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the journey will begin in england

January 25, 2009

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It’s not where I thought it would start.  Truth be told, I had no idea where I would first step foot on my travels.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been staring at a map of the world and reading travel blogs, lost in colorful dreams and wanting to choose everywhere and nowhere at once (because choosing one place meant turning my back on others and how could I do that?).   Being a person of passion is a struggle, it can make you freeze in the face of so many choices.  Because there is so much I want to do and see and taste and experience, I was, indeed, frozen.  I had no idea where to begin.

and then…

everything unraveled (in the best of ways).

I won this giveaway in December, which led to a spontaneous exchange of  emails, which led to me asking the question that has been on my mind 24/7 lately… where in the world should I go this Spring?  Long story short, she suggested that I come visit her in Bath and I was all “that’s very sweet” but I thought she was just doing the polite thing so I gave her the option of backing out, no hard feelings.  But then she insisted, so I accepted, and this led to a fabulous 2-hour phone conversation last Sunday.

(Something you should know about me… I don’t dig the phone.  I am a serial screener.  The telephone is a torture device created for people who are uncomfortable with silent moments (um. yeah. I’m one of those people).  So the thought of having to talk to a complete stranger, with whom I felt a strong e-connection, scared the living shit out of me.  What if I had nothing to say?  Worse, what if I said random stupid things to fill in the silent moments? What if she didn’t like me?)

But you know what?  It was amazing. Susannah is so real and easy and freaking hilarious.  Remember when you were a teenager and you had a cheap pink phone (giant by today’s standards) and you would talk for hours with your best friend even though you just spent the whole day with her at school?  But there were so many boys to talk about, it necessitated the 2-hour after-school conversation, the analyzing of him looking at you as you walked down the hall.  What did it mean?  Not that I did that, I talked about carbon-carbon bonds and differential equations (mmm hmmm).  Anyways,  that’s what this conversation felt like (minus the boring academic talk).   2 hours of me walking around the house, lying on the bed with my feet up against the wall, sipping espresso then sneaking a pee with the phone out of  earshot, laughing, sharing, constantly nodding my head in agreement.

That phone conversation reassured me that Susannah and I are going to get along splendidly.  You guys, I simply cannot wait to meet this woman in person, to take photos with her, to cook meals with her, to listen to her stories told with that adorable English accent.  I do believe it is the perfect launching pad for my journey.

So Monday morning, I booked my ticket to London with a return flight from Rome.  My trip is officially book-ended, now I just have to fill in the blanks.  The journey begins in London, where I plan to see the city solo for 2 days and partake in pub food and a couple pints.  Then I hop on a train to Bath for a few days and from there, I slowly take the road less traveled to Rome.  I have a feeling Spain and Croatia will be featured.  Again, I would have never considered Croatia, but I’ve talked to several people who have been and absolutely loved the place.  I’m paying attention to all these little signs.  That’s what this trip is about, opening up, connecting, going with the flow.  You have 3 separate people telling you that Croatia is one of the prettiest places they’ve ever traveled to?  Well, hells bells, you pay attention to that shit.  Because who goes to Croatia, right?  I mean the odds kinda make a girl feel like she should see what this place is all about.

Wherever I go, I’m seeing days filled with walking, writing, snapping photos, eating, meeting new people and hopefully blogging if time permits.  I’m okay with the fact that I’ll probably come home with an extra 10 pounds on my ass.  I’m prepared to sacrifice the ass in the name of good food.  The ass, I can always work off.  The perfect pasta and wine?  They don’t come around every day.

Y’all… I’m getting so excited about this trip.

Cheerio, ciao, adiós, dovidjenja

P.S.: Two people at work mentioned CouchSurfing to me.  So I’m looking into it as a way to travel cheaply and meet interesting people.  Has anyone couch surfed before or know someone who has?  Any other suggestions?

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2009 6:47 pm

    I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Bath and meet Susannah last November. Let me tell you, you are in for a treat.

    Please give her love for me.

  2. January 25, 2009 6:56 pm

    wow!!! i’m so excited for you! this sounds serendipitous and incredible.

    as for couch surfing, i know that kate swaboda of http://www.selftaughtgirl.com did couch surf (via that website) while travelling in Italy. She blogged about it in early december so you could check out her archives to read that, or just email her to ask about it!

