If I had to use one word to describe my trip to England it would be “reunion”. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel to many places and throughout these adventures, have developed some incredible friendships. So this post will be in sequence with these epic reunions.
First, off my dear friend Sarah Farrell. Sarah and I met for the first time last year in Singapore, for less than 12 hours. We made initial ties there and then at the Asian Discipleship Summit in Bali, this year, where we were able to reconnect. I told her I was thinking of stopping by England after my time in Switzerland and she excitedly offered to host me. So after a 10 hour bus ride and 2 hour ferry overlooking the magnificent cliffs of Dover, we were reunited once again. Sarah is incredible, such an amazing listener, has one of the most adorable British accents, and never seizes to serve and make your feel loved. Sarah and her family are wonderful hosts and the essence of an ideal British family.
After one of the best night’s sleep I've ever had (Sarah has an insanely comfortable mattress) we set out to Oxford. As we entered the city center, I immediately fell in love. Oxford, is something out of every classic British film, filled with enchanting churches, fantastic buildings, great shops, and your occasionally harp player. We roamed around the cobblestone streets, had a great lunch, drank Pims, and punted on the river. Our punting endeavor was less than amateur and we spent most of our time bouncing from each side of the river, avoiding the immanent attack of protruding shrubbery.
After punting, Sarah and Rachel insisted that I have a proper English Cream Tea. Now I love tea as much as the next, but Cream Tea is something entirely different. Eating two magnificent dry scores lathered in jam and clotted cream while sipping on some fine english tea, was a British tradition that I will forever adore. The next day, we went to a beautiful lavender farm and purchased the most delectable lavender scones. After the farm, Sarah and I headed to Brighton. The flashing lights, amazing buskers, colorful architecture, and dance of seagulls over the setting sun made for a photographers paradise.
After saying goodbye to Sarah, I headed to central London to meet my dear friend Becca. Becca and I met two years ago while doing a HOPE Youth Corps in Malaysia. We formed a bond that stood strong after two years of being apart. I adore Becca. She possess one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever encountered, is so intelligent, has the poshest British accent, and together we share a deep passion for traveling and serving the poor. Receiving a huge hug from Becca at the train station, we didn’t stop talking for hours, having loads of laughs and life stories to catch up on.
With Becca my next few days in London were absolutely incredible and included everything from touring Central London, visiting all the places where my favorite series “Sherlock” is filmed, strolling through Regent’s Park, and reuniting with more of my great Brit friends. England truly felt like returning home, ironically as I had never been there before this trip. Great friends, amazing landscapes and cream tea certainly made me so content that this was my last stop in Europe before returning home to Indonesia!