The all knowing “they“ say being alone can be terrifying.
I can agree in certain cases — dark alleys, haunted houses or nursing homes during a full moon — but in the case of leaving behind my old life, I completely disagree.
The homesickness has not hit me yet. I definitely miss my hometown nouns, especially my adorable ferret Robyn, but I am glad to have every ounce of my energy going into the things I want to do.
For instance, I purchased two one-way tickets last week.
What an invention! Now that I have seen the light and freedom that stands with a one-way ticket, I don’t think I will ever be able to tie myself down to an end-date again.
After all, how can you know you are done traveling until you are done traveling?
Europe is known for its connectedness. When you book trips in advance, you can get plane tickets to almost anywhere, even on a poor college student’s budget.
One-way ticket to Barcelona: £23.
How about Paris? Trade Ryan Air €18 and they will take you there.
The Uni—a magical education kingdom where I can rent ALL of my textbooks for free from its two libraries—has this wonderful academic calendar that allows for a three-week Easter break during April.
A friend back at UCA once highlighted for me the perks of uncertainty, and what it boiled down to was this: You never have to commit to a plan until you are positive it is what you want, and there is not a single person on this planet that can hold that against you.
At this point, the only thing I know for sure about my spring break itinerary is that I will be flying to Barcelona and Paris. As for the rest, we will just have to wait and see.
That having been said, there are still boundaries I have had to deal with.
First of all, I am broke. I have been waiting patiently for the last of my scholarships to come in, but to no avail. I am sure it has a lot to do with Arkansas seceding from North America to become the capital of Antarctica: Antarkansas.
In other words, no more tickets or world exploring until I go grocery shopping. A girl has got to eat!
Second, directions are not my forte. After seeing the North Sea from on top of a rolling green hill in Mowbray Park, my friend Allie and I decided to walk to it.
We never found it. I cannot believe we couldn’t find any piece of the coastline. At least we found our way back to the city center.
Another example of how little my internal compass has adapted to life on the Prime Meridian would be my getting turned around inside a department store for roughly 30 minutes.
Now, I am not stupid, I can tell left from right, but I kid you not; Primark became a maze fit for the Triwizard Tournament.
I lost Allie immediately as we walked through the entrance. Between the two levels and circling aisles, Allie and I simply could not find each other. I even stood still on the stairs and scanned the crowd for her for 15 minutes before I decided to approach a security guard with an all-call request. Sure enough, as soon as I walked up to the tills (cash registers) we found each other.
This incident inspired me to walk straight to a cell phone store and purchase the cheapest pay-as-you-go brick phone. I feel like a 90-year-old woman when I try to text, but it works in a pinch!
And finally, my social life depends on public transportation or my feet at all times.
The busses are less than reliable. I think the logo on the side should be changed from “Every 15 minutes” to “Whenever we feel like it.” At least then they’d have honesty on their side.
They always seem to pull up to the stop just as I have lost hope and decide to walk. Walking takes a little longer, and I already have a hole in the sole of my favorite shoes, but the city is a pretty one.
(Note to self: Add duct tape to the grocery list.)
There is something about football—soccer—that makes the entire town erupt into drunken songs at the drop of a 10-pence coin.
While I was trapped in Primark, Sunderland beat their biggest rival, Newcastle. Big plays and the final score, 3-0, were announced throughout the mall.
My favorite song of the day was a catchy tune called “If you hate Newcastle.”
This weekend Sunderland plays Hull City, and if they win, I am sure the city will be booming with song just as before.
However, as enticing as chanting with sports fanatics seems, I have decided to forgo Sunderland for a night and go see some castles in Edinburgh, Scotland, instead!
Cheers and beers,