Greetings from Edinburgh and a cozy hobbit-hole home that’s outfitted like a mansion. The next few posts might be a bit out of order in terms of temporal progression; I’ve been doing a bit of travel, and things tend to get mixed up along the way. That’s a good sign. It means I’ve been having fun.
Now, it was last Friday that my parents came to visit. I’d been expecting the visit and looking forward to it, for the simple reason that I am a very, very tactile creature and there is a necessary adaptation period before you can hug your new friends without it being awkward. No such barrier exists among family; my parents have gotten many, many hugs over the last few days. It’s been very nice traveling across the U.K. with them in a car (the first time I’ve been in a car in three months, in fact), staying at places that range from a ridiculously massive and swanky hotel by the Thames in London to a tiny little inn out in Partney, Nowhere. All of the experiences have been great, especially since I’m not the one paying. Of course, not every piece of traveling with parents is ideal. After three months of setting my own schedule and not having to rely on or wait on anyone else for my plans, being just along for the ride is a bit jarring. Getting told what to do after a time of essentially making your way in life alone takes some getting used to. I imagine this is one of these things that’s more or less tolerable depending on the sort of person you are, and the sort of relationship you have with your family. I’m lucky – as long as I have a book, I don’t really mind what it is we’re up to. And the things we’ve gotten up to while traveling are well worth any small frustrating.
Travel alone is amazing no matter the country you’re in, but I have a special fondness for England: bleak, wet, hardy, and timeless. I’ve passed hillside villages that have been raising eyebrows at outsiders for over a thousand years, and walked through castle ruins that have been hiding below our feet for centuries before finally being unearthed again. I’ve seen reenactments, I’ve listened to a harpist outside the Globe Theatre, and I watched the sun dare to peek out over Hadrian’s Wall and bring the springtime wind out with it. I’ve never understood people who say that England is gloomy. There’s a difference between gloomy and atmospheric, and perspective plays a big role there.
So. London, the old family homestead out near Partney, Whitby (where Dracula was set), Corbridge and the Vindolanda site (as a Classics major, I can promise I was hyperventilating the entire time), and now Edinburgh. It’s been a lot of travel, a lot of sightseeing, and sick and tired as I was, draining as all hell. I wouldn’t miss a minute of it for the world. Maybe I’ll tell you more in my next post, but for now: travel. Have fun. If it’s been a while, say hi to your parents. Enjoy yourself. Have fun, and make sure to let at least one other person know about it.