So, I didn’t actually post on Sunday. Or the next Sunday. Or, yes, even the Sunday after that.
Don’t worry, I wasn’t struck by disaster, and this time it wasn’t because I forgot.
Something just… changed during the last couple weeks of traveling. I got to France and met up with my friend Freddy, and I barely even thought about the blog anymore, because I felt so immersed in each moment that actually taking time away to write about it in a blog post seemed so… irrelevant.
Don’t get me wrong, I love writing this blog and the reflection time has been fantastic, but these past several weeks I let myself forget the need to look back or forward and just invest in the present– live in the moment (or, as I aptly mistyped the first time: love in the moment).
Traveling was… gosh I can’t even describe it. I feel so, so lucky to have had this opportunity. For some reason, the sandals I bought in Rome are popping into my head. I only bought one* article of clothing in all my travel (???) and that was a pair of sandals that have a pattern of passport stamps from different cities around the world. And I know it’s kind of silly but I got those sandals because they remind me of how important this is to me. For years I’ve dreamed of traveling around Europe, but it never seemed entirely real– I always reminded myself that it was likely this travel would never actually happen.
And now it is– I’ve been to some of the major cities in Europe, and my thirst for new places and adventures is only growing. Each time I check off one place on my list, I learn about 10 more that I have to add (Australia and Morocco are at the top right now).
So, to quickly continue travel rundown: I have flown quite a few airlines, and I wanted to give any prospective travelers an idea of my experience.
EasyJet: great for the price– worth it for quick, cheap flights, might have to put up with some delay and the strict one bag policy is a pain (literally, not even a “Personal Item”– be careful!), but overall I’d recommend for the budget traveler
Aer Lingus: liked this airline, mostly for Irish travel of course, but no complaints! Keep in mind stricter baggage allowance within Europe vs International
Vueling: would not recommend, esp if you do not have Spanish language experience. I was able to get along fine with the language, but they changed my flight time with only a week’s notice (to 6 in the morning, requiring me to catch a cab in Paris at 4), comfort was not great, and I had to pay extra to sit in the exit row with “more leg room” which actually just meant I couldn’t keep anything with me and had to stick it all in the overhead compartment. :/
British Airways: would definitely recommend. Slightly more expensive than some other airlines perhaps, but very pleasant, very clean, on time, quick and efficient service, and free drinks in flight! 🙂
Mmkay so British Airways is what I took to fly back from Rome to London-Gatwick, and I have to say arriving back at Oxford was one of the happiest moments of my life. I do well in transit, as I mentioned, but there is something wonderful about returning to a place that you can call home. We got off the bus and walked past Magdalen college just as the bells chimed midnight, and the falafel truck was there like always, and I showered off the grime from traveling in our tiny shower which I love even though I bang my elbows against the wall the entire time and have to bend down to get my hair wet, and I got to say a late-night hello to my friends who were already back, and it was Just. Lovely. The next day the sun was out, and I was able to wear a dress (!?!) and lay in the grass and read and make daisy chains and talk and be my hippie, English/Philosophy**-major self. Mm I wish I could transfer with words that feeling of being completely at ease with myself, with where I was, with the people around me…
And since then it has pretty much just been a process of getting back into the swing of things. I’ve had my first James Joyce tutorial and it went wonderfully (wrote about the difference between pity and empathy), I’ve discovered a new walking path with a giant Willow tree that is perfect for climbing into and reading, I’ve had a lotlotlot of conversations with my friends… started watching the new season of Game of Thrones… I’m back. 🙂 And I’m ready for my 2nd term at Oxford.
*my parents bought me a scarf and leather jacket; I am not counting those (thanks Mom and Dad!! I have used both a lot and love them!!
** You know you’re a Philosophy Major when: you start trying to explain to your friend what love means to you in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. XP