England was the first place I travelled to overseas. My mum grew up in Liverpool and it was somewhere that I had always wanted to visit. In 2007, my entire family travelled to England to celebrate my Great-Grandmother’s 90th Birthday. I was bubbling with excitement and couldn’t wait to finally be in England. We also planned day trips to Wales and Ireland and I couldn’t wait to check some countries off of my long travel wish list.
It’s funny how, when you grow up somewhere, you often don’t realize how beautiful it is. I sometimes look around at all the tourists that come to Vancouver and wonder why they wanted to come here. Of all the places in the world, why Vancouver? Then I take a look at my surroundings and I remember what a gorgeous area of the world we live in. My Mum felt the same way when we were travelling back to England. I would always hear negative things about it. When we landed in Manchester, I just couldn’t understand why my Mum was talking down England so much. The scenery was gorgeous, the people were friendly, I had a giant smile on my face, and Mum was reminded of just how gorgeous England actually is.
There’s something incredibly special about the first place you travel to overseas. It’s a feeling that you never forget and a feeling that you never experience again. I’d caught the travel bug and never wanted it to go away.
We started off our vacation in my Mum’s hometown, Liverpool. Specifically, Crosby. It was such a cool experience to see where my Mum grew up. Even now, when I visit, it’s fun to think “my Mum walked on these exact same streets and went to these exact same places.”
Liverpool is a beautiful city filled with art, museums, and, of course, The Beatles landmarks. The Liverpool skyline is impressive, with the Liver Birds standing watch.
As gorgeous as Liverpool is, it’s a large modern city that doesn’t have the “English charm” that is found in some of the other cities in England. We were able to experience this charm in York. Surrounded by Roman walls, York is a city rich with history. A highlight was seeing the old street named The Shambles. Slanted buildings on either side of the narrow street seem close to falling over at any minute and, yet, they have stood for centuries. Walking the city walls was an eye opening experience. To walk on something that the Romans built, not knowing who had walked on them before, was pretty amazing. York was definitely a highlight of our trip.
The Lake District was also a highlight and is still one of my favourite places to visit in England. As beautiful as our landscape is in British Columbia, there is nothing quite like the picturesque landscape in the Lake District.
While all of the places I’ve mentioned so far were exciting and beautiful to visit, perhaps one of my most fond memories of my first trip to England was going to Lyme Park aka Pemberley in BBC’s version of Pride and Prejudice. It was somewhere that I had always wanted to see. Aside from the rain and getting lost (which led to muddy feet), it was absolutely perfect.
My first trip overseas didn’t disappoint and every trip I’ve taken since then has been incredible. There’s always something new to see and explore. Come back next week to read about some more places that I’ve explored in England.