In a little over twelve hours, I get on a British Airways jet and make my way over to the United Kingdom with a group from the college I work with. The trip is for students taking a British Literature class. Me? I’m just along for the ride. Admittedly, I would love to take the class – but the Fall and Winter semesters are some of the busiest times of the year for my job position. Taking a class during that time frame would be stretching my ability to keep both sides of that equation straight – and I would do a miserable job at both. So, I’m just along for the ride.
This will be the first time I have been back in Europe in twenty-one years. So, there’s a nervousness attached to how much things have changed during that time. And things WILL have changed. There’s also an associated nervousness that I have with flying. I am not the best passenger when it comes to getting on any kind of plane for any amount of time. Which is strange for a guy that used to be in the United States Air Force, working with B-52 bombers, KC-10 and KC-135 refueling aircraft…and a handful of fighter jets. But then, I didn’t have to fly in those planes, except when new crypto devices went into the B-52s.
And while its been twenty-one years since I was in Europe, its been seven years LONGER than that since I have been in the UK itself. But I am using this trip as a recon of sorts for 2017 or 2018, when I am planning to head to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice, as well as a stroll to the top of the hill to visit the Tor – one of the major things I have promised I would do. And while that promise was slightly to myself…there’s offerings that I have to make as well. But that’s better left for when it happens. This current trip is to get an idea of how things operate in the United Kingdom – to make sure I understand how to get around without the help of a tour company – even though I am taking this trip with a tour company.
On January 4th, I wind up with a free day in London. I have a rudimentary plan to visit Treadwell’s Books and follow that on with lunch nearby. Once that finishes, the latter part of the afternoon is finished with a visit to the British Museum and the Celts exhibit that is currently on display there.
So, it will be an interesting trip. I am looking forward to the entire experience. But I also know that I have notes and notes and notes to take. I have my Bardic Gwers work to continue with (and good progress is finally being made – its always a good thing when a mental blocks unloads). I have my own personal writing to attend to as well. And I have to take time to just stop. Stop. And EXPERIENCE the moment. It might be a trip to another country, but that does not mean that life has to be lived differently. Yes MiLady – I hear your words in my ears. Stop. And experience.