I was Skyping my best friend earlier today. He lives in England. We were strolling down memory lane from four years ago, trying to figure out who was right about what candy I was eating and what city we were in when we watched Nightmare on Elm Street at the cinema.
(I suppose what we should’ve been discussing is why we wasted time watching such a crappy film.)
Anyway. None of this matters to you, of course.
He then reached off-camera for something and started rummaging through a desk drawer while continuing to chat.
He came back and said, “Guess what I’ve got?” He lifted up an ancient train ticket from our very first trip to London in May of 2010. I couldn’t believe he kept stuff like that.
I do too. I wanted to see what old train tickets I could dig up and show him.
I found quite a handful.
It motivated me to write this blog.
I did more traveling in England than that picture shows. I did occasionally toss used tickets in the bin. Not every journey is worth remembering…
I spread all those tickets out and looked at the dates. The cities. Departure and destination. Journey times. Bits, fragments, pieces of my adventures abroad.
Recalled what I was doing. Where I was going. Who I was headed to see.
November 16, 2012. The final weekend trip to Edinburgh before I left my then-boyfriend for two months for Thanksgiving and Christmas in America. We went to Edinburgh Zoo and saw the pandas! It was lovely.
Or January 18, 2010. Manchester Airport to Leeds. My very first train journey in England. Where it all began.
Or October 9, 2011. Headingley to Leeds. I’d woken up, a town away, on a bright red couch in some strangers’ student house. Friends of the friend who’d invited me out drinking the night before.
We woke up late, went to Wetherspoon’s for a traditional English breakfast, and my first hangover and I headed home. Was a good night.
Or February 20, 2012. I slept over at my new (at the time) boyfriend’s house in Sheffield. I’d missed the final train coming back from the Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds gig the night before. I got lost.
He told me to get a taxi to his and stay the night. I skipped my Monday lecture to sleep in his ridiculously comfy bed while he went to uni for a few hours.
I ran my hands over all the tickets. All the journeys. The memories. The stories in the stubs.
It made me cry a little.
The good kind. The kind of tears that are accompanied by a smile.
I’m glad I’ve kept them. It’s nice to be reminded sometimes of where you’ve been. And how far you’ve come.