Well. I’m on a flight out of the UK right now. I’m going from London to Iceland, and then heading back home to Denver for a couple weeks.
I didn’t do much in London; I had a very specific agenda and didn’t have a lot of time leftover for anything else. I really only had one day there, and spent most of it getting to and exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens, or Kew Gardens as it’s often called. The gardens were everything I could’ve ever wanted. Tranquil greenhouses, a huge, expansive arboretum. And, my personal favorite: not one, but TWO rooms entirely dedicated to carnivorous plants. And the bonus, it was a bit dreary that day, so the entire grounds were deserted. A tranquil and perfect way to spend my last day in the UK. But, of course, I didn’t stop there. Justin, David, and I all went out for a spot of tea and ended the day by seeing Les Misérables, the last of my favorite musicals that I hadn’t seen live. Les Mis was excellent. Honestly one of the best theater performances I’ve ever seen. I had chills during the entire performance and the singing was so good that it made me seriously doubt the credentials of whoever cast the movie.
All in all though, it was hard to say goodbye. Maybe even harder than with Singapore. I really am going to miss everything. The fencing team workouts. Nanyang with Justin. Having professors that exclusively speak in Scottish accents (not even lying, this makes classes at least 2x as exciting). But I think it’s time for me to go home. I think it has been for awhile now. I’m not horribly cold tolerant and it’s about time I return to the land of palm trees, sunshine, and bubble tea that’s actually worth the $4 you pay for it. And food. I definitely won’t miss Scottish food. Honestly can’t say I’d be heartbroken if I didn’t cross paths with IRN BRU (Scotland’s national drink) for a bit.
And so for my last meal in the United Kingdom I ate Old Chang Kee curry puffs. Everything came full circle. 6 months ago, getting off a plane in Singapore and thinking to my self “what on earth am I doing with my life?” All the way to now. 12 countries (not including layovers). 6 months. One very tired, but not quite homesick 20 year-old. And his final curry puff.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.
(Yes, I know they’re called rooks, but I needed a pun)
Hiya lads and lasses! I did my final wee bit of Scotland exploration this week, which is to say, I finally did the one touristy thing I’d been avoiding doing for all too long. I went to Edinburgh Castle. AND I went INSIDE Edinburgh Castle.