For a full list of my travel adventures, click here.
Okay, so like I’ve mentioned, I picked up a cold in Germany. Apparently, German colds are similar to airplane takeoffs: for a while, you’re not sure you’re moving but you feel a bit unwell; suddenly, a slow rumble begins and you feel a thrill of terror; then, you’re glued to your seat praying for it to be over when you know you’ve got ages to go. What I mean to say is, I was sick for a while, almost a week, but today is the first day I really feel truly sick. I have a hard time putting together coherent thoughts too, which is tough when you have to go to work and are expected to think clearly and stuff. Or, when you want to write a really great blog entry about your amazing overseas trip and the most you can think is where are my lotion tissues?
I guess I can’t really complain–I could have been sick over my trip, and given that I worked for 22 days prior to my trip (the entire month of September, I did not have a single day ‘off’), I kind of expected it. But, I kept up such a frenetic pace overseas that my poor immune system didn’t realize I was on holiday. It just thought I was going through a rough patch.
To be fair, there are few words to describe the antique charm of London, the mystery of Stonehenge, the calm of Brighton, the insanity of Oktoberfest, the magic of Neuschwanstein and the chill of Dachau. I’m sure what words there are, have already been used by The Greats, those writers and poets and bloggers far mightier than I. But, the best analogy I can describe is when I think back on London. London is like an ex-boyfriend (trust me to rely on some of my best and most emotional experiences to create an analogy), someone I’m craving to be around, but can’t right now. It’s ‘not the right time,’ I might say. London, unlike my ex-boyfriends, is not going anywhere, won’t start dating my friends, and will wait for me. I’m waiting too.
My mom and I have talked a few times about my trip, and she keeps mentioning this compulsion I had/have to travel to Europe. To be fair, it has always been London, and the rest was/is just an afterthought. For some reason, something bigger than me, and part of my soul, calls and sings to London. I know it sounds hokey, but that was home immediately, as much as anywhere in America has been. It isn’t a place I could lose myself and watch my life go by, but it’s a place I would always be grateful to share. I felt tired, but present in London. I will go back. These words, coming from my mom’s mouth, are simple truths. I will live there, and that is just as true. For some reason (difficult to put to words, like I said), I must.
Brighton was simply brilliant. While I love London, the pace of Brighton is much more reasonable, and I could easily see myself living in Brighton later in life. Maybe I’m due for a longer stay, a bit more Indian food, a swim in the sea. I can certainly visit on weekends from London, given the brilliance of the English train system.
Germany feels like a saucy minx. Oktoberfest was not my cup of tea, and Munich, what little I saw, was very different from London. Then again, I didn’t see very much. There’s a dark mystery to so much of Germany–I know little history and saw very little. I eagerly look forward to visiting again, to practicing a bit more German, to ‘meeting’ Munich, and someday Berlin. You see now that these places are not places, they are entities. I met London, and I found myself in love. I was introduced to Munich, but didn’t really get to know enough. To approach the world this way is undoubtedly overly emotional. It leaves me open for being disappointed, getting lost places, and falling in love with too many places. I find myself regularly wishing I could live many lives simply to be in all the places I like to be. But, it’s also so satisfying to feel at home in a place, to be vulnerable and vindicated for it.
I must certainly go back. Paris, that aloof tart, will certainly be a change, but count on it I’ll have plenty to say when the time comes (six weeks!).