The title of this post may leave you feeling a bit confused, but I believe it’s the perfect way for me to describe my feelings about this past week’s trip to Bath.
It was “Do Something Different” Week here at UEA–a week where the university encourages the suspension of all class meetings in the hopes of giving students a meaningful break from their regular uni routines. I knew that this was the perfect opportunity for me to embark on my first overnight journey, and to be away from my flat for at least a few nights. Two other American flatmates and I planned and embarked on a week-long journey to the historic town of Bath, aptly named for its ancient Roman baths situated in the city centre.
Self reliance and a strong need for independence are traits that I’ve always possessed, but I knew that on this journey I would especially need these traits–not only because of the fact that I would be so far away from my family, but because I had a clear idea of the things I wanted to do and the places I wanted to go. Going on day trips alone helped me practice putting these traits to use on this journey. In London especially it was nice to go at my own pace and enjoy the many sites that were of great personal significance to me. Still, I found myself missing good company to share my experiences with. For this reason, though I enjoyed traveling alone to London, I was elated when my flatmates asked to join me on this trip.
Bath is a bright and beautiful town, and the fact that our entire week there was uncharacteristically clear and dry for England only enhanced these qualities. Its brightness comes from the fact that the entire town is built of a vibrant, sand-colored limestone. Many of these bright structures boast beautiful craftsmanship–a perfect example being Bath Abbey.
The Roman Baths are at the center of Bath’s attractions, but it would be wrong to say it was the city’s only main attraction. It’s a town filled with rich cultural history, as one can learn more about with a trip to the Victorian Art Gallery. An exhibit highlighting the history of art and entertainment in Bath depicts a town booming with high and leisurely living. The Fashion Museum gave us a hands-on look at the fashion at the time of Bath’s peak in popularity. Every meal we ate, thanks to the superb Yelp! handiwork of my flatmates, was fantastic. Plus, if visitors want to further explore the region, Stonehenge is only an hour’s bus ride away and there are plenty of tour services that take busloads daily for the pilgrimage.
Much of the success of this trip indeed had a lot to do with the company I kept, but it was also a sheer love and infatuation with the city and its surrounding areas that will make this trip a beautiful landmark in my life. At 3 o’clock in the morning on Sunday, it felt great to be back in my own bed after spending the week in a hostel room with 11 other beds. This feeling made me aware of how much Norwich has become a home for me. Furthermore, I can say with confidence that over those five days in Bath I developed a great love for the town, and would call it a home away from my home at UEA because of the feelings it gave me. I was with great people, I ate great food, and I saw so many great things. Sometimes that’s all that home needs to be!