the first few days | england, personal

Traveling, in general, is such an amazing thing. The fact that I can use transportation to go somewhere completely different (and sometimes on the other side of the world) from my home astounds me. Going to a place where no one knows my name, and introductions happen on a daily basis. Introductions with people, places, foods. It excites me. 

I am in England for the next month. I Can. Not. Believe. It. When I look out my window and see the countryside with its hills, and cows, and foggy tops, I smile. This is my life right now. I am so grateful. I have only been here since Tuesday afternoon, but already, I have so many stories to tell. 


(notice the sign, whoops ;))

(I don't have a picture for this story, but it's worth telling.) I love to stargaze. Laying down on a trampoline, or a rooftop, or a blanket on the grass, and staring up into the sky, squinting to count the stars, it is an amazing experience. Stars are like the ocean, they give you perspective. They calm you. I flew overnight to England, so while we were flying over the Atlantic Ocean, it was pitch black outside. And, I know we use that phrase a lot, "pitch black," but it really was. I wrote down in my journal, "I look down and there is a singular light, shining in the literal sea of darkness. Suddenly, the dark black stops, right about where the wing light is, and a quilt of starry sky begins. I wish I could lay on the wing + stargaze because it would be perfect. I've never seen so many stars." And it's true. The sky was filled, FILLED, with shiny dots, making shapes, and shining brightly. I saw the Milky Way. It was phenomenal. Thank goodness for window seats. :) 

Taking off + landing are my favorite parts of flying. When you first take off, and you are just high enough off the ground, it looks like the world below is a "play world." There is a moment where you realize how small we are as humans in comparison to the world around us. 

When I was landing in Manchester, the countryside below was like a patchwork quilt, spread out over the hills. It went on for miles. 

This next picture, means so much to me. 

When I got on the plane, I slid into my window seat and waited for the other people to sit down. A very sweet elderly lady sat down in the aisle seat. We chatted initially, hoping that no one would sit in the center seat because that would give us extra leg room. :) It turned out that no one sat there, which was an amazing blessing. 

We talked during the flight, and when we landed, we walked off together to the baggage claim. We were going to part ways, but in her beautiful English accent, she asked if I was going to the train. I was! And she was too. So we walked along the long, open corridor to the train station + chatted the whole way. 

She went to her platform and I went inside the waiting room. She came back a few minutes later and said that she had missed her train! So she was going to take my train. I honestly thought that she was an angel from heaven. Every time we said goodbye, she showed up again because she was going to get her luggage too! Or she was taking the train! Or she could take my train because her stop was before mine! It was incredible. And totally from the Lord. 

Almost 70 year olds have a lot of wisdom.
"Life is for living. This is not a trial run. I don't believe in sitting around." 
"When you're young, grab the opportunities. Because when you get married and have kids, your life goes on hold, ya know? If you're a good mum."

I probably won't see her again. But she was my best friend for 15 hours.

The train ride was absolutely beautiful. Right across the aisle from me, five physicists were chatting away about previous colleagues and teaching at schools. I put my headphones in and listened to music as the hills rolled by. It seemed like a better soundtrack. ;) 

This is my cute little bedroom. I love it. That chair by the window? My favorite spot. The window is always open and a cool breeze flows through it. It has a beautiful view. 

The day I got here, I got out my camera + taught 4 year old Anna how to use it. Preeeettty good. ;) 

So far, it has been fantastic. I've been using my phone more to take pictures because it is so quick + easy, but I love getting out my Canon as well. I give the first few days, five stars. Two thumbs up. (Anyone catch the reference? ;))