea what to expect upon my return. Will I be happy right away? Missing the UK immediately? How will my friends and family welcome me after six months apart? I’ve changed so much that I don’t know how to return to a place that hasn’t changed at all.
My last week in Swansea is consisting of lots of chilling out and thinking about all the money I’ve spent through travelling and attempting to not spending any more. I can honestly say the only downside to studying abroad is the hella money it costs, especially living in the UK. The exchange rate is real crap for Americans, which we discovered almost immediately. However every pence I spent was worth it. I don’t regret anything as I’ve saved years for this and the experiences and memories I’ve made are priceless.
I want to dedicate the rest of this post to the greatest night of my entire life: June 16th, 2016. Last November I awoke at the crisp hour of 5 AM (11 AM UK time) to purchase a ticket to the show that I have always dreamed of. Coldplay- in their hometown, on the ground as close to the stage as I could get. I bought one ticket, unsure if I would be making any friends as I was fully prepared to go alone. Little did I know I would make a special British friend Luke and have my best friend Carroll from America with me during this time. So, being the wonderful person I am I bought them both tickets (refer back to the part where I’ve spent WAY too much money).
Needless to say I had been counting down to this day since November. Coldplay is my favourite band in the entire world. I have their lyrics permanently inked on my right shoulder blade and I know every song by heart. I knew that this night would be the best ever, especially with two of my favorite people by my side.
I have been on the floor for concerts and festivals before, but never for one of the most popular bands in the world in their home city of London, therefore I was not prepared for the ruthless fight we were going to have to endure to get to the front.
The first hurdle we crossed was the fact that I bought all our tickets at separate times, meaning we were each required to enter different gates. None of the security guards would budge and let us enter together, which was a problem considering we arrived 5 hours before the gates open to get a place in line. Thankfully Luke used his social skills to persuade two lone people to switch tickets with us so we could all be together- apparently British people can be nice! Who knew.
We then waited five hours for the gates to open, which we occupied with painting ourselves with glitter and body paint to become pretty Coldplay princesses. However, the fun and cutesie times had to disperse as the gates opened and it was every man and woman for themselves. We all charged forward as the security guards were screaming for us to slow down. With full force we ran to the doors and scanned our tickets and collected our light up wrist bands and headed for the opening to the stadium. The fight wasn’t quite over- we still had to make it to the floor. There was a flight of stairs and more security in our way. As we stood in the crowd waiting for them to let us through, I managed to snap this nice selfie. We may look friendly but I was prepared to knock over every one of these fools.
As the guards moved aside we charged forward and down the stairs and took off in a full sprint towards the stage. They were still screaming for us so slow down but if no one was slowing down then neither were we. So we completely ignored them and kept running. We got to the front with only one row of people between us and the very front!!!! All my dreams were coming true and I didn’t even have to clothesline or tackle anyone!
I hardly have words for how incredible the concert was. Their music filled Wembley stadium while Chris Martin’s unmatched dance moves pleased our eyes. The illuminated wristbands lit up Wembley stadium like a huge Christmas tree and it was a sight that could never be forgotten. This was my 2nd time seeing them live and certainly won’t be the last (it actually won’t be as I am seeing them July 23rd in Chicago-so pumped). It was incredible, exhilarating, heart pumping, emotional, and the perfect way to starting the ending of my time here. Thank you so much Coldplay for your music and second to none performances. Also huge thanks to my best friend and boyfriend for accompanying me, standing for a total of about 12 hours with the queues and the show and the journey home, and for sharing this experience with me, it wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Once again, thanks for reading what will probably be one of my final blogs abroad. It has been great fun documenting my time here.
See you soon,