Kit Loughran '16 | August 20, 2019
“Now boarding Flight 86 to London Heathrow.”
At the sound of those magic words, I sprang from my seat and into my boarding position, a surge of excitement washing over me. I was on my way to my hands-down, absolute favorite city in the world. London!
(Even the fact that my flight had been delayed two hours didn’t faze me. I was that excited.)
A little over four years ago, I had made this journey for the first time. It was my junior year at Notre Dame, and I was headed to the British capital for a semester abroad. I’ve been back to London a few times since that spring semester in 2015, but boarding the plane this time, my mind flashed back to that first London voyage. A huge group of Notre Dame students sitting at Chicago O’Hare with our overstuffed Osprey backpacks, feeling excited but very nervous — unsure of what would welcome us at the other end of the eight-hour flight.
It is, perhaps, no coincidence that this voyage would call to mind that specific memory. This time, I was London-bound to visit my mom during her study abroad program.
Yes, that’s right. My mom, Debbie ’91, studied abroad in London this summer. She’s currently getting her master’s degree in leadership and higher education at Chapman University, and, as part of the program, she and her classmates took an international course through some of the UK’s top universities to learn about the higher-education system across the pond.
While at Notre Dame, my mom (and my dad, also Class of ’91) didn’t have the opportunity to study abroad. In fact, the first time either of my parents went to Europe was to visit me during my Notre Dame semester abroad. So, just like my mom booked a trip to see me in London, I decided to visit her.
Before I even got to London, my mom had been flooding our family group text with pictures of her seeing plays in the West End, eating at local pubs, day-tripping to Stonehenge and Bath, and saying “hello” to the queen outside Buckingham Palace. She texted us facts that she learned in class or picked up on a tour, and funny jokes her classmates — her “millennial friends,” as she calls them — had shared.
Read more here.