Welp, Claire has officially wrapped up her adventures on study abroad, and she is glowing from all that she’s learned and experienced.

I don’t think we have any hope of getting that girl yo do a guest post over here with all she’s got going on for the next few weeks, so I’m just writing a quick recap from my perspective so we can have her adventures in this “family journal” of ours.

Claire left back in June. She and a friend left a week earlier than they needed to report at the London Center so they could do some solo traveling learning to get around some big foreign countries independently. It was so fun to see the pictures come in of their adventures.

Travel before the Study Abroad program began

They worked their way around Paris first:

Nailing the metro system, walking so many thousands of “steps,” trying to figure out museums and how to eat on a dime. My niece (Claire’s cousin and college roommate) joined them for a couple days there, and they were so happy to all be together.

I think this was my favorite picture she sent:

Winged Victory at The Louvre is one of her favorite artworks she had studied in college and was SO excited to see it in person. As an art-lover myself, I get so happy when my kids get excited about art.

As luck would have it, she ran into some friends from California at the airport and they met up at the sparkling Eiffel Tower that night.

Those girls made their way to Versailles too.

After taking that city by storm, they headed to Switzerland to stay with my brother Tal.

He took them on the same incredibly gorgeous hike he took us on a few years ago:

Since they didn’t take any pictures on the side of those cliffs I’ll just add this one from our past adventure to give you an idea:

My brother and his family took her up to their “Hut” in the mountains too, and showed them so much of the grandeur of Switzerland.

They felt so loved and taken care of. Thank you so much you Swiss people I love!

And THEN it was time for the study abroad to begin.

London BYU Study Abroad

Oh I don’t know how to even do a small re-cap of Claire’s adventures in this land she has grown to love with all her heart. It’s just not my story to tell. But from her mother’s perspective I just so love that she now feels like this land where I spent so much of my growing-up years is “home.”

She saw so much from Stonehenge:

To camping out overnight to get tickets to Wimbledon:

To the beaches of Ireland:

Brighton and the “Seven Sisters:”

She joined in all the hype and excitement of an Arsenal football match:

She visited the dearest cousins (my nephew and his wife and family) who have made their home there:

And really knew that city from head to foot.

That’s the view from her bedroom (that she shared with 14 people!) in the London Centre up there on the left, and a gorgeous-but-caught-blurry street in Scotland on the right.

And amidst it all, she studied and took tests and worked hard at school work.

But what she got is so much more than crossing off class credits. She learned from everyone in her group. She learned from so many people she came across. And since a couple of her sisters and I got to come over and pick her up, it’s been pretty fun to be with her as she has spilled out so many experiences and loves and wonders and astonishments at the world that are now filling her heart right up. After giving us the biggest hugs known to man.

She is positively glowing.

And she’ll never forget all these good people she got to be with for a couple months in London. Can you spot her?

Now on to the next adventure in less than a month.

Australia as a missionary, here she comes!

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  1. Wow that’squite the trip. London is ridiculously expensive, how did she afford to go to so many places as a student????

    1. Jen is right, we paid for the study abroad but Claire took care of any other travel/entertainment expenses. She worked two jobs the last semester so she could save up enough for the things she wanted to do.

  2. I love the picture of Claire with Winged Victory! I was surprised by my reaction the first time I saw it in person—totally burst into tears. Just so incredible to see something I had loved in my studies and seeing how truly awe-inspiring it was in person. (I also proceeded to cry when I saw the Mona Lisa and the Rosetta Stone, so yeah, I was a weepy happy mess.)

    1. I am right there with you, Rachel! In fact, I have a whole post draft about it somewhere I should publish some time. I stood there in tears as I thought of the emotion/thought process of the sculptor as well as that beautiful stance of womanly confidence. I stood there and said a silent prayer that all my girls can work to have such a surety and “wings to fly” when they set their minds to something. There is something about the human emotion coming out in art that is so incredible, right?

  3. I LOVE this post! Getting the love of London (and Paris and Switzerland) in the blood is such a delight to see! It was so great to spend an hour with her at Victoria Station just as she got there and just as we were leaving. She is an adventurer. And another big adventure is just about to begin! Bless her!

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