I've been in the UK 5 days now, and each one feels different from the last. Thursday was travel day - full of anticipation and excitement which quickly turned to feelings of stupidity and fear when I took myself to the absolute wrong train station at 1am. It was as if the very moment I felt I had everything under control, it all fell secretly apart underneath me.
Day 1 was more traveling - I found my way to London for a meeting that evening and sprinted back to the station to catch the last train of the night. Surprised to discover they stop running after midnight, very unlike my familiar NYC.
Day 2 was active! We dug our way into the woods and to the sea - went seaweed and mushroom foraging. I learned loads about different types of plants and fungi, fascinating and beautifully mysterious. Two variations may look nearly identical, one delicious, the other deadly. We brought home a huge haul and feasted.
Day 3 was lazy and somewhat sorrowful. I found myself stuck to the couch like I haven't been in ages. Watched movies and drank tea, convinced myself to wander outside for a short walk and explored the tiny town of Chartham. It's all so unknown to me here - almost like I'm being kept in a tiny pen, not violently, but quietly. Everything is green and covered in raindrops, the sky is moody and grey. It is England, after all, Avery tells me (my host for the week).
Day 4 - today, looked a lot like yesterday, but with less guilt and despair about all the "nothing-doing". I gave in to the luxury of true rest, a place I haven't spent time in quite a while. I taught myself to make a new kind of coffee, spoke with friends, watched more movies, sat outdoors, and drank beer.
We had fish & chips for dinner, bought chocolate on the way home, and here I find myself again on the comfy couch.
Each day has started late - after 12pm at the earliest, sometimes with 1 or 2pm wake ups. My body and brain are still in NY, but I don't miss it yet. I'm giving up feeling badly for not "seeing enough" of this new land I've been transplanted to. Reminding myself that travel itself is tiring and it's time to simply be.
And time to make pictures and write down words.
All there is to do is relax.
Ashford International Station
Canterbury & Chartham
Seaweed & Mushroom Foraging