61 Days

I can’t even begin to explain it. It’s feeling in my bones that has always felt like a restlessness that might never be satisfied. It’s an instinctual and indescribable urge to go to the United Kingdom. To say that I have felt strong connections to the U.K. for as long as I can remember is an extreme understatement.

conwy-castle

In 61 days, I get on a plane for a solo trip across the pond that will take me through Dublin, Wales, and England for 11 days of awesomeness.

As a child, I was obsessed with the thought of being British. I taught myself the accent as soon as I could, and I got quite decent at it. As I got older I fell in love with the time of the Tudors. I found their history beautifully tragic, but ultimately loved that it lead to, in my humble opinion, the rise of one of the greatest monarchs in British history… Queen Elizabeth I.

Most children dreamed of becoming princesses, but all I wanted to do was learn all about them. To me Queen Elizabeth I was the greatest heroine that only the real world could create. I admired her sacrifice of self for her duty and honor to/for her country. I admired that she was a lady boss in what truly was a man’s world. I loved that she was the underdog who defied odds and united a bankrupt nation divided by religion. She was the kind of woman that all little girls should admire.

When I found out that my own family had ties to England and came to America on the Mayflower, I was devastated. I couldn’t understand why we would ever give up on being British.

You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that I shared a birthday with, in my humble opinion, the greatest monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II. It quickly became my favorite truth in 2 truths and a lie icebreakers. I grew up reading all about her in my Encyclopedia Britannica collection… the OG Google. I read about the unconventional way her Dad became King, and how she became Queen after his passing at the age of 27.

I’m turning 29 during my trip, and I can’t imagine having the weight of being responsible for a child, let alone a nation.

Like the first Queen Elizabeth, she is a woman that has overcome so many obstacles. She’s the longest reigning monarch in British history, and has fearlessly adapted to the ever-changing world with a quiet confidence. At 90 years of age, she is the patron of more than 600 organizations and seems as able as ever to fulfill her royal duties. She became Queen in 1953. The world then versus now is a drastically different place, but Her Majesty has never skipped a beat when it comes to keeping up. She has successfully lead the monarchy into the 21st century through social media, management of the increasingly intrusive media in an instant gratification market, and her legacy is one that will be tough to match.

I can’t wait to submerge myself into the culture of the U.K. This is the trip I have dreamt of my entire life, and I am hoping it is the first of many – I hope that this visit opens doors, and I hope that this visit turns into more than a visit. I hope that it calms the restlessness in my soul and fulfills the yearning I’ve felt in my heart for as long as I can remember to return to my roots.

london-south-bank-1112x630

I can’t wait to spend my 29th overlooking the Cliffs of Moher. I can’t wait to ferry from Dublin to Holyhead. I can’t wait to spend a couple days exploring The Mount and Snowdonia on a farm in the Welsh countryside with Haydn. I can’t wait for the train stop in Cardiff.  I can’t wait to explore Windsor Castle. I can’t wait to stand in front of Stonehenge. I can’t wait to see the Dover Cliffs. I can’t wait to wander through the streets of London. I want to savor each moment.

61 days away.

“This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea.”
― William Shakespeare

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