I honestly can’t remember when I decided I wanted to travel, but I think it was probably about the time when people started asking me what I wanted to do when I finished high school. My friends all had great answers like: “I wanna be a social worker,” or “I’m going to join the military.” My answer? “I just want to see the world and write.”
I’d say I’ve done pretty well with actually doing both of those. This was my second trip to England, its been less than a year since my first one. How many 20 year old’s from America can say they spent their 20th birthday in England? I’ll admit they’re pretty cool bragging rights, but that’s not why I keep going back.
Don’t get me wrong, England is amazing! There is so much to see and do, the culture and architecture is amazing. I don’t think I could ever get bored with it all. But for me, it’s the people than can make or break a place. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to at least visit England once. I did that, and the reason I went back again was the people I got to know while I was over there. The kind of people who make saying goodbye so hard.
I suppose I have to thank my brother for marrying a British girl which led to me staying with her for two weeks last spring. It also was the reason a whole group of her friends and family flew to America in September 2015 for the wedding. If it weren’t for that, my life would be missing another set of parents, another brother, an aunt, a grandmother and a best friend. Not to mention innumerable friends and memories.
Nothing compares to the experiences you have and the things you learn when you travel. I find it fascinating just listening to people from different cultures talk about their own lives and experiences. The hardest thing is becoming so close with people and then not seeing them for months at a time. Its the physically being there, seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces, making each other laugh and telling stories that makes it worth waiting for.
My first trip to the UK I was there for 2 weeks, this one I just got back from only lasted 9 days. It wasn’t nearly long enough. My sister-in-law, my two brothers and I had almost no down time! Between paint balling, going to London for a day, visiting the seaside at Whitby, going hiking, going out for tea and then on a pub crawl for my birthday, we were all quite busy. I wished for nothing more than to just be able to stay over there longer. But even the best things must come to an end eventually.
I hate saying goodbye, I always have. But nothing is worse than saying goodbye when you don’t know the next time you will see someone. When you have an entire family including a best friend who all live an ocean away and you may not see them for a year or more, it’s heartbreaking.
Once you’ve said goodbye and you think the worst is over, you come home, and it almost feels as though you never left. However, something is different, maybe it’s that you now have all these new memories, or perhaps you yourself have changed. Not in a bad way, but how can you go back to the person you were before you experienced such amazing things. England is such a contrast to New England, the landscape, the buildings, the people. Maybe it’s just me, perhaps I’m easily awed by the world, perhaps the things I see affect me more than they affect others. All I know is my bucket list is only getting longer and I’ve already started saving money for my next trip to England.