Stranger in a strange land
What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place — the food? The architecture? The people watching?
None of the suggestions from the 365 Days of Writing prompt were what I seemed to do most when I was farther from home than ever before, although they are important parts of any traveller’s experience.
I found that I was struck, not by the differences, which I expected, but by the similarities with Britain. Walking through forests, I was noting the plants we see here. Perhaps I expected that most of the trees would be redwoods and sitka spruce. I’m not sure.
It wasn’t homesickness or a desire to be anywhere else. Rather it was surprise about how much was familiar.
I enjoyed people-watching – I always do. Without it, what would there be to write about? The differences in vocabulary fascinated me, as did the different culture.
There was so much space compared with our small islands, the landscape was more varied. Even the trees seemed taller and the sky higher!
While many plants appeared similar, the birds were different. Although we didn’t see very many different species.
I was amazed at the (small) size of a chipmunk. As a child I had received a postcard which was a photo of one. There was nothing to show its size – it filled the frame. I imagined it to be about the size of a grey squirrel. What a delight to see one in the wild!
It surprised me how much I enjoyed the food. Most of my life I have been a person, who eats to live rather than one who lives to eat. Meal-times can be an unwelcome interruption to some activity! The spells when this was not the case were during pregnancy and when I took a particular type of medication, which (incidentally) had a known side effect of weight gain.
The food, where we stayed was amazing. I really must write up last year’s holiday diary, before I completely forget. It might encourage me to book another!