It’s 8.30 in the morning of a warm and sunny day in Bristol and I leave my house to walk for 40 minutes to the train station. It’s my first trip alone in England and I want to make sure I don’t get lost in the first step.
The train arrives to Oxford station, I get a small map and go out to get lost.
I start walking with no direction, just going somewhere I don’t know. I feel proud of being there, I feel I could walk all day and visit every single place in that city, which I did, actually. I cross a bridge and think where that little path along the river may take me but I decide to keep on the road and not get distracted by trees already.
Streets and more streets. I take photographs of every street I cross with, like if they led to a magic world and someone walking at the back of it knew a secret. I always wonder what’s beyond and I’m very curious. But instead of going (because my realistic side knows there’s nothing there) I take a photograph of the street and the person… which is much more Romantic.
Then something catches my attention: the Oxford University Press Bookshop. I get really excited and need to spend some minutes there…
Still in my way nowhere I suddenly realize I have no idea where I am. I got my map at the train station and I’ve been walking around for over an hour (OUP’s visit included) since without giving a glance to the map but the feeling of choosing your own destiny, choosing each street you’re taking and knowing you can go and do whatever you want… that freedom…. it’s priceless… And the best part is that I’m enjoying my own company. It’s not the first time I visit a city on my own but this time it’s a beautiful feeling.
So this freedom and positive energy lets me smile and find interesting encounters along the way. Among them, two ladies walking on a solitary street, stopping and walking, giving each other a reply in what seems a very interesting conversation.
Any mine.. my conversation, the one I have in my head externalizes with a “I have no idea where I am and I love it”… so I keep walking and visiting the place, home of culture, literature, wisdom… (and I’m a nerd, I love visiting universities…)
And it’s time to go back home. Good thing about this is that you can always go back…. in your head.