On Sunday morning, we left Momma and Papa Drake to set out for our next stop, London! There was a bittersweet feeling about this departure as we said goodbye and stepped into the next part of our travels. Although we visited London during our study abroad four years ago, we returned with new purpose, new lenses, and a new sense of adventure – something that excited us both. As we checked into our hotel and began strolling through the city, we were quickly faced with the realization of just how big & busy London is. It was a shock to our systems, coming from the quaint and quietness of country towns in Scotland, like the Isle of Skye, to then coming to the capital of England.
But London, in all it’s hustle and bustle, is still a fabulous city. Full of new discoveries and cute neighborhoods, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a movie. It wasn’t long after being in London that we were both already craving some of the stillness of a smaller town, a realization that would lead to some revelations much bigger than we imagined (more to come on that in a minute). A desire that was fulfilled yesterday as we ventured out of the city to see the mystery of Stonehenge and the enchanting city of Bath, saying ‘Hi’ and falling in love with the place where classics like Pride and Prejudice were written by our girl, Jane.
We have always thought of ourselves as city girls, blending in with the fast paced life and fashion driven living. Cities are great & our trip is filled with visiting new ones. They are filled with all sorts of different people & different resources, never short of a Starbucks on every corner (something we’re not opposed too). But we have come to discover that maybe we aren’t as city as we thought. Being in London has helped us to discover more deeply that we are quality over quantity people. Which led to a big Ah-ha moment… We are city-centre people! Places like Galway & Bath have captured our hearts in an inexplicable way, instantly feeling like home although still unfamiliar. The slower, less populated city-centres of country towns are where we are meant to be. They have the best of both worlds: still populated & busy with a Starbucks on every other corner yet they still preserve a slower pace of life that helps us make connections with people. Less people, more connections – an oxymoron that describes us perfectly.
Overall, England has been good to us. From runs in Hyde park, to visiting the Palace, and even the long walks through the rain, the city is full of life and endless shopping (something our limited baggage prohibits us from partaking in besides our cheap “water resistant” raincoats). We’re learning to take in the little moments of beauty, and take advantage of trains to visit friends at a distance – a slice of community that was food for our souls (shout-out to our girl Sarah!).
All in all we are loving our adventure so far and thanking God for the ways in which He is shaping and molding us, even if it’s just learning to laugh at ourselves as we attempt to navigate through and adapt to new surroundings.
Next stop, Greece!