They say that all good things must come to an end. This week was was one of those good things that came to end all too soon.
I quite honestly can say that I feel like I’ve been living in a dream-like state since my trip to Aarhus. I can’t believe my luck. I hope I can hold on to the sheer gratefulness I feel for these opportunities I have had.
I left Aarhus Monday morning to fly to London. I ignorantly thought that London was a lot closer to Leeds than it is, but I was happy to make the journey since I knew that Jeremy would be waiting for me in Leeds. I don’t want this post to be overly romantic (I don’t consider myself a very gushy-mushy romantic person), but being able to visit Jeremy this week was a real treat.
Seeing Jeremy’s experience abroad firsthand was amazing. Our experiences have been different in countless ways, but are equally valuable. Leeds and Aalborg couldn’t be more dissimilar. Leeds is a huge city; in comparison, Aalborg looks like a little village. In Leeds, there’s always something to do. It’s a city that seems to pride itself on excitement and activity. For example– we visited the Leeds City Market one of the days I was there and I was blown away by the amount of vendors selling anything I could think of: fruit, clothing, electronics, candy, meat, etc. etc. We bought Jeremy a pair of new shoes (for only 5 pounds!) after searching through massive piles of shoes while the vendors shouted prices at us. I had never seen anything like it.
Tuesday morning, we hopped on a train to Edinburgh. Edinburgh is one of those cities that I have always wanted to see, since I was very young. My twelve-year-old self would have been screaming with excitement. When we arrived, I felt like a little kid in Disneyland for the first time. It’s like you’ve been transported back to a medieval city, complete with a majestic castle atop a massive volcanic rock. The city is built around the castle and the architecture has retained its original style. I’m beginning to realize that children are special because they are so easily excited. They’re constantly curious and amazed by everything around them. As adults, I think it is important to reclaim that childhood awe that we so quickly grow out of.
Our hostel was perfectly located, right along Prince Street and walking distance to all the best sights. We were the ultimate tourists: snapping pictures, stopping to read all signs/historical markers along the way. Of course, there was no shortage of bagpipe players (Jeremy’s least favorite instrument) and kilts for sale (which I unsuccessfully tried to convince Jeremy to buy). I blissfully shopped in the U.K’s largest vintage/thrift store. We ate ice cream. We sat in the Prince Street gardens and soaked up some sun. In essence, I would absolutely revisit Edinburgh and see more of the city.
Later in the week, we did a quick day trip to Liverpool, England. There was plenty of Beatles memorabilia. Some guy stopped Jeremy and said, “You look like John Lennon, do you play music?” We continued on our way to the Tate Museum and looked at modern art. Marcel Duchamp, Matisse, Jackson Pollock, all the best. We also walked to the Liverpool Cathedral, the largest in England. Later in the afternoon we found a Krispy Kreme donut shop (so random) and had I had an apple-pie donut, a choice which the cashier commented on as “So American.”
After another extremely long day of travel (I depressingly had to catch a coach at 1 am to make my flight out of London), I have returned to Aalborg. I was greeted by beautiful warm weather, more leaves on the trees and my adorable Danish neighbors made me dinner. I was sad to leave England and Jeremy for another couple of months, but I’m happy to be back in Denmark too.
The best thing about this week was realizing how far Jeremy and I have come. We are both becoming more independent, mature and confident people. I’m glad that we happened to study abroad at the same time, but also have our own unique experiences. I’m sure the next time we see each other we’ll have entirely new stories and realizations. Until then.