Recently I returned from a short visit to the UK. With England being so different from my country, I found it almost like a trip to another planet. Perhaps I'm just too observant especially on my travels. ..because I hear people say I exaggerate. Some places do seem very much like another planet to me, especially Oxford. I know that locals often underrate places they live in and it's hard to get the proper feeling of a town when you are a visitor, but I do believe there is a kind of a language that places speak to people. and when you understand this language spoken to you in a different corner of the world, it's quite a feeling!
In any case, I was happy to see some great friends of mine and dear people and practise my awkwardness on them and to actually think in a different way and see things with different eyes. I mean it. Have you ever heard of geographical psychology? I don't fully understand the subject, as I only read some things about it, but it's definitely something to do with psychology... and geography haha! There's just more than a physical border between countries. I guess. Whenever you cross the customs control there's another border, a wall of mentality, thoughts and experiences that differ completely from the ones you're used to in your town, city or country. People often cross one border failing to cross another. I want to think I can cross the psychological border of other countries as well, but who knows, maybe it's just my imagination. Still I can feel myself a little changed in different places.
When I am going somewhere I can clearly imagine myself as a little dot on the map of the world moving east/south/west or north. I am very aware of the route and destination and my place on the planet. Probably that's because I've been always fascinated with travels. as a child my room had a big map and several globes. I've always been fascinated by travelling documentaries, never missed an episode of Cousteau.. There is even a polar explorer connection in the family.
It's so calming watching the town and its residents as you walk down the streets and if you are alone on a journey, you notice you become completely invisible, safe for the moments when you are trying to run across the road and the car suddenly stops and signals loudly.
I usually take pictures compulsively, just to share them with others at home. In general I find the process quite annoying. Photos from travels minimize everything to a rather poor visual representation, minus the excitement of the moment, the sounds, the smells, the wind, the true light and other things that me and my camera aren't very good at capturing. I find that if you look long enough, without documenting it, you'll remember the moment. Like, for example, a beautiful magpie sitting on a gilded table in the garden and picking the crumbs left by a party with the sun setting slowly in the background. I think I've reached the point of being at my most sentimental. Time to change the train.
Ok, here's Oxford. It's the place which has the most things I like per sq.m. (and I mean the dinosaur's tail as well!)
I take Oxford in with certain types of music only: Radiohead, music of the middle ages, or even opera are all perfect, in my eyes this music makes the city's features more well-defined. By now you've probably understood I'm a travelling freak. What can I say to defend myself? I just find travelling to be a magical ritual, a special treat, a perfect enjoyment and always a curious experience of perception and always a test.