“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”[Socrates, As quoted in Plutarch]
Three months ago I shared, with great excitement, the beginnings of our plans for an October trip to the U.K (“Making Travel Plans – so excited!“). Now, unbelievably, our flight from RDU to London is just two weeks away and I’m pretty sure I have all the pieces in place.
It’s been over a decade since my last visit (just five days for a cousin’s funeral in 2010). Rebekah and I enjoyed an epic three weeks in Scotland in 2004, and I did a father-son trip to the U.K. with Andrew in 1999, but the last time Rebekah and I were in England together was 1992. I know there are going to be some changes I will have to process, and I’m praying whatever they are won’t come as too much of a shock!
The final “preparation check-off” item was the arrival, yesterday, of some banknotes in local currency. I almost never carry any cash, but it’s always good to have at least a little on hand when traveling. What struck me immediately was how the “paper” money has evolved! This is brand new, uncirculated, very colorful, and emblazoned with the image of Queen Elizabeth II. I wondered immediately if this is the last batch printed with her likeness?
A couple of weeks ago I finalized arrangements for the balance of our trip, the four nights between leaving the beach and heading back to the States. “Where,” I wondered, “have I never been in the South of England and always wanted to go?” The answer, it turns out, is The Isle of Wight.
Back to the computer. Car-ferry, lodging, more reservations.
Just a few more details in what always turns out to be a massive logistical endeavor. So here’s my list:
- Up-to-date vaccinations
- Uber App
- Airplane tickets to London
- Car rental reservation
- Airbnb reservation
- Ferry tickets to The Isle of Wight
- Guesthouse booking on the island
- Ferry tickets back
- Hotel at Heathrow Airport
- Printed confirmations
It’s a recurring theme, I know, but look at this photograph from the wall of Andrew’s 5th grade classroom in Bahrain. Here’s how he describes the students: “32 passports, 20 students, 15 nationalities.”
This world may be an uncertain place, rife with so much conflict and injustice, but we are people who believe we were created for something greater than exclusively promoting ourselves and advancing our own interests; we are grounded in the understanding that the more we know, the more we travel, and the more we open ourselves to other people in the World Community, then the more hope there is for all of us.
Peace – and I mean that in every conceivable way – DEREK