A lot of people ask me all the time why, out of all the places in the world, I chose to travel to England. A fair question, to be sure. It’s certainly not the most exotic of all travel destinations, but I have always felt particularly drawn to England. I couldn’t tell you when it started, I just know that for as long as I can remember I have preferred English to Norwegian, and I always dreamt of one day moving here. For some strange reason I have always thought in English instead of Norwegian, and I am fairly certain that my English vocabulary is decidedly bigger than my Norwegian one. Call me strange, but for some very peculiar reason, England has always felt more home than Norway ever did, and I have only been to England once before! Man, I probably need therapy…..
The one thing I love the most about England though, is that it’s so beautiful. I love all the old buildings and architecture in England. It’s like every time I turn a street corner here, I’m mesmerised by yet another stunningly glorious house, or castle or monument. It may be because they are so aesthetically pleasing with all the million tiny details and intricate designs that come together to create a marvellous masterpiece of a building. So elegant and ornamental with their statues and pillars and elaborate embellishments, and all the dandy little flowerbeds. It’s romantic and it’s pretty. But that cannot be the only reason, I’m not that superficial. At least, I like to think so.
It may be because I’m an old soul. I always have loved everything old and full of history. Anytime I see something old or abandoned, I can’t help but wonder and let my imagination run free. How? How did it come to be there? What was it for? When was it used? Why was it abandoned? Who lived there and what happened to them? I could marvel for hours like that and make up stories in my head. And when you actually learn about the history of a place, it’s so fascinating. To imagine that years ago, long before I was born or my mother was born, that in that place that particular building stood in surroundings completely different from those today. And it’s stood there since.
Or perhaps it’s because I’m such a romantic? I have always been in love with England in the olden days, like the Victorian Era, with the polite manners and sophisticated society. All the etiquettes and propriety. Jane Austen and period dramas. I’m secretly in love with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth, the fictitious gentlemen in romantic novels that are too good, too perfect, to ever have been true, and that I hope to find a courteous english gentleman to sweep me off my feet and ride my off into the sunset. Maybe in my former life that is where I lived, as an upper-class lady in a fine castle, and I just long for it because it’s where I feel home?
To be fair, I would have hated it though. I am probably above averagely concerned with feminism and women’s independence. I would have resented living in a time when women had no rights or opportunities, no matter how romantic the gentlemen were. And to be fair, the realist in me knows that it’s definitely been romanticised beyond belief. I’m sure it wasn’t nearly so charming in real life at the time. I often wonder how I can be made up of two such polar opposite traits; the romantic, kind-hearted dreamer and idealist vs. the man-hating, realistically cynical pessimist. I’m a complex character, for sure, and I may never understand myself and all my contradictions. Perhaps I’m schizophrenic.
In any case, I cannot say for sure what it is that draws me to England like a moth to a flame, and perhaps I will find that it’s nothing like I imagined it and not at all what I dreamed it would be, only disappointing. Or indeed, maybe I will find that it’s my true home and I’ll find my happily ever after here. Who knows? Only time can tell. For now I am merely in love with it though, and enjoy it immensely for all the reasons above and many more. And hope I will continue to do so for a long time yet.