Trip to the North of England

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Photo taking on the side of the road in the Lake District.

This past easter weekend, my wife Sara, her friend Adelle Flora Princess Spindlove —but we’ll call her Adelle for now— and I, took a road trip up north. Sara and I were headed to Lake District, whilst Adelle to Stratford-Upon-Avon — the little town where Shakespeare was born. We all jumped into a rented car and drove the scenic route towards Adelle’s destination. Along the way, we saw luscious landscapes of green fields and hills. Adelle spotted a huge tree that had a hole at the bottom of it, which to her looks like a man’s mouth.

It’s been getting better and better driving on the left side of the road, although at times I forget and yank the steering wheel back over to the left. Most of my concentration was used to focus on the road itself, not to much on the signs telling me where to go. Luckily, there was plenty of navigation in the car, from my phone, car navigation and Sara. As we arrived in Stratford-Upon-Avon, I still didn’t see any sun shine. I wanted the day to start out nice so I could see the landscape’s true beauty. We bid farewell to Adelle as she went to spend time with her friends, we would see her in a days time, to head back home.

Sara and I started our next bit of driving towards Lancaster, which was a little over two hours from Stratford. My lower back was beginning to ache, but I had enough energy to do the whole distance. I noticed that the weather never changed since leaving Southampton — the infamous dark clouds of England. However, as we approached Lancaster, the sun shined upon us. The warmth of the sun felt reassuring and made me feel like it was glad to see me too.

We stayed in a lovely house just outside of Lancaster, we could see fields of green far out in the distance; it felt spacious and free. Chickens in the backyard with a little lake stream, the air was clean and clear. I slept really well that night, exhausted by all the excitement of travel.

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Sara and I

The next day was an early one, we were ready to see what the Lake District was all about. The woman who owned the house we stayed in, gave us a nice route through the Lake District, which was great since I had no idea what to expect. As we were driving up we could see the most beautiful landscapes, the sun shining on the land, like how I imagined. It reminded me of taking the train trip from London about 16 years ago when I visited a pen-pal; the first time I took the train alone in another country — I originally was visiting my family in London for the first time.

During the Lunar eclipse, Sara and I were in a small restaurant. I could feel the pressure in my ears and soon after Sara started feeling tired and emotional; the increase in energy was certainly felt. As we continued on our journey through the Lake District, scenes unfold of different hills, animals and mountains pass — lakes sparkling in the sunlight. We walked in a little village named Rydal, we walked with some sheep and Sara did a small meditation involving the four elements. As I waited for her, I took many photos of anything that was interesting; as the day was coming to an end, I said a small prayer in thanks for the weather being so great.

The next day, which it was time to head home, I woke up and looked outside the window to see thick fog. A short distance away I could see some cows huddled up together as if they were having a group meeting. As we headed back to Stratford-Upon-Avon to retrieve Adelle, the fog seemed to have disappeared. However, the dark clouds of England had returned and things were bleak again.

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Rocking my Pancho

As we were approaching Stratford the clouds started to dissolve and the sun took claim of the skies, it was that moment I realized why I loved the sun so much: I understood that when the sun shines it creates contrast, you’re able to see distinct shadows on places that the sun didn’t reach. In a metaphorical sense, the sun creates light to see our shadows or subconscious so that was can shine the light of awareness upon them. The dark and cloudy weather keeps things in even lighting and it’s much harder to see the shadows of our being, thus no awareness of what’s keeping us from reaching new heights in life.

We arrived to Adelle successfully and headed back to home. I didn’t want the trip to end, remembering my love for traveling by car. The combination of music and the road in front of me, makes me feel like I’m always going somewhere, staying in motion does something to my being, something I haven’t fully figured out yet.

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England Thus Far

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Photo taken at Mottisfont, UK

In a few weeks it’ll be six months since I’ve moved from NYC to Southampton, UK, holy crap has the time been zipping by. It should be a crime for time to be going to fast—write time a ticket!

Being a lovely place to live in, Southampton is a great place to ground yourself off of the super fast paced city life. It’s wonderful to be able to look outside my window and see a field of grass and trees. The house I lived in the Bronx, looking out I would see the white, dingy exterior of the house next to me. If I had a long enough stick I would knock on the window and ask for some Grey Poupon; NYC is place I will not miss.

Although a lot of the English people appear shy in the beginning of meeting them, nothing a few drinks wouldn’t fix— I don’t find that appealing on a regular basis. Meeting many of my wife’s friends, I can see plenty of good support she has. However, still not being able to create my own friendship network, its taking its toll on me. I’m really starting to appreciate having friends of my own, trying all the time to keep in touch with friends in NYC; it’s just not the same if I can’t see any of them in person. As my life progresses I’m starting to see that the normal social patterns of the past are changing a lot, or maybe it’s just me. You know, getting a job, making friends, so on and so forth. It appears that just the job element alone condenses the opportunity to create friendships down to nothing. Of course, reaching out to friends of my wife are there, but they haven’t been as successful and well established as it would if I made them myself; maybe another six months?

Living with my wife is an adventure in itself. Learning how to live with a person you have sex, argue, laugh and cry with, is the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life. Now I’ve seen war, women running the streets topless, children telling me they love me, and having a person shoot a gun right next me in the club scene— peace of cake. Living with a woman you love, yeah, that’s like taking a shuttle to Mars and making a civilization.

Overall England is great and I’m enjoying it as best as I can. Of course it isn’t perfect but what else in the world is—well, other than morning sex? Through life here in England, and on earth, good and bad things exist and taking those two together equally and appreciating them will enlighten the experience much more that focusing on one or the other. Staying neutral is the key.