Welcome back to #TravelThursday. It was exactly 37 years ago this morning – the 10TH of November back in 1985 – that I arrived in a foreign country solo for the first time in my life – as a young 18-year-old.
It was a cold Sunday morning at London’s Heathrow Airport, and I had flown all night from Washington Dulles Airport. Of course I lost 5 hours overnight with the time difference.
I made my way to the British Rail station at the airport. I took that to Reading – where I got off the train. Oops. I wasn’t supposed to get off there. I got confused. I ended-up waiting at that station until the next train arrived. That didn’t take very long. I got on it, and I continued on to Swindon. At the Swindon station I hired a cab to take me to my new home and workplace – RAF Fairford – about 13 miles away.
The cab driver was nice and friendly. He welcomed me to the U.K., and he turned up the radio for us to listen to. I think we were listening to GWR. An eerie song came on that I had never heard before. It was Talking Heads with “Road To Nowhere”. How appropriate for that song to play on the radio as this young 18-year-old teenager was being driven on the left along narrow and curvy farmland roads from Swindon to RAF Fairford.
That was the start of my 2-year and 1-week adventure in the south of England as an 18, 19, and 20-year-old. I got to see a lot of England, Scotland, Wales, France, Belgium, and Netherlands. I wish I had seen more of the European continent, but I’m grateful for the areas that I did get to experience while I was over there.
I’ve attended about 150 concerts and live events in my life (100 since 2000), and the first 17 all occurred during those 2 years in England.
Next #TravelThursday I’ll return home stateside – just like I did exactly 35 years ago. Let’s keep traveling together.
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