Monday 13 October 2014

A reflection on Bristol

Cold, grey and wet. Very wet. Seems apt that my last day in Bristol is the kind of weather that encapsulates this country as a whole. Still, we've had a lovely(ish) summer, so I won't complain too loudly.

To think, two years and three months ago, I moved here, after being offered a job up near Emersons Green, I never really thought about today: the day I leave. For the first week I had commuted daily along from Wootton Bassett, which was both tiring and expensive, and luckily was quickly offered a place to stay by Kate near Easton. Shortly after, at New Years, I started taking language lessons from May Kay and Saori, trying to improve my Mandarin and Japanese respectively.

In late July, I once again left to travel, this time to Toulouse, to visit Isabelle and family, and then together along the Mediterranean to Marseille, Nice, Cannes, Florence and Rome. One of my regrets was that I never wrote while I was out there. A mistake I won't make a second time.

Then I moved to the centre of Bristol, was promoted at work, and slowly lost my motivation for studying and challenging myself. I thought a second trip would pull me out of my monotony, and boarded a plane to Beijing in March of this year. Three weeks was too short. Rather than pull me from my rut, it dug it deeper and reminded me of all that I missed so dearly about being on an adventure.

I love Bristol Temple Meads. I sit here now, typing. From the rusting arches covering the tracks to the intricate brickwork hiding the station offices in plain site, it's charming and has so much history. I like the fact that it's half inside but half out. Paddington is the same. No where else in the world have I seen train stations like these. Does anyone know of any?

Today I packed, and I think I already have too much stuff. Some of it is temporary, a few clothes left over from drying that I need to drop off with the rest of my stuff, but I also underestimated how big the mosquito net and the travel towel are. Do I really need a sarong if I have a travel towel? I think I'll be making some big decisions tonight and trying to really trim down what I'm taking.

All the stuff I'm taking

All fit into the bag!

I'm going to miss this place. Really, it's been an incredible two years, and it's all down to the amazing people who I've met here, who have taught me so much and challenged what I thought to be fact. To quote a rather remarkable man, Opinions are like assholes, in that everyone has one. But they differ, in that yours should be regularly and thoroughly examined.

So thank you Bristol, and thank you to my work mates, and my friends, I will miss you all terribly, and look forward to seeing you all soon, somewhere in the world.

Next post will probably be in Rio!


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