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"My Europe"
Posted by jreed  Jun 22 2004, 12:50 PM    (View all contributions by jreed)
I'm struggling with where to begin and in what style I'd like to write about the many adventures that stemmed from a decision to study abroad in the small city of Lancaster, England. I suppose I can tell you about the little coffee shop that sits just outside the main hub of the downtown shopping area where you can sit waiting for a friend or grab a sandwich and a beer. Maybe you'd like to hear about the pubs or the cobblestone walkways that lead up the their front doors where you can hear the sounds of a local Irish band or jazz trio. I can tell you about the history or the castles or the customs of the poeple, but there are so many stories that I just don't know where to begin.
It's been five years since I first stepped off the train that brought me three hours from London to where I would have to exist in another world. Because of that, it sometimes feels like another life or a dream that I had many years ago. The facts of the area you can look up in a book. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not any good with specifics. What I can tell you about is how it feels to be the minority in an area or the outsider at school. I can explain why you have no choice but to grow and learn while you live through the experiences that come at you from all angles. The only negative I can think of is trying to go back to your life how you left it before the adventure began. The way you think and view the world has changed and sometimes the people closest to you can't begin to understand why you feel the way you do unless they too have had similar experiences.
I need to stop where I am because I now realize that with a site like this where one can share what he/she has learned or just ramble about that time when this guy from Italy tried to swipe your watch, you can begin to explore why those who travel think the way they do and do the things others can only dream of. I look forward to seeing that others think the same way I do and that I am not alone in the world like the way you feel when your child is acting up. Until you see that your neighbor has a know-it-all teenager too, you think you must have done something wrong or that you are the only one with this feeling.
Because of this I wanted to say a special thank you to the person who started this website. It seems to be a good outlet for posting not only the need-to-know details about a place but the deep feelings and emotions that arise when one steps outside of him/herself. Though I've only scratched the surface of my own feelings when travelling, I know that by reflecting back on those times helps the growth process for future life events. Thanks for letting me ramble.