1199 Route 22 East Mountainside, NJ 07092 Phone: 973-912-0555
280 Madison Avenue, Suite 1202 New York, NY 10016 Phone: 212-679-1330
www.ghlawnynj.com // MARCH • 2020
Goldstein & Handwerker, LLP STEVEN T. GOLDSTEIN & MICHAEL HANDWERKER
RETRACING MY JOURNEY WITH MY FAMILY An Undergrad Studying Abroad
“Who wants to go to London?” I asked my wife, Melissa, and my 20-year-old twins, Paige and Matthew.
“Do I have to go with you, or can I go with friends?” joked Paige.
I was excited about the trip since I’d studied in London for a semester while attending SUNY Albany. I was eager to retrace my steps and give my family a brief glimpse of my life as an undergrad studying abroad.
“Did you know that I was almost homeless in London?”
My kids’ eyes opened wide at this news and were eager to hear the rest of my story. SUNY didn’t provide housing for its students, so when I arrived in London, I wondered what doorway I’d be spending my nights in. I then found out that Syracuse University arranges housing for its students rather than let them wander the streets. So, I went to its foreign exchange student department, intending to plead for a warm bed. “You need a place?” asked a Syracuse student who was standing nearby. We talked, and after he realized we had things in common and I wasn’t an ax murderer, he invited me to share the three-room apartment where he was living with three female students. And that’s how I avoided homelessness in London. I also took my family to the local pub, where I’d hung out with my new London friends, drinking beer, eating stale pretzels at the bar, and watching sports on the overhead TV. “How quaint!” said Paige, eyeing the small-screen, low-definition TV as if it were from caveman times.
Another highlight is that I arranged to meet a colleague in my former law firm who had relocated to London. I hadn’t seen him in years. I proudly introduced him to my family, and then he and I spent hours reminiscing. My wife and kids hung on every word, envisioning the things I did and the places I went as a young man in London. They also thought I looked dashing in my friend’s barrister’s wig. We all enjoyed the trip, which stirred warm memories for me. My kids even said that I was “cool,” at least in those days. It made
a special impact on Paige, who is in her sophomore year of college. She was able to see my old college haunting grounds at a time when she is establishing her own. It was a magical vacation.
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