Day 08 – A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.
There have been many times in my life where I figured things were going so well and I had no complaints. I thought it would be hard to come up with the top moment, but after a mere minute I realized what the answer was to this question.
My answer is the afternoon of May 22, 2010.
That date will of course mean very little to most of you, but to me it was the day that I learned a lot about myself. I was on a British Isles (England/Wales) tour with 20 other individuals at the time. We were in Bath, England on that particular day. It was one of two days where I went around solo. This wonderful day easily made Bath my favorite part of the trip.
First, I think it’s important to point out that I’m the type of individual who rarely does anything on their own in regards to going about in public. I like to have someone to talk to (so I don’t randomly talk aloud to myself…Dumbledore). I enjoy sharing moments with people. But that random day I decided that Bath was something I wanted to explore on my own. Considering people were going to a fashion museum and other random spots I didn’t care about, this ended up being a good decision.
The group started out by walking down the hill from the hostel that morning to visit the Roman Baths. That was where the initial separation began. I need to backup a moment here and say that I didn’t exactly plan to go around alone that day. As the self-guiding tours carried on I began to lose more and more people from my group. I’d run into them many times there, as well as Bath Abbey, but by the time I left that gorgeous abbey I realized that I was going to do the rest of the day alone until meeting up for dinner.
It was a bit on the warmer side that day, I remember, though most people would probably consider it a perfect temperature. I made my way through the streets of Bath, spotting a bookstore not even five minutes into my walk. Naturally I had to go inside. It was a three-story Waterstone’s, which is comparable to Barnes & Noble. Keep in mind we’re in England, folks, so three stories doesn’t mean mall-size. I’m talking three nice-sized coffee shops stacked on top of each other. Fancy that, because it had a coffee shop on the second floor. Knowing I’d need lunch at some point, I ordered an iced mocha and a delicious muffin that I believe was raspberry and cream cheese. I got to talking to the Baristas for a good five to ten minutes, which I greatly enjoyed because I had yet to hold a great deal of English conversation. I left the store with three books in tow (by two, get one free) and plenty of time to spare.
I popped into another couple stores along the way to a Jane Austen museum. I had been to her house in Chawton the day before, but for me I wanted to continue to make the literary trip a literary trip, and I was becoming utterly fascinated with her by this time. I learned a lot from the museum. There was a presentation, followed by individual tours around the house. The real house she lived in was up the street (honestly, no idea why the museum isn’t in the actual house), but the set-up was done in the way it would have appeared while she lived in Bath. Costumes, facts, everything you needed was there. Maybe not as cool as Chawton, but certainly a good time.
From there I carried on to take pictures of The Circus and the Royal Crescent. Really they’re just living spaces, but the architecture is absolutely stunning, at least that’s my assessment.
This is where the photograph tour ends, I’m afraid. Not because I have no more pictures, but because I have yet to really answer the question for today. You can see that I experienced some real gems in the city of Bath, but it was the feeling of going off alone without someone who knew their way around, without someone to talk to, even, that made me feel so content with my life. I wasn’t nervous for a moment of that day. I didn’t hesitate to ask someone to take my picture. I didn’t avoid a spot because it would involve too many people being around me. These things may seem silly, but I used to think about them, often even worried about them. I don’t do that anymore.
In short, the day I was most satisfied with my life was on May 22, 2010. That day inspired not only my travel essay on Jane Austen, but also the 14-page short story I wrote for the class as well. Bath, I found, is my safe haven. I would like nothing more than to return to it one day.
When have you felt most satisfied with your life?