London, England | My Family Travels
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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

The air was crisp and chilled, yet inviting and comforting all the same. The whiz of passing cars and the thundering of subway trains through their underground tunnels were no more than a whisper of a welcome. The fast paced culture and the timeless architecture fed to my intrigue as we whipped past on a double-decker bus.I had made it to the city that had long been a dream to discover. London, England.

Long before I can properly recall, I had found myself absolutely infatuated with this country. Everything England had to offer was exactly what I had been searching for. Hours and hours I spent slaving away, planning a journey I knew I would never embark on. For days I could be found hidden behind a stack of oversized books with blurbs and illustrations on everything from the Elizabethan era to The Beatles. I wanted nothing more than to experience this “Neverland” myself.

Years later, after whining, pleading and begging on a daily basis, I sat with my face pressed against the window, staring down from thousands of feet above at the beacons of light that I knew to be England. Clusters of illumination marked large cities, those that I rattled off to my half-conscious mother beside me, and the single lights pointed out the lonely cottages in the rolling hills of the countryside. Tears formed in my eyes as genuine, indescribable happiness washed over me. Clichés and corny descriptions could not even lend themselves to describe exactly how I felt at that moment. It was as if everything in my sixteen years had come full circle, and everything fell into the place where it was always meant to be.

Rain and snow gnawed at my skin, soaking my clothes and tearing at my hair the entire trip. I layered my clothes until I found half my suitcase on my body for a single day’s venture. The walks were long and the lines were even longer. We got lost, confused and misguided. The food was not fit for a vegetarian with an American palate, so “chips” and onion rings became the main staples in my diet. Never once did a complaint come to mind, let alone pass my chapped lips and chattering teeth. I was warm with excitement, full on anticipation, occupied by the simplest of sights and sounds and more than willing to discover new places and people without the help of a tourist’s map.

From busses to “buskers,” Parliament to pubs, England proved itself to be all that I had imagined and so much more. Every inch of the country, every tiny, insignificant detail changed me. My entire life had been in black and white, and England sent waves of color into it, painting the canvas with rich hues. It was as if I had never really lived until I stepped off that plane. In some ways, I believe that I may still be living in those ten days, replaying each of those flawless moments over in my head. Passion does not even begin to cover exactly what coursed through my veins over that week and a half. In that time, I learned the true meaning of, “home is where the heart is,” and I now know where it will always reside. London, England.

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