Tag Archives: World Tour 2021

the golden apples grow: Sightseeing in Rome

the golden apples grow: Sightseeing in Rome
the golden apples grow: Sightseeing in Rome

Originally published June 9, 2022

Read Part IV: Conference in Rome

Gabrielle and I had talked all year of her visiting me in England, but in the last-minute rush to finagle my quarantine-free entry to the conference, she obliged me by redirecting to Rome. Joy squeezed my heart at the sight of her – a little piece of home, arriving in a blaze of sunlight. Five days of freedom beckoned, a generous allowance for exploring the city at our leisure.

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with bell and voice and drum: Conference in Rome

with bell and voice and drum: Conference in Rome
with bell and voice and drum: Conference in Rome

originally published May 25, 2022

Read Part III: Winchester and Theale

A solid six weeks without traveling (what a relief after the past two months!) has afforded me the leisure to revisit my international summer of 2021. I left off at the end of my time in Oxford, dashing home to the USA for fourteen days to clear my travel history so that I could disembark freely in Rome, the eternal city.

For my first visit to continental Europe since childhood (excepting the European areas of Turkey), I must thank a Christian conference for inviting me to a week of talks, fellowship, and scavenger hunts.

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among sandy gardens set: Winchester and Theale

among sandy gardens set: Winchester and Theale

originally published January 19, 2022

Read Part II: Wales, York, Edinburgh

A slick black engine shot me from York to London in two, maybe three hours, followed by a more sedate connection to Oxford. I alighted on the first morning of the Awakening conference, the Canterbury Institute’s pilot program for high school students on the verge of university studies.

Canterbury boarded me at St Edmund’s, a college I had yet to explore, and engaged me for two days in such fabulous sessions as, “What is the purpose of a university education?” and “What is the meaning of life?” One-on-one tutorials in law and classics (the participants’ chosen areas of interest) gave the program its backbone. With only two students attended by about a dozen graduate students, I suspect the conference staff relished the event even more than our guests did.

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eastern cities, miles about: Wales, York, Edinburgh

eastern cities, miles about: Wales, York, Edinburgh

originally published January 6, 2022

Read Part I: London and the Isle of Wight

After ten months of bouncing between the cosmopolitan worlds of Oxford and London, I was overdue for an encounter with the British parts of Britain.

The family in Wales not only adopted me for the week, but embraced tour guiding for their corner of the island. Don’t go to Cardiff, they advised, so I took the train to Bath for the day instead. You can’t visit Abergavenny without “walking” up the Sugar Loaf, I learned, so they drove me there themselves.

Best of all, they unleashed me on three children and a library of picture books – in English and Welsh!

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parrot islands anchored lie: London and the Isle of Wight

parrot islands anchored lie: London and the Isle of Wight

originally published November 28, 2021

The summer before traveling to Oxford, I dreamed up a short wishlist for travel in the United Kingdom: 1) Yorkshire, the site of beloved stories from my childhood, and 2) Wales, the only British country still alien to me. With my lease winding to a close on the 30th of June and my plans for the oncoming autumn undecided, the months of July and August opened like a window of opportunity before me, if only I could find the key.

I have a dear friend (and former professor) to thank for almost everything that followed. With a few emails, Sam enlisted friends across the country to host me for weeks (or months, if requested). Buoyed with confidence born of traveling towards a friendly destination, I boarded the bus to London.

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