Thursday, April 3, 2014

30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project (1-2)

I'm participating in the BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project. I'll post about my Jordan trip once I've settled in at my new home in Vienna.

Day One: A Changing Worldview

When I was packing for my trip in October I wasn't really sure what to bring. I expected the UK to be really cold and for it to rain everyday. When I got to Scotland I was shocked to see palm trees on the west coast. Yes, it was cooler in Scotland in October than it was back home, but once November rolled around it was still the about same temperature (45F/7C), but Missouri was having its usual wild temperature fluctuations between freezing cold and rather pleasant.
And yes, it did rain a lot, but not terribly hard, and generally not all day. An umbrella really did keep you dry, a remarkable feat when one is used to sideways downpours like we often get in the midwest.
What I enjoyed most about the weather though was how the Scots loved to complain about it. It might be sunny and 50F/10C and they'd stand around at bus stops bemoaning the terrible cold. Here I was, thinking the whole of the UK would be a frozen, miserable place for the winter, to the point where I packed ice gripers for my shoes, and at no point have I needed them.

One stereotype that has been reinforced has been that the British love their tea. Upon stepping foot through the door of each of my new house-sits the first thing my hosts said to me was, "Would you like a cup of tea?" Apparently the answer must always be "yes" because the few times I declined I was met with awkward looks and asked again until I accepted. I even had afternoon tea twice a week with the mother/mother-in-law of my first host. I have met a few Brits who don't care much for tea, but they seem to be the definite minority.

Day Two: Travel Origin

My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Gibbs, used to tell us stories about her travels in South East Asia. Most of the other kids seemed bored, but I was fascinated. When people ask me what made me want to travel I tell them about Mrs. Gibbs. My wanderlust/fernweh started then, in that classroom. She ignited something within me that slowly built with every photo, article, documentary, and House Hunters International episode I saw. If I knew a way to contact my teacher, I'd send her a thank you card. Although, there's really no way to repay her for all the amazing things I've seen and wonderful people I've met since I started traveling 168 days ago. 

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