Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thoughts on Traveling in England

Greetings from a beautiful B&B in Derby, England! Have a few thoughts to share today...

The last time I was in England, I was on a group tour with my college. Everything was set out for me. Where I would stay, what time I would get there, how I would get there, what I would see, etc. This time around, it's quite different.

Yes, I planned out my itinerary - but I did not realize just how difficult it is to navigate around using public transportation when I am always driving myself back in the States. And I admit it - I don't like using public transportation. I am on their timetable and not mine, and I've spent a lot of time waiting for buses and trains. On the other hand, I doubt I could drive myself - people go a lot faster than I'm used to and there's that whole driving on the other side of the road thing. ;-)

Then there's the loneliness. When you travel with someone else, you can put your heads together and figure things out - like when the last bus leaves, where the train will stop, etc. But when you're by yourself, you have to do it, and that often means asking strangers for help. Almost everyone has been quite friendly in answering my questions, but there have been those that look at me and must be thinking, "Dumb American!" Hehe.

I'm experiencing some homesickness right now - missing my family a great deal. Those first few days had a heady feeling to them. I wasn't responsible for anyone but myself. No cooking or cleaning or taking kids to school or going to work, etc. It was nice. But I am missing it (well, not the cooking or cleaning part...).

If you've got the wherewithal to do it, I highly suggest traveling on your own. It will make you dig deep inside yourself for strength and courage that you didn't know you had. You'll go through a myriad of emotions: fear that you're doing this by yourself, panic that you might not figure things out, giddiness when you do figure things out, and pride that you did it.

I'm off to Chatsworth House today, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Keira Knightly stars in a movie about the famous Duchess, Georgiana, in The Duchess which opens in England on October 27. Costumes from the movie will be displayed and as I am a huge fan of historic costume, especially 18th century, I can't wait to see it.


  1. I love reading about your day!

  2. What are you doing alone in England???

  3. Hope you're getting lots of good pics! Are you researching a novel on your travels?

    I'll be traveling a bit on my own next week for the first time in eons, and am looking forward to it.

  4. good to hear from you and glad that you are doing well.

  5. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Oooohh ... I heard those wigs Keira Knightly had to wear weighted 30 lbs. You should see if they'll put one on you and take your picture - Haha.

    Take care!


    p.s. Look kids, Big Ben!

  6. Anonymous9:28 AM


    I can't believe that you are actually in the UK! Have a great rest of your visit and I look forward to hearing your stories once you're back. Miss you!



  7. Wow - you're brave, travelling alone. Though it does sound kinda nice. I would do it myself there, especially as I have family/friends scattered throughout the country who I could turn to if need be.

    Hope you enjoyed Chatsworth - can't imagine NOT doing it. Where else are you going?

  8. Wow, I give you a lot of credit for travelling alone to Europe. It cannot be easy, but must be so satisfying. Even the experience alone, not the sightseeing, but just the daily experience of this must inform your writing!

  9. Traveling alone is great for observing others :) I don't mind public transport, and I don't mind driving either LOL. I understand the homesickness totally. I miss everything after a few days away. Never been to Chatsworth--I bet it is lovely!!

  10. Enjoy your time away, and don't get too homesick.

  11. I've only done short trips away by myself and it is rather strange, especially when you're used to being surrounded by family all the time.

    I'm sure Chatsworth House was wonderful.

  12. Came across your blog quite by coincidence (or not?). I'm leaving for a trip to the UK in a few weeks myself, and I'll be wandering alone quite a bit while my husband's in long days of classes. I'll be tuning in to your blog to see what else happens for you! Hope the rest of your journey is wonderful.

  13. I'm insanely jealous...and admiring of you for traveling alone! Hope your trip is continuing fantastic!

  14. I like to travel on my own, because I'm shy, and being on my own makes me talk to people, whereas if I travel with someone, I have that buffer.

    I hope you continue to have a great time!

  15. I think you're very brave for traveling alone. Is this trip business or pleasure?


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