August 16, 2011
I’m on a train bound for London, watching the sun rise majestically over the sleepy little towns of the English countryside. It is 6:20am, I’m traveling alone, and I probably got 4 hours of sleep last night, but somehow I am at peace.
I’m headed to London to meet my dad, his assistant, and another coworker–all here in England from Utah for a work project. My dad is one of my clients, and while I typically edit his expert reports, I’m simply a data cruncher this time. I used to intern for his company, so this kind of work isn’t new to me.
This project couldn’t have come at a better time. For one thing, I am still amazed that the project is happening when we are in the area. Second, I didn’t get to see much of my family in the week leading up to our departure from the US, so I can now spend some time with my dad. And also, this work will mean extra money in our pocket, which should pay for a good portion of our trip up to this point. Ryan and I have joked about how awesome it would be to make enough money while we’re here to keep our savings intact for when we return. That is a feasible goal, and one we are striving for.
I’m actually pretty amazed that I’ve handled the idea of this solitary trip to London so well. I’ve come a long way since high school and university, when every little new thing used to stress me out. Now, traveling doesn’t seem like such a big deal. In fact, I probably err on the side of “Let’s just go and figure it out when we get there” than the “Everything must be exactly organized and in its place before we leave” attitude I had a few years ago.
Traveling alone still makes me a bit anxious. I’m child-sized and not too terrible to look at, so I feel vulnerable when I travel to new places without a buddy. In the case of last night, I also had a magazine deadline for Latter-day Woman Magazine, cramming my junk back into my 22″x10″ bag, and figuring out the final logistics of my journey, so I guess it’s okay if my nerves weren’t completely relaxed. The important thing is that it all worked out, as it always does.
Ryan understands who I am and is always a huge support in these kinds of situations. He will stay behind in Ascot until the B. family comes home this evening. Then he’ll take a train to London to meet us. I never like to be very far from Ryan–I just enjoy his company so much–but it will be a worthwhile few hours apart. I guess it says something about our relationship if we can spend nearly every moment with him for this long and not get too sick of each other.
I’m amazed that our time in Ascot has come to an end. It was a very relaxed time, but it went quickly, and I think I’m going to miss the area very much. It’s kind of a quiet little town (at least when a horse race isn’t going on), with tons of green woods to walk the dog in. But we (read: Ryan) took lots of pictures and I will be recording our experiences in more detail this week, so we can remember it always. Leaving early means I won’t get to see the B family, which I’m bummed about. Maybe one day I will get a chance to meet up with them again. They are such kind, generous, and fun people.
After downtown London, where we have some fun plans, we’ll head to Bristol, a decently sized city that got its beginning in the tobacco and spirits trade. We’ll be watching an indoor rabbit, which seems quite humorous to us. What in the world do you do with an indoor rabbit? It is litterbox trained, though, so it should be easy. Kind of like a cat. A silent, floppy-eared cat.