This week marks the big return to London, England – the first international location I traveled to, as a 20 year old. We started our semester in the UK, collecting all 84 Americans in our cohort in London for a 3 day weekend to start. I remember Texas accents, friendships formed in JFK airport and that first terrible shock at a London ATM where I withdrew British Pounds Sterling on a paltry exchange rate (where’s the rest of it?).
I have a few impressions of my time in London, but they are very superficial, and also – cold! It won’t be much warmer next week, but at least I can save room in the suitcase by not traveling with a winter coat.
Now here’s the kicker. Would you believe I only took .. 20 .. photos while I was in London in 2004? I don’t know about you, but this blows my mind. I can take 20 photos in 3 hours in a new city, let alone 3 days. Although I’m quite sure I had my camera with me nonstop, I was probably too excited to document every moment. Unlike now, I would not have been posting on Facebook, tweeting or sending video footage into the world with each step. Cell phone? Nope. Smart phone? Definitely not. What was this — the stone age? Only 2004.
As with any return trip, you’re destined to take some of the same photos, in the same places. Granted most of my 2004 snapshots involve a grinning gaggle of Americans, and sadly I won’t be able to re-create that .. but I’ll happily put myself through the same paces where I was some 9 years ago. Isn’t that the best way to revisit a memory?