One day, about six years ago, I decided to take a trip on my own. I wanted to try something new and decided to go on a trip across the sea to discover the unknown.
I’ve been thinking about that trip quite a bit lately. Walking through the streets of, Dublin, London, and Edinburg. Head up, neck tilted back, starring at the wonders above, eyes wide open in awe, heart racing with fear, quenching a thirst I didn’t know I had, picturing those who walked these streets before me who were searching for the very thing that I was. Love, knowledge, dreams, answers, a purpose, a desire to make an impact on the world, how can I change the world? Arms spread out wide to touch the cobblestones of the alleys, I ventured on. Sitting in booths of bars where Tolken sat to write the Hobbit. Backpack strapped with just the essentials. Trusting strangers to dangle me down to steal a kiss of the Blarney Stone. Riding horse and carriage through the hills of Ireland. Holding onto a giant cup of coffee in a coffee shop while watching the streets of Dublin flood with rain. Sitting on a bench in the heart of Oxford University while reading a book, watching people, listening to the amazing conversations of the students around me. It was magical. Not perfect. Not in the slightest. But it was magical. Walking down the street by myself. Coming to an intersection and making the exciting decision on which direction to try next. What’s down this alley? I’ve been picturing those walks through undiscovered cities lately and thinking about what it meant. I was searching for myself all the way across the world. I was trying to hear myself and trying to hear others at the same time. I was seeking understanding. Acceptance. Peace. A place my mind could run free and have others accept with open arms. It was an adventure that I carry with me everyday. It’s nothing I’d do again but it has stuck with me this far and I have a feeling it will continue to mean something to me forever. The further I get away from those day the better I understand what I gained. Right now, I can close my eyes and I’m there. There is one place I think of the most. Walking on the outskirts of Oxford. A young man with a small leather backpack rides by on his green bike with oversized bicycle wheels. Everyone moves around me going about their business as if I weren’t there. Music carries lightly through the alleyways. Shopfront buildings tower above taunting me with stories of the past. Cobblestone under my feet. I stand still. Taking it all in. I remember thinking no wonder great things have come out of this place. Brilliant or not, Oxford gives you the true experience of feeling how much bigger the universe is then you. It stares you in the face with the concept that your mind is capable of creating ideas larger then anything physical. The enviornment is so beyond what your eyes can accept that you are overwhelmed with the inspiration to do something monumental. You could call it an experience that sticks to every part of you forever.