  3. lizzy permalink
    January 25, 2009 8:35 pm

    so excited for you! so many adventures & beautiful encounters are ahead.

    as for couchsurfing, this dude was raving about it. i’m sure he’d be willing to answer any questions.

    http://menliketreeswalking.blogspot.com/

  4. January 25, 2009 10:30 pm

    Sigh… your adventures sound exciting already. I’m so happy for you.

    I haven’t heard of couch surfing but the Mister and I went wwoofing last year (www.wwoof.org) which may or may not be your cup of tea this trip. 🙂

  5. January 26, 2009 3:25 am

    yay! i can’t wait to meet you too, gorgeous – and *you’re* the one with the adorable accent… i sound normal, i told you 😀 I’m already planning what we’ll cook and where we’ll go hunting for photographs xx

  6. Frannie permalink
    January 26, 2009 5:31 am

    Hooray! You will love England. And Susannah, you are in for a treat.

  7. January 26, 2009 8:49 am

    please please do let me know when you are in london if you want to meet up? that would be so fun! hopefully i will be around when you arrive… (i’m off to new zealand for a short while next month)

    happy travels!

    (and if you need a couch in london, you are welcome, welcome, welcome!)

  8. kristen permalink
    January 26, 2009 9:02 am

    This sounds so fantastic. I love Italy so much, it’s probably my favorite place and imo, a great place to end your journey. (=

    I’m traveling to London and Paris in a few weeks and can’t wait. I’ll be gone just a week, but it will be enough.

  9. tinafrench permalink
    January 26, 2009 12:25 pm

    How lovely. If you have the chance to travel to Haye-on-Wye in Wales, do it.

    And let me also put in a vote for my beloved Switzerland. Specifically, Lausanne and the surrounding area. It’s the loveliest place on earth.

  10. January 26, 2009 4:03 pm

    serendipity at its best. the universe is talking and you are listening. how very awesome that you get to meet susannah ! i am giddy for all of it for you. happy travels.

  11. January 26, 2009 4:57 pm

    What fun! You are sure to have a super time, you have such a great attitude about it all! Yay for traveling 🙂

  12. Elizabeth permalink
    January 26, 2009 6:12 pm

    oh WOMAN!

    This is the beginning– this is the adventure that sets your life, the next stage of your life, on its course. I am so amazed, inspired, enthralled and thrilled!

    utterly fabulous FABULOUS news!!!

    Bisous, e

  13. January 26, 2009 10:50 pm

    I am seriously jealous! When I was in the UK (far too many years ago) the one place I absolutely fell in love with was Bath. I’m excited for you.

  14. January 27, 2009 12:45 am

    Wonderful wonderful! I hope that you have a magical time, both with Susannah as well as on the rest of your journey…something tells me it will be transformational. xo

  15. Alison permalink
    January 27, 2009 6:03 am

    🙂

  16. Michelle Caron permalink
    January 27, 2009 10:17 am

    London baby!!!

  17. January 27, 2009 4:17 pm

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeee ~ i am so excited for you and how wonderful that you are going to hang with susannah, i so adore her and am of course seething with jealousy, tee hee ~ actually i am really happy for both of you 🙂 since i know that i will meet you both eventually, muah!

    p.s. your gorgeous photo came in the mail and all that grooving musica 🙂 am thrilled!! love to you, xo

  18. January 27, 2009 6:16 pm

    i so envy this journey you are planning! i lived in london (six months) and spain (one year), both are incredible places – I don’t know if you are interested in literature, but being the book worm I am, I loved the literary secret london walks. you should definitely look into grabbing one of those touristy books… “secret walks of london” or something.

    anyway, keep us informed! 🙂

  19. January 28, 2009 12:58 pm

    and if you fancy a visit to oxford… i’m here!

  20. January 29, 2009 11:31 am

    Have a great trip.

    I must go to UK just to hear someone say “If you fancy…”

  21. kathryn Guerriero permalink
    February 1, 2009 9:12 am

    yipee, yahoo, hurray
    we are so happy for you
    looking so forward to vicariously travelling along
    xoxoxoxxoo

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