last days

Last day in London. Last day abroad for a while. I have the travel bug again, as much as I miss everyone, and I can’t wait to get rested and saved up and recharged on friends and family and home before I can set out again. At the first hostel here I met a girl who had been away from home six months, and who wasn’t going home until October. I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough – or have time enough – to do that alone, but that doesn’t mean travel’s out of the question.

I always come back from holiday with all kinds of things I want to change in my life – last time it was wanting to walk more, and eat better – and somehow after a few days or weeks I slip back into old patterns and bad habits. We’ll see what happens this time. On a habitual note, though, I think it’s time to say that I have effectively and thoroughly quit smoking. I had a couple of cigarettes a couple of weeks ago when things were really hard, and each left me feeling really gross and never wanting to smoke again. So, there’s that!

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been absolutely floored by the amount of love and support that has come pouring into my inbox since I left – especially in the last few days. Thank you all – you’re amazing. My friends are amazing.

Time to go look at Egyptian things, and then catch a plane home!

Quick notes while I wait for the dryer to finish so that I can have clean socks for walking around:

When I was getting ready to leave for London – fall of 1999 – a former Regents College student warned us that after you’ve been in London for a little while, you might notice that your snot is grey or black. I think it has something to do with the pollution here – the student said it was something to do with all the coal that has been burned here over the centuries. Either way, THAT’s something you won’t get from a guidebook.

Foot update: still pretty bad, though they hurt less today. I’m trying alternate bandaging methods. I guess I’m just lucky my heels are OK? When I get home, I’m investing in good hiking/walking boots stat.

I noticed today that almost every toilet I’ve used here has had a different flushing mechanism. Strange but true!

Tonight’s (and tomorrow night’s) hostel is MUCH nicer than the last one, and not in the middle of nowhere. I guess that double negative means it is in the middle of somewhere, which it is – about two blocks from Kings Cross station, and within walking distance of lots of fun things. Like the train station.

Today I got in an awful lot of museum-ing, with more to come in the next two days. I managed to cover about five galleries of the British Museum in two hours, so I’m going to have to be more efficient if I want to see everything.

Time to go check on the socks. If anyone knows of fun things going on in the next week and change, let me know! I’m going to be off work and up to no good.

Much love –

travel update

so…..i’m coming home on thursday.

to be more precise, i’m flying out of london wednesday night, with an overnight layover in toronto, putting me back in chicago at 745 thursday morning. nuts.

right now i’m in a hostel in northern london – zone 4, for those in the know – which, if you’re not, is pretty effing far out. i’m staying here one night, then tomorrow i’m moving to a place near king’s cross, where i’ll stay for two nights. edinburgh and parts beyond are out – which is ok for my checkbook’s sake. i’m going to spend the next couple of days doing all the touristy things i didn’t do when i lived here, and then i’m coming home.

this adventure has been a lot of disappointments punctuated with some extreme joy. i am sure there will be more of the same in the time i have left here. right now, though, i’m off to shoe shop. my toes are taped at the moment to avoid further blisters, and i’d really like to be out of these boots. see you all soon!

oh yes, and congrats to everyone who is graduating – mark, karin, angie, erin, kasey, richard, and, oh yeah, ME. not that it makes much of a difference since i’ll be sticking around, but still – while i’m sleeping in my hostel in london, my friends will be walking across the stage at smith hall, and i am so proud!