I stayed in England with my uncle for a week, and I think this is really the ideal way to travel. First of all, I got to see some cousins who I haven't seen for a while and won't see again anytime soon. Second, I got to see more than just tourist sites (although there was definitely some tourist-sight seeing in occurence); I was able to live part of the regular daily life of another country (and Britain is, in fact, a different place than the US). Third, and not beyond my consideration, I actually had time to rest, relax and think instead of maintaining a breakneck speed past every beautiful sight in the country.

My cousins lives in Northallerton, which is a little town in North Yorkshire, which as you may have guessed by now is in the northern part of England. It's beautiful countryside, with only a slightly smaller sheep to person ratio than New Zealand. It's also surrounded by beautiful and historically significant ruins (Including Whitby Abbey which, I am told, features prominently in Bram Stoker's Dracula).

I quickly learned that the roundabout may be the finest and most useful transportation innovation since the wheel. Imagine if you never had to wait at a four-way stop... but I digress.

My uncle is a chemical engineer, a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the role of bishop is roughly analogous to that of minister in other churches, except that it's a temporary calling rather than a life's vocation, it's completely unpaid, and you don't have to give a sermon every Sunday because that responsiblity is generally filled by members of the congregation) and an excellent amateur photograper. So if you really like any of the pictures of England I post here, they were probably taken by him.

One night, as we both stayed up late to edit and organize the pictures we'd taken during the day (at the aforementioned abbey) we talked about how he'd learned photography: He never had formal training, but he always enjoyed it, so he's read a lot of books and had a lot of practice. It's paid off. Hearing him talk made me think again about how much each of us is capable of, how much talent and wisdom is hidden inside every stranger we pass on the street. Who knows, you may have just walked right by another Michaelangelo, and neither you nor any museum of art will ever know.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're having a good trip. I need to get out to see the England Gills again!