Europe Day Two: London to Bath
Tuesday, September 26
I landed in London!
It feels like a dream, feels like yesterday. The last time I was here, it was on the heels of a spontaneous--and probably financially reckless--decision. One of my best friends and I were sitting around our living room apartment having just graduated college. On a whim, we said, "You know what we should do? We should go to London."
So we did.
The year was 2006. Seventeen years later, I'm confused by the fact that you have to use your ticket to not only enter the train (makes sense) but exit (my brain does not compute).
In another episode of "This Is Not the Same Crazy Travel Journey As 15 Years Ago"--a reminder I've needed more than once already during the travel stress of this solo part of my journey--I misunderstood that there's a train that takes you from Terminal 5 to Arrivals at Heathrow Airport. So I followed the sign that said, "Hey, look! You can also walk there!" and took the escalator down into the bowels of the airport to do just that.
With all of my bags. For twenty minutes. At what would be one in the morning EDT.
Sometimes I think I need an instruction manual for life.
There were pigeons at Paddington Station as I waited to take the train to Bath. I don't know why seeing them walk around the crowds of people and then fly into the high rafters made me feel choked up, but it did. Maybe there's a metaphor there. Maybe I'm just jet-lagged.
Current Dog Count: 3
I think my usual light-insomnia has actually been beneficial for the jet lag because my erratic sleep schedule from home has been replicated here, helping me acclimate much better to UK time.
After my train journey from London to Bath in Southwest England and an absolute joyful greeting with my soul sister, Luna, I slept for a few hours, took a nice, hot shower, and then we went to have a bite to eat. One of the things I was looking forward to on this trip--aside from the magic of connecting with a friend and the history, beauty, and energy of these places that call to my soul like an inherent longing for home--was the food. Really good food. Like, really, really good food. (Don't worry--I took pictures.)
Let me back up first and share how this trip came to be.
Three years ago, I dreamed of a personal spiritual pilgrimage to Europe, but I didn't think it would ever be possible for varying reasons. Six months ago, that dream was revived and the reality of it began to take shape when Luna encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone.
My friendship with Luna Marie was an unexpected blessing--as meeting soul family usually is. Originally a client when I was still doing live readings, we continued to connect and deepened a friendship over the years that had us checking in with Zoom chats every now and then. When I mentioned my 40th birthday was coming up in one of our chats and that I was thinking about Europe as something special to celebrate--a dream that I had kept in the secret space of my heart for years--she exclaimed that 40 is exactly the time to go big and that she would love to come to France with me.
Thus, the journey I'd been only dreaming of began to manifest...
Now here I am, writing this in Bath, England after spending the week in the hometown of a soul sister and walking the path of history and the sacred.
Life really does have a way of surprising you if you let it...
We drove into the city of Bath, founded in the 1st Century AD during the Roman Empire with specific emphasis on the natural hot springs that came to be known as the Roman Baths. My eyes (and soul) were immediately drawn to the golden hue of the afternoon sunlight on the limestone. It's one of my favorite images and fondest memories from France all those years ago, captured in my mind like a photograph. With every footstep on the cobblestone path, I could feel the energy of the past, like in the Regency-era books and movies I adore so much, knowing the past is still alive but on a plane I couldn't visibly see.
We had a delicious dinner of white wine and personal pizzas (mine was a perfect combination of artichokes, sicilian sausage, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms) and then walked through the town. It was growing darker out with a Super Full Moon illuminating a slightly cloudy sky. The crowds had dispersed, so we easily navigated the walkways to admire the buildings in their splendor--the English tea rooms, Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths... To see these structures as standing history was a reminder that history is still here--and its energy, too.
I never anticipated coming to Bath, England. It definitely wasn't on my bucket list as part of this spiritual pilgrimage. But the Universe has a way of guiding you to where your soul needs to go, and because I listened, so much joy and connection was experienced...
Current Dog Count: 12