However, at this halfway point, I can tell how I have acclimated myself to the cultural norms (such as replacing "parts" with "bits" "goodbye" with "cheers" and now signing emails and letters with "Best Wishes and Kind Regards" opposed to the American "Sincerely"). I'd say all I'm missing is a British accent and a full understanding of the money system, and I would blend in just fine.
I have changed here, I truly have. Being so far away from home, from my security blankets, and from my culture has granted me with a sense of worldliness that only adventure could supply. Although I have realized that I am just a teeny tiny speck on the face of this Earth, I have a voice. I may not be able to move mountains with this voice, but I can add something to some people's life. Just like my newly acquired friends have added something to mine. They are all stars in my skies now, rays of sunshine in my mornings, and the much needed glitter of happiness and hope when I am at my lowest points.
Enough babble about me and how I still drool everyday over the view in Winchester...
I have gone on two recent adventures that I have been dying to tell everyone about, but I have been sick for the past two weeks and motivation has been scarce.
To my dismay, there were no dinosaurs here. However, I was not too upset as soon as I saw the gorgeous coastline. I have been many places and have sunbathed on many beaches, but never have I tread over jagged rocks, braved below freezing weather, or eased my way down a steep cliff just to smell the salt water. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Getting to the ocean has never offered much of a challenge, and well, I was yearning for a little more adventure.
As a result of my hard work, this was the product:
Pretty tough to beat, right?
We ventured on, climbing back up the cliff we trotted down, only to be greeted by yet another breathtaking view.
You can look up some history of these formations and why they are there, how they got there, etc. I don't remember, and honestly, I'm still stuck by the beauty of this place.
Our adventure didn't stop there. We traveled into town, where we walked yet again down another massive hill. Boy, were my knees screaming.
Shortly following lunch, we headed to another cove, only to be awestruck again.
Still, our thrill seeking selves were hungry for more. So, we did what was natural and bought ice cream. Only to prepare us for a very tiring, terrifying, and tedious hiking experience. Our destination was Fossil Forest, and we each had the hopes of returning to our families with some priceless souvenir with maybe an outline of a bone, plant, or sea shell from the time that the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The way was not easy. The hills seemed to have turned into mountains, the steps to slopes, and the mud into quicksand. We followed the path down a dangerously steep cliff, where I was sure that my short life of 21 years had reached its end, as falling to my death was nearly inevitable.
I wish I could say the product was worth it, and I'm bringing home handfuls of fossils. However, we were quite disappointed when we reached Fossil Forest and found this blocking our path to adventure:
I have always had a fascination for old architecture, churches, and culture from the first few centuries of living civilization. All of these incredibly nerdy passions were filled when we traveled to Bath. It is an incredibly old city, seemingly hidden in the hills of England.
The main attraction here was, well, a giant public Bath. Again, if you want the historical details, you obviously have access to the internet. There is this really nifty site called "Google"...
I got to walk where Romans walked. I touched things that they crafted with their own hands in honor for the gods. I drank from the same fountain that they did. I threw a coin into a pool where they also threw money as offerings. I had never felt so connected to the past as I did here. The only thing that may top it was walking inside the Colosseum and the ancient villages of Rome.
That's all until my next adventure!
Cheers, All! XX