By now, we're more than halfway through the semester and we've all got a lot of traveling under our belts. I'd even like to think I'm starting to understand the things I never thought I would--how to properly purchase a train ticket, how to book flights with Ryanair, and how to pack light enough to get ON said flights with Ryanair. I'm even getting the hang of the constant activity involved with jetting off to other countries or far off cities every weekend.
|In front of the Roman Baths|
In just a few short months, I've had a world of firsts--my first time on a plane, my first time on a train, and my first time leaving the United States. I've seen things that, a few years back, I would never have imagined. I've seen Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, countless castles and cathedrals and things older than I ever could have imagined.
But as I'm learning, traveling isn't just about what you see, hear, eat, and occasionally touch. It's also about learning a new way to relate to the world around you. It's about talking to people in shops, in pubs, on the street. It's about getting to know the people you travel with in a completely different way than you get to know people on a day to day basis. It's about taking things slow, spending days at a time off the internet, and getting to know the sound of your own thoughts as you experience a world of firsts.
|Chilling with Falstaff in Stratford Upon Avon|
Those elementary and middle school teachers who said I needed to "come out of my shell" would probably be shocked if they could see me now, and I'm genuinely loving every minute of it. No, it doesn't always go smoothly, but it's always an adventure and I can tell I'm going to be a lot more independent from now on. When it gets down to it, going places doesn't just teach you about those places--it teaches you a little bit about yourself, too.