Friday, 13 April 2012

Winding Down

The end of the semester is nearly here--just a few finals to go, and this wonderful semester at Harlaxton will be at its close. It's hard to believe this is my last travel blog already, but the time has come.

Churros and chocolate.
Since last I posted, I've been to Spain, where I got to try out my Spanish skills and learn that even five years of Spanish cannot prepare you for that Spanish accent, or for trying to communicate that you need "something for my pain in head," as I so eloquently put it. Language barrier aside, Spain was a wonderful experience, full of sunshine and sand and paella. Oh, and chocolate. A LOT of chocolate.

On the way home from Malaga, I learned a very important lesson about traveling--sometimes, things do NOT go as planned. My phone adamantly refused to call out and we weren't able to book our own cab back from East Midlands. I was tired, I was developing the plague, and I just wanted to be in bed. So, even though usually I'm relatively calm in these situations, this particular time resulted in a sort of catastrophic meltdown that lasted the entire flight back home. Despite my worries, however, we made it back to the manor safe and sound, and even on schedule. Which brought me to the realization (or perhaps reminder) that most of the time it's never as bad as I think it is.

 Spain was my last big trip of the semester, and surprisingly enough I'm happy to spend some time relaxing in the manor and seeing things that are closer to the place that has become my home over the past few months. Although it's been fun hopping on those Ryanair flights and jetting off to see all of these amazing places, the past couple of weekends have involved "traveling" here at Harlaxton, whether on little day trips or exploring the manor in search of clues for the murder mystery party. I went to Nottingham to watch a cricket match (which was great, but also really made me miss baseball) and tomorrow I'm hopping on a train to London to tour the HARRY POTTER STUDIOS (because yes, that must ALWAYS be said in all caps). Either way, I've learned to love traveling, and I think that love has inspired me to continue my quest for discovery when I return home to the States, of which I have seen tragically few outside my own Ohio and, of course, Evansville. While it certainly won't be quite the same as taking a short flight and being in Germany, or Spain, or Italy, it's still something to keep the adventure going, and I'm really looking forward to it (especially since, to my knowledge, we pretty much all speak the same language).

I can definitely say that all of the trips I have taken, the places I have seen, and the people I've encountered have taught me a lot and changed who I am, in a very good way (I hope). I know I'll probably never get tired of saying things like "When I was in Spain..." even long after everyone else has gotten tired of hearing them. Thankfully, I'm sure all of my wonderful Harlaxton friends will be happy to tell and retell their stories, too, and in that way we can keep a little piece of this semester alive (along with the scrapbook I'm going to make. Probably).

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