Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Great Britain instead of just England – heritage issues.

This was supposed to be a trip to England. We were thinking about the next place we would visit and we both knew that both of us really wanted to get to know England. We both want to visit Italy badly as well, but we settled for England for our first trip outside the American continent. I have a friend and former student who lives in England who is always asking me to go there to visit her. And my husband's heritage does go back to England. Yes, England was definitely the place that we should go first.
As a planner that I am, I got on to my computer and started planning. London, Liverpool, Bath, Nottingham, Sherwood forest. As I excitedly shared with Lu, my friend/ex-student, about our plans she even suggested we should include a couple of trips to France. Why not? it's so simple to get there from London! Lu lives nowhere near London. She, as a good Beatlemaniac, found herself a husband just a few miles away from Liverpool. Oh, when I think I taught that little girl her English... But she would not mind a trip to London and a quick escape to France!
I thought that was cool! My husband thought it was cool! That was it! We were going to see Paris, and a few Cinderella Castles, and the French Riviera. How tough could it be, right? Yeah... I know what you're thinking. Shhh, don't say anything, but she's crazy.
I soon found out however that there was too much ground to cover in France. Paris and a few castles around the area would do for a 4-day escape. After all, this is a trip to England! Or so I thought...
My talks with Lu went on. We should go camping in Scotland. Scotland? That is not England, is it? My husband however does have Scottish ancestry. He liked the idea. He also thought, since we were right there in Liverpool we should hop on a boat to Ireland and go visit an Irish pub. After all he does also have Irish - Northern Irish! The protestant ones! - ancestry.
The trip was getting packed. More packed than what I usually make sure they do. I have this problem - since I know I probably will not be going back to that place any time soon (because remember we want to travel the world before we start popping out babies), I want to include everything there is to do. And the days are packed. As in packed full. As in we-slept-soundly-through-every-night-of-our-honeymoon full.
However there's only so much cramping of activities one can do. It's not only the money issue. And do believe me, money was getting to be an issue. It was the time and distance issue. It was physically impossible to everything we wanted to do. How would you like to go on a trip that you've dreamed of going your whole life and have the feeling that you did not get to enjoy it? It was a constant hop-out! Picture! Hop-in! Quick! We must get to the next stop!
No, that was not what I wanted for our trip. It had to be enjoyable! Yes, fast-paced, packed full, but not a constant stress. That's when it hit me! We have two weeks and this trip is no longer about England and a quick escape to Paris! This trip is about the United Kingdom and a quick escape to Ireland! After all, doesn't Dean want to go visit the land of his ancestors? Doesn't he brag about the fact that he is x% English, y% Scottish, z% Northern Irish and n% American Indian? If we are going to see the land of those ancestors we can't waist time in France! France will have to come some other time. We're no longer going to England, we're going to Great Britain!

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