We travel because it changes the way we see the world. When you experience a culture and environment that is different than your own, you begin to understand what life is like from a different perspective. It’s a chance to see how other people live and work. When you travel and learn about another culture you learn to be more tolerant, to care about what happens in the world. We travel to reconnect with each other, to experience something new, to keep our relationship fresh and exciting. We get out of our routine so we can live without one. We make an effort to meet local people, try new and different food (see below for a picture of the fish eyeball) and experience the place we are visiting as authentically as possible. What is most important to us when it comes to traveling is simply to embrace whatever the day brings, whatever the weather decides to do, and whatever events (if any) are planned for the day. If there is something we don’t like, we change our liking. The idea is to be open and willing to think differently, to try the scary looking food, to climb the tower, to join the parade, to start a conversation with someone new, to be inspired. We travel because we can’t stop.
We traveled to York, Chester and London in June of this year. We spent nearly three weeks exploring small streets, embracing change and adjusting our American expectations to the diverse and colorful canvas that make up the culture of England.
We flew British Airways and were delighted in the detail of everything, down to the individual appetizers.
Middlethorpe Hall and Spa in York. With just 29 guest rooms, we made this our first stop and enjoyed the lush gardens, excellent food and over the top service. It was the perfect welcome to England experience.
The Shambles is one of the oldest authentic looking streets in all of England with buildings dating as far back as the fourteenth century.
York is a walled town with original structures from the 13th century and filled with friendly, outgoing people who celebrate their heritage and culture by maintaining the medieval castle ruins and York Minstrel, the huge Gothic cathedral, alongside modern restaurants, shops and museums.
Next stop, Chester. We rented a car and drove about three hours to our next destination, the Grosvenor Hotel. This was truly a luxury hotel in the heart of the city and we spent days exploring everything from museums, the zoo, several castles and every fish and chip shop we came across! Afternoon tea is an absolutely addicting tradition here and I made sure to stop every afternoon for tea (or champagne) and a biscuit.
We spent our final eight days in London, one of the most dynamic and diverse cities I have ever visited. I can hardly do justice in words to describe the beauty and majesty that is London. Historical structures and palaces find their place among modern architectural elements and edifices. With London’s open borders and their membership in the European Union (until this year anyway) the people here are a conglomerate of multi-cultural and multi-national diversity, living side by side and seemingly in peace. Not necessarily divided by neighborhoods, this mix of people are used to speaking multiple languages, frequenting ethnic restaurants and in many cases pursuing better opportunities to live more productive and happy lives. It makes for a fascinating exploration of people, places and tastes. When I left London, it felt like we had traveled to far more places than just England. I can hardly wait to go back.
The view from our hotel room right in Piccadilly Square. This was the day of the Pride Parade in London where an expected one million people marched or watched the parade – including us! I found it absolutely astounding that this many people could come together in celebration and joy and the city of London had the whole thing under control and cleaned up for a 10K race held in this same spot the very next morning.
Of course I have too many pictures so I tried to pick the ones that showed all the different and wonderful things we saw and experienced. If you want to know about any of these pictures just ask me in the comments below. I didn’t want to get too tedious with details with so many photos. Overall, this was a trip to remember when I’m sitting in my rocking chair and thinking back on some of my favorite memories. I never want to take for granted the opportunities we have to travel and am grateful every day for the lessons I learn. When you see the world, you never look at your own the same way. Next month, we are going to Greece – and I promise to keep you posted…
I promised you a picture of the fish eyeball. Yes it happened and yes we did..eat it. Travel for fun and enjoy everything!