A year is difficult to cover so here is what I have been up to in list form:
1. I attended Hogwarts for my Masters: I have studied in the UK before but nothing compares to the unique experience of attending an Oxbridge university. Oxford's buildings, students, events and environment was a bubble that everyone there wanted to live in for as long as they possibly could--for good reason! Let me tell you, I attended balls with title holding people and heirs, I went to "bops" that had odd themes (like the rubiks cube bop where you had to switch clothes with other people), I attended an Oxford union talk with Anna Wintour, had the Ashmolean Museum as my classroom and walked around in disbelief that I was actually there (especially when all the bells went off)
2. I made new, long-lasting friends and reconnected with some good old ones: There is nothing like a gruelling and intense program consisting of weekly essays and tutorial hell to quickly and solidly build camaraderie among a group of willing individuals [since it could have gone down the competitive path considering the horror stories we heard]. We quickly became each others support systems, shoulders to lean on, 4 am consolation, comedic relief, editors, idea developers and critics. Between the papers and panic we managed to have fun. Honestly with the way the year was planned academically, we had no time for the bullshit small talk and went straight to the "this is me, take it or leave it phase."
Since I have lived in the UK once before, I had friends already there waiting for me and even willing to help settle me in. So I was glad to actually get some real quality time with these old friends in the same time zone rather than a whatsapp chat here or a skype date there.
3. I found out that travelling to places with someone who is from the country or to where I already have someone is a nice way to learn about the country off of the beaten tourist track and to interact with real people from there that are--not again--through a tourist setting. It also meant I spent a lot of time listening to and picking up Serbian or Italian or whatever language of the country I was in and talking less...which is also nice! Its also a less stressful way of travelling--since I am usually the one that ends up planning days, figuring out how to get from one place to the other and explaining sites and museum materials--its nice to have someone else show you around and explain things to you.
That was my year in a nutshell, with some reflections...I could go on, after all it is a whole year